Who is Salvatore in W. Somerset Maugham’s short story with the same name? What kind of life does he spend?
Salvatore is the protagonist of the story with the same name. He is a boy of fifteen, the son of an Italian fisherman when the story begins and a middle-aged man with a wife and two children at the end of the story.
Salvatore is living a simple yet hard life of a fisherman when the story ends. He catches cuttlefish at night. He also works in his vineyard the whole day. His rheumatism takes its toll on him occasionally. But he is happy with his life. He doesn’t blame anyone. He is a responsible husband as well as an affectionate father. At times he gives his children a bath and holds them tenderly as if they are flowers.
Salvatore’s life was hard enough. All through the fishing season, he set out in his boat with one of his brothers for the fishing grounds in the evening. He spent nights catching the profitable cuttlefish. Then there was the long row back in order to sell the catch in time for it to go on the early boat to Naples. He worked in his vineyard from dawn till the heat drove him to rest and again, when it was a trifle cooler, till dusk. Often, his rheumatism prevented him from doing anything at all.
Salvatore was a 15 years old boy, the eldest son of an Italian fisherman. He is described as a person with a pleasant face, laughing mouth and carefree eyes. He happily took care of his two younger brothers. He spent his morning lying on the sea-beach and used to swim effortlessly in the sea where his father used to catch fish. He never wears shoes except on Sundays for going church.
He left his home for military service to become a sailor in the navy of the King Victor Emmanuel. He was living a miserable life full of ups and downs. During his military service in China he fell ill and as he was suffering from rheumatism he was consider unfit for further service. Salvatore did not mind his illness and rather felt happy to return to his own home. He was eager to meet his family and fiancee.
After returning to his hometown he gets to know that his fiancee whom he loved so dearly refused to marry him knowing he would never be quite well again and would never work like a strong man. It was a heartbreak for him but he didn’t blame the girl. On his mother’s suggestion he married a girl named Assunta. Salvatore had to work hard to earn a living. He used to catch profitable cuttlefish at night. He also used to work in his vineyard the whole day. When rheumatism often took toll on him, he would then lie on the beach with pain racking his limbs. When foreigners saw him lying there, they said that these Italian fishermen are lazy devils, but never did he utter an unpleasant word for anyone. Never did he blame anyone for anything in his life.