Summary of Mary Morris’ On Italian Time
Writer: Mary Morris
The essay focuses on the Italian time and Italian space. This type of essay is called traveler. It recurs the experiences that the persona had on her journey from Zurich to Helon. Journey is the main theme of the traveler. When the persona travels to Italy, she experiences Italian sense of time and space. Among the Italian time and space are the relative notions. They are not accurate about the time and space. They give the schedule of train departures and arrivals but departures and arrivals never correspond to the actual time. Italians never worry about the exactness of the time.
Similar sort of inaccuracy can be seen in terms of their information regarding the space. They use many signboards, containing the information of the difference places. But the information cannot take us to the destination. In the time and space Italians are random and inaccurate. Therefore, the writer reaches to the conclusion that whimsy is the national character of Italian.
Italy was made up of the pagans or heathen society. Italian did not have any formal and mainstream religion. But slowly and gradually they embrace Christianity. If we observe closely there still lies the pagan culture beneath the surface of Christianity. That is to say, they are the paganist in their heart. While claiming this, the writer is aware of paganist Christian gap. She believes that the Christian are regular, punctual or the time based but the paganist do not care about time, space, accuracy and other information.
According to the writer, accuracy of Italian people is not only found in time and space but also found in other information. Italians are very prone to misinformation. Without judging the accuracy of information in advance they circulate it, no matter, whatever the consequences. The bus conductor gives the misinformation to the tourist regarding the train journey and facilities. Likewise, the doctor gives the misinformation regarding the patient. Writer does not see any sense of guilt on the part of Italian. Therefore, she declares whimsical nature as their national character. This essay can be read from the post-colonial point of view. It represents the writers biasness towards the Italian society. Few events have been used to generate about entire Italy. In this sense, it is also a kind of biased representation.