What were the influences/historical background that inspired Luigi Pirandello to write "War"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One element in Pirandello's own consciousness that influences his short story is his belief of art, in general.  Pirandello constructed art with the idea of exploring the "psychological reality that lies beneath social appearances and overt social action."  This influence is seen in the short story when the layers behind private emotions and public masks are revealed.  The woman's pressing question about the fat man's son rips through to the barest psychological condition of the fat man.

Another influence on Pirandello in writing the short story is the desire to expose the potential hollowness of empty political slogans that benefit those in the position of power. Pirandello's own background was to recognize that those in the position of academic, political, and social power have a tendency to espouse views that are illusory, designed to enhance their own control.  The basis of the story is exploring what lies underneath " a mist of illusions." Pirandello was profoundly influenced in being able to detail a condition in which what is real is discovered out of what is imposed. This applies to a political and psychological condition of being in the world, an element that exerts a profound influence on the story.

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