My Brilliant Friend
Elena Ferrante
Contributed by Eleanor Sherer
Adolescence - Chapter 24-27
Summary

Elena ends up losing interest in Gino after seeing him mock his classmate for not understanding his schoolwork. At the same time, Marcello Solara and Pasquale both propose to Lila. She tenderly turns down Pasquale, revealing to him that she considers him a brother, yet furiously rejects Marcello by telling him that she makes her sick. In spite of the fact that Elena advises Lila to keep this incident a secret, Lila ignores this and spreads the message.

In the meantime, Elena’s studies are no longer inspiring her even though she is still performing well. With Lila no longer interested in academics, Elena is worried that her excitement for schoolwork is attached to their friendship and competition. Lila mentions that Marcello is pursuing her, and that she is anxious that her fantasies of a shoe production plant have given Rino hyperbolical desires, leaving him fixated on getting wealth and power.

At some point, Elena, Lila, Pasquale, and Rino go on a trip to a popular, wealthy neighborhood in Naples. Pasquale and Rino initially decline. But after they see the Solara siblings driving Ada and Gigliola in their vehicle, the two young men become insecure about their low status in society, as well as their lack of spontaneity. They consent to go wherever Lila wishes. When they arrive into the rich neighborhood, the young people are astonished and feel even more insecure by the sharp-looking and well-dressed people around them. To make matters even worse, Rino offends a passing couple, which results in a fight breaking out. Lila intercedes, incensed with her brother. The friends then go separate ways, with the young ladies leaving Pasquale and Rino. They are frightened to see a gathering of young fellows carrying sticks, led by one of the men who had fought with Rino. Carmela, Elena, and Lila return to see Pasquale and Rino being assaulted by this large group. All of a sudden, the Solara siblings come with their vehicle. Marcello and Michele intervene, and with their assistance, Pasquale and Rino frighten off the other posse of young men.

After the fight ends, Rino advises the three girls to return home in the vehicle. Elena is warily appreciative for the help from Marcello and Michele. However, Lila appears to be shaken by the experience. In the days after the incident, Marcello starts calling consistently at the shoe store and socializing with Rino. Lila’s dad, Fernando, encourages this relationship, hoping that this relationship will result in opportunities for his son. Be that as it may, Lila is certain that Marcello has hidden motives in his new friendship with Rino. One day, when Elena is at Lila’s house, Marcello comes over for supper. Lila’s parents are eager to please Marcello and when he shows interest in seeing the shoes Lila and Rino have designed, Lila is sent to get them. However, she does not come back with the shoes, resulting in Marcello leaving their house feeling confused and hurt. Fernando and Rino are both angry with Lila for her behavior, yet she argues that she did not want Marcello to see or deal with the shoes.

As the school year comes to an end, Elena gets high scores. Her teacher sees the need to reward her efforts and proposes that she spend some time in the Island of Ischia with her cousin during the summer. At first, Elena thinks this proposition is ludicrous.

Analysis

This segment marks Marcello Solara’s entrance into Lila’s life in a sustained and progressively genuine way. His character is as difficult and stubborn as Lila’s own. When she first rejects him in an extremely embarrassing manner, he finds an increasingly unobtrusive approach to get close to her, forging a relationship with Rino and her parents. This approach is difficult for Lila to reject, as her family understands the benefits of what a partnership with the Solara family would mean. At first glance, Marcello seems like a good choice to help with Lila’s dreams of starting a shoe factory. However, Lila, realizes that by marrying him she would surrender her freedom and self-sufficiency. She is extremely defensive of the shoes as they symbolize something she made, and she would not like to see that lost to Marcello. His romantic techniques additionally uncovers the contention between male authority and female independence. Neither Lila’s father or brother support her desires for independence, and both concentrate on how to secure a relationship with the Solara family.

In the meantime, Elena is attempting to separate her own character from Lila’s. As Lila turns out to be progressively focused on her own troubles, Elena worries that she does not have a sufficient feeling of individuality that gives her own life meaning. The two young ladies have existed as identical representations of each other, and keeping in mind that their connection gives them security and solidness. Elena’s feeling of misfortune also demonstrates how dangerous the strength of relationship can be.

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