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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 498

Don Fabrizio Corbera

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Don Fabrizio Corbera (fah-BREEZ-zee-oh kohr-BEH-rah), the prince of Salina, around whom the novel and its themes revolve. Fabrizio represents the old Sicilian aristocracy, which, as the story begins, is under siege. The Italian Risorgimento, the movement for Italian unity, is about to defeat the Bourbon monarchy that controls Naples and Sicily. By 1870, ten years after the novel’s story begins, Italy is one kingdom, with Rome as its capital. Fabrizio, who is forty-five years old as the story begins, looks on his advancing age and the passing old order of the country with mixed feelings. His personal life is full of disillusionment, but he is aware of the need for political and social compromise. He envies his nephew’s lust for his bride but sadly realizes that the marriage is a financial and social necessity. Through most of his adult life, Fabrizio has been similarly torn between personal disappointment and an attempt to transcend personal preoccupations, and he has studied the stars for answers. Eventually, Fabrizio is able to welcome death as a release. He realizes that life will go on without him and that his concerns with the past essentially have been futile.

Tancredi Falconeri

Tancredi Falconeri (tahn-KREH-dee fahl-koh-NEH-ree), Fabrizio’s handsome, dashing nephew, who represents the spirit of compromise that will build the new Italy from its fragmented, aristocratic past. Tancredi joined Garibaldi’s army and marries Angelica Sedara for similar reasons, knowing that the old Sicily is passing, that his family needs money, and that acceptance of change is better than futile resistance.

Don Calogero Sedara

Don Calogero Sedara (kah-loh-JEHR-oh say-DAH-rah), the mayor of Donnafugata, where Fabrizio owns property. Don Calogero is crude and uncultured but wealthy and ambitious. He is aware that his own social origins, from the poor peasantry, represent the ascendancy in modern Italy, and he is eager to manipulate Fabrizio for personal gain.

Angelica Sedara

Angelica Sedara (ahn-jehl-EE -kah), Don...

(The entire section contains 498 words.)

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Critical Essays