Mattia Pascal was a man born to endure adversities in every walk of life. He was a dutiful son who saw his family affluence ruined by a benefactor after his father’s death and his mother’s existence fading into rueful shadows. He was a concerned husband and a doting father even in the thorniest situations that brought demoralizing repercussions in his marital life. The only thing Mattia was ever sure about in his burdensome life was his name-Mattia Pascal. It was his solitary possession that he found solace in. May God bless his soul and hope that he ultimately finds peace for he truly needs it.
Remember you until the end of time – Adriano Meis.
Adriano Meis cradled in boundless freedom. He was an architect of his own life. Adriano lived a cheerful life with no obligatory relations. Free as a bird; he traveled places, embraced a new world with open arms where imagination had no boundaries. He was a self-made man justly born to be free. Yet, he died in solitude being caged in his own individuality; a man whose existence was in itself a nothingness.
Thanking you for an ephemeral bliss — Anonymous.
Late Mattia Pascal is indisputably Pirandello’s masterpiece. Written in a biographical form it deals with the facet of personal identity and the calamitous dilemma of its mutability. The plot runs through familiarizing the reader with the fateful life of a young Italian man- Mattia Pascal, to whom happiness is a rare commodity. Troubled by a miserable marriage, penurious livelihood and utter condemnation of his survival; Mattia leaves his native land in search of a unsullied liberated self. Compelled by his rebellious mind-set, he finds an opportunity in a miscalculation when a newspaper reports his fallacious death. Finally, an escape to a freer life and thus an alter-ego unchained to societal obligation is created. Adriano Meis was a specter of broken ties who would be distressed by the humanness of Mattia Pascal.
Unmasking a phantom.
The famous Pirandellian epistemology of post-modernism/existentialism questioning the foundation of distinguishable identity and its significance to human existence illuminates through the minute details of Mattia’s life. Was Mattia legit in his actions of concealing the truth and using the passage to live an entirely different life? Would it have been better if he had braved his unfortunate situations rather than living like a ghost? Is a specified identity essential to individual to acquire a civil status that may sometimes become burdensome? Is identity purely mechanical or is there a human trait to its implication? The manuscript undeniably rattles your grey cells and makes you ponder on the limits of unconsciously self-constructing a new identity without acquiring a legit civil status. Freedom is what everyone craves to escape the harsh conditions of misfortune. But with limitless freedom comes the human aspect of excruciating seclusion and constraints of legitimacy. Death was seen as a liberating prospect by Mattia from his entire monetary and emotional burden. His newly altered appearance and name bestowed him contentment, until his past caught up overwhelming him with nostalgic reminiscences, thus gradually transmuting his new persona into a dense prison in itself. Pirandello justifies the legitimacy of society and reality that forms convinced “shadows” of which individuals can never liberate themselves, except when death overtakes mind, body and soul. In the end, whether it was Mattia or his alter-ego (Adriano), they were merely trying to unmask a self-created phantom as neither both could entirely break away from from each other.