Society’s DemandsLives of Saints: Christina’s Strength In Resisting Society’s Demands
As you grow older it is inevitable that you will change in many ways. As a
matter of fact it is impossible to survive without the ability to adapt to
situations and surroundings. This ability is acquired as you age, learn and
experience life. It is a part of growing up and society demands that you adapt
and conform to their mores and customs. It is always difficult to veer from the
path of uniformity which society leads. Many times you are able to slip by
unnoticed with a minor variance from this path. However, when someone decides to
blatantly blaze their own trail, often society makes their further growth and
development a difficult task. As a result the community only tolerates
acquiescence and conformity. Like the character Cristina in Nino Ricci’s novel
Lives of the Saints, it is only the most tenacious that can resist caving in to
Often, this deviance can harm others, not just the dissident. Vittorio is
continually badgered for the deeds his mother performed, and he is too innocent
to realize that, her independence of spirit is the reason. As well, Cristina’s
father does not see past the cloud which has slowly been built up in Valle del
Sole. The cloud which prevents most people from seeing how the failure to be an
individual rules the town, and how anyone with the nerve to be unique is
ostracized. Cristina’s father’s failure to understand this leads to the decline
and eventually their total destruction of the family structure.
In many ways, the story of the character Cristina in the novel is similar
to the story of Saint Christina. They both endure considerable suffering for
standing up for their beliefs. In both cases they have whole villages opposing
them, and neither of them give in, thus proving how strong they are. In the end,
Santa Christina and Cristina end up leaving behind these villages for a better
The villagers continuous attention to whatever Cristina does, prevents her
from living her life as she would like. Cristina’s only choice is to keep to
herself and go about the tedious and repetitive housework she does day in and
day out. This prevents any advance in her development and growth, she is left
like a skipping record playing the same thing over and over, not making any
progress in her life.
In Nino Ricci’s novel Lives of the Saints, Cristina’s surprising strength
to resist society’s demands is vital in showing how society can control people.
In today’s world one must realize this and learn to take it in stride. Everyone
must grow and change, it is a fact of life and a necessity as much as sex is.
Society should not be the only influence to the way an individual thinks or acts,
because who really decides what is acceptable or not in “society’s” eyes?