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The Effect Of Bad Example Essay

The influence of parental behaviour has a big impact on children. This truth is displayed in the novel Lives of the Saints by Nino Ricci. Cristina, the mother of the main character Vittorio exhibits a poor role model for her son. Cristina chooses to have a relationship with her son that involves secrecy and lies. She also follows through with immoral actions behind her husbands back. Finally, the bad role model makes many careless decisions; setting a bad example for Vittorio. Cristina is a bad role model in Vitto’s life; allowing him to learn that dishonesty and unethical actions with another man is a normal aspect of a relationship and careless decisions making is acceptable; making her a damaging example for her son.
Cristina builds a relationship with Vitto involving a lot of secrecy and lies. During the opening chapter, Cristina decides to go to town. Vittorio is curious and asks many questions about her trip. Cristina ignores all the questions and gets mad at Vittorio for being so curious. She does not allow Vitto to know information about her life. Secondly, while Cristina is in a barn, she gets bitten by a snake. Vittorio is studying and he hears a male scream. He runs to the barn to check up on his mother to find out that she lies about any male scream right to Vittorio’s face. Lastly, Cristina brings Vitto to a cave. As she mentions to Vitto that no one has visited this cave, Vitto finds glasses and thinks, “My mother told me that no one knew of the cave except her; but when we were dressing I found the glasses, wedged between a rock and the cave wall” (Ricci 28). Vitto senses something suspicious and starts to realize all the dishonesty going on. Cristina teaches Vittorio that lying and manipulation is permitted and is correct. Cristina’s relationship with her son is not one she can afford to lose as she did with her husband.
Furthermore, Vittorio’s father remains quiet throughout the novel as he is in America. Cristina teaches Vittorio that it is permitted to cheat on her spouse as he is away. Firstly, Vittorio recalls a past event with his mother. He remembers two German soldiers sleeping at their house during the war. He recalls the two soldiers leaving with his mother in the night till Vitto could no longer see them in the distance. This begins the assumption of Cristina’s unfaithfulness. In another setting, Vitto hears a male scream from the barn where his mother was bitten by a snake. As he tells his mother, “‘It wasn’t you, it was a man’” (Ricci 7). Cristina lies and denies any male scream. By the end of the novel, Cristina is pregnant with another man’s child. This confirms the speculation of her being unfaithful. Vitto is not impressed by his mother’s pregnancy as he is used to all the rumours and comments made about his mother having an affair. Cristina setting a poor example for her son shows how careless she can be.
Consequently, Cristina’s careless decision has an effect on the people in her life. Vittorio’s grandfather is forced to resign his position as mayor due to his daughter’s actions, giving him a bad reputation. Cristina’s thoughtless actions have an impact on her father’s life; causing him to have a lot of anger towards Cristina. Right before Cristina and Vitto depart to America, Vitto’s grandfather expresses his final words to Cristina, “‘All my life I’ve been surrounded by traitors and fools. Even my own daughter has betrayed me’” (Ricci 182). Vitto’s grandfather has been impacted by Cristina’s actions showing her careless she is. Next, as news spread of Cristina’s pregnancy, Vitto receives an effect of the rumours. After one of the boys gets into a physical fight with Vitto; Cristina decides to physically fight the mother of the boy. Cristina does not think about the health risks her unborn baby can have from physical fighting. At the end of the novel, she decides to travel to America while being very pregnant. She travels on board knowing the risks that the trip can cause to her unborn child. With a due date so soon, Cristina is aware of the chances of her having to give birth on board. Not all births end with the baby being alive and Cristina’s careless decision raises the risks of the death of her baby. Cristina does not put any effort into her decisions making her a bad role model.
Therefore, Cristina is a poor role model for her son. She teaches him how to lie and have secrecy with important relationships. She allows Vitto to witness her cheating and careless actions, making herself a poor example. Firstly, Cristina has a secretive and untruthful relationship with Vitto making herself a bad influence with her relationship with her son. Next, Cristina exhibits an affair teaching Vittorio that it is permitted to become unfaithful. Finally, the unborn child and Vitto’s grandfather receive an effect of the poor role model’s careless actions. Good parenting is important as poor parental behaviour has an influence on the way children grow up and see the world around them.
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