The Corsican Brothers

by Alexandre Dumas père

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What Corsican traditions are depicted in The Corsican Brothers?

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The most important Corsican tradition depicted in The Corsican Brothers is the vendetta. Although this tradition is shown as being in decline, it still exists all the same, and it is due to ongoing feuds that all the houses in the towns of Sullacaro and Olmeto are heavily fortified.

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There is much local color to be had in Dumas's The Corsican Brothers. Feeding his readers' desire for the exotic, Dumas depicts a number of Corsican traditions, all of which only add to the sense that the culture with which he is dealing is strange, romantic, and exciting.

By far the most important Corsican tradition depicted in the novel is that of the vendetta, a blood feud in which one family seeks revenge on another for some slight or other, either real or perceived.

Lucien, one of the eponymous Corsican brothers, may lament the decline of the vendetta, but the tradition is still there all the same. It still exerts a powerful hold on the Corsican imagination, as can be seen from the fact that all the houses in Olmeto and Sullacaro are heavily fortified against attack.

The origins of the particular vendetta dealt with in the story are utterly ridiculous. Apparently, this major blood feud kicked off over a stray chicken, of all things. Ever since then, the Orlandis and the Colonas have been at each other's throats. Lucien may, as we've already seen, lament the decline of the vendetta in Corsica, but that doesn't stop him from trying to act as an intermediary between the warring families.

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