Marcello Zane


My darling. Familial relationships in fighters’ letters


The letters of the Italian soldiers are an important source allows a sophisticated survey of the different plans of family relationships.

The missives from the Front change according to the role of the woman – mother, wife, sister, daughter – and the passing of time, transforming the tasks, attitudes and roles during the war.

Communication to wives registers slip from superiority positions to the gradual recognition of a feeling of parity, to the point of asking the wife the role of head of household, both in the educational and regency of the family. Letters addressed to mothers are very different in content and form: sons conceals the severity of the situation, the perils that have arisen, and looks patriots.  The sisters do not hide the truth, but the brothers often confide their dreams. Daughters are encouraged to pursue, educate and affectionate proximity to their mother and family. For everyone the formation of different identities.

The paper reconstruct these modified relationships, with broad comparisons and samplings biographical reconstructions, diachronic scriptures according to the different social category and geographic costumes.