Throughout the novel Bread and Wine, author Ignazio Silone uses different stories and anecdotes of peasant characters as both a break from the main plot and to help understand the main character, Pietro Spina/Don Paolo Spada better. Two examples of these subsidiary stories are Pietro Spina’s interaction with Uliva, a former violinist and revolutionary affiliate, and Don Paolo’s association Murica, a young impressionable revolutionary. Both of these stories illustrate the disappointment expressed towards the fascist government in power in Italy, and the disillusionment or cynicism felt with the revolutionary attempt to overthrow this government. The roles the characters of Murica and Uliva play in Bread and Wine allow Silone to tell his personal experiences of his involvement in the Communist party in Italy through different attributes of each character.
Luigi Murica grew up in the small peasant town of Rocca dei Marsi. He was a sickly, pale boy, who could not work the fields, so his parents encouraged him to focus on his studies so he could be the first one of their family to receive a formal education (232). Upon graduation, he traveled to Rome to pursue the faculty of the arts based on Don Benedetto’s recommendation (232)
From the text, one can infer that Uliva seems to have an apathetic nature towards both him and life. He immediately got swept up in the underground Communist movement in Italy, filling his head with idealist thought that he wished to transform into action. Pietro directly confronts Uliva"tms solitude behavior, stating, "Perhaps you"tmre living too isolated a life. The fact that both of these characters die for the cause symbolically shows Silone"tms "death," or separation, from the political world. Using the code name Silvestri, Silone communicated with Guido Bellone, "a police official in Rome who was in charge of investigating the subversive groups in Italy" (Stille 46). The spittle was aimed at a was basin but more often than not missed it". I can still see the scene in my mind"tms eye. Sometimes I managed to forget my secret. " When Spina met with Uliva, "They had not met for years, since they were both members of a communist students"tm cell, and all Pietro knew about him was that he had spent several months in prison" Uliva received his old friend with indifference, showing neither pleasure nor surprise. I feared for my threatened reputation, not for the wrong that I was doing. Some policemen arrived on the scene, congratulated the aggressors on the patriotic action and arrested the injured man. There"tms no evading it"for a long time I was tormented by the question why all revolutions, all of them without exception, began as a liberation movement and ended as tyrannies. After reading Stille"tms article and familiarizing oneself with Silone"tms past, one can see that had Silone continued in the Communist movement in Italy, he would have ultimately become Uliva.