Essay on My Brilliant Friend : Portrayal Of Strong Female Friendship

1723 Words Dec 7th, 2016 7 Pages
The novel, My Brilliant Friend, is renowned for its portrayal of strong female friendship. This work, set in 1950s Naples, follows the lives of two young girls, Lila and Elena. Told from the point of view of Elena, a well-behaved studious girl, the story follows the girls from elementary school to rebellious Lila’s wedding day. It explores numerous themes, from social class to femininity. But, one aspect of the girls’ friendship that stands out is Elena’s dependence on Lila. Throughout the novel she is devoted to her friend, basing her successes and failures on Lila’s response to her actions. Indeed, from her point of view, their friendship often seems unrequited and Elena habitually feels that Lila is leaving her behind. However, while it seems that it is just Elena who is dependent on her friend throughout the novel, it is actually a friendship built on mutual dependence. In fact, Lila needs Elena as much as Elena needs her. This becomes more evident as the novel progresses through adolescence. Indeed, by carefully evaluating a few different scenes spanning different years in the story, Lila’s mutual dependence comes to light. In fact, the first of these moments is as early as elementary school, when the two girls decide to skip school and leave the neighborhood. After several hours of walking along the same road Lila’s confidence disappears and she begins to seem worried and perplexed. As it starts to rain, Lila tries to convince Elena to turn back, which confuses…

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