Character Sketch, Severino Cuzelli.
Character Sketch: Severino Cuzelli
Name: Severino Cuzelli
Age: 23 (at the beginning of the story)
Location: The mountain village of Cloz, northern Italy. (Formerly, Austria) And later the location changes to America where he lives for about half of his life.
Family History: He is the youngest of 9 children. His father owned his own business but the business has failed. His mother is very loving, his father is also loving, but not as demonstrative as his mother. Both his parents die shortly after his return from war.
Career aspirations: nothing specific. He has worked in his father's business, raising earth worms, but that business has failed. He has often dreamed of immigrating to America but won't move until his parents are gone. Once he is married his wife does not want to move to America.
Features: strongly built, ruddy complexion. Thick chested, 6' tall, about 200 pounds, blue eyes, brown hair. He has large, strong, calloused hands. His hair is dark and wavy, his eyes are blue.
Appearance: he dresses nicely and always looks neat, and always wears a Fedora when he goes out.
Likes: he enjoys hard work, enjoys homemade wine and listening to opera. His prize possession is a silver pocket watch that once belonged to his grandfather. It is old, made of silver, and still keeps perfect time. He wears it on a silver chain clasped to his belt.
Dislikes: He has no patience with slovenly, lazy people. He believes that a person's life is directly connected by the decisions they have made. He doesn't like people who take advantage of other people. He has a low opinion of wealthy people.
Physical condition: in excellent health. Severino has worked hard all his life and his physical appearance shows it. He is strong, has never been sick. He is hardy, full of vigor and thrives.
Ailments: none presently, but eventually dies of heart disease.
Education: he has the equivalent of a sixth-grade education, but he can read and write well, and is very good at math.
Socioeconomic background: he comes from a family considered lower-middle income. Owning your own land is a mark of accomplishment where he grew up. His family does not own land other than their home on a small piece of property.
Parents: Giorgio and Lucia
Siblings: He is the youngest of 9 children. All have either died or moved to America.
Ambition: he wants to earn enough money to own his own land.
Hobbies: he enjoys making homemade wine.
Significant Others: he has had girlfriends ever since he was 14. He had a number of casual affairs while he served in the army during WW I. After the war he meets Angela and they are married. After moving to America he meets, and eventually, has an affair with Rianna after her husband dies. While he is close to Rianna, he truly loves his wife.
Intelligence: He is smart, reads and writes well, he's good at math.
Emotional Stability: he is somewhat self-centered but coming from a world dominated by men it is hardly noticed. He is centered...he knows he wants to earn money and doesn't care how hard he has to work to earn it.
Flaws: self-centered, his needs come first, his interests are most important.
Other Traits: he is a saver. He believes that a portion of a man's earnings should be saved, every payday. He enjoys the physical feeling following a hard day's work.
Pivotal events in life: WW I, immigrating to America, being unable to send money home to his wife during WW II, learning that his wife has been locked away in an asylum.
Favorite foods: Pizza, polenta, pasta, rabbit, pork chops, beef, snails.
Favorite music: he enjoys the music of Italian tenors and opera singers.
Favorite reading material: he reads only the newspapers.
Religion: he was Baptized Catholic, but he practices no religion.
Personality: he can be gruff at times, but loving and caring at other times. He is hard on his children and has no patience for one son who is constantly getting into minor trouble. Because he has lived a hard life, he believes that raising his children to be tough and strong will prepare them for the world ahead. He believes that hard work provides the breaks in a man's life.
Habits: he smokes small Genoa cigars, drinks wine with meals, talks long walks, saves money.
Favorite thing to do: visit the lakes and relax on a warm afternoon. Spend time at the Saint Genaro festival (the blessing of the water) in Italy and later in New York City.
Comfort level with opposite sex: he considers himself to be a bit of a ladies man.
Things he/she takes pride in: he takes a great deal of pride in his appearance, always dressing very nicely.
Things that bother him/her: lazy people, paying taxes, being taken advantage of.
Things that make him/her laugh: a bawdy joke.
Speech patterns: he speaks loud, and directly. He is quiet most of the time, but when he has something to say he insists on being heard.
Prose Synopsis of the Central Character:
Severino Cuzelli is a tall, strong man accustomed to hard work. After returning from WW I where he served at Mt. Pasubio, a harsh, unforgiving mountain that saw very heavy casualties, he comes home to find that his father is very ill and the farm is lost. He tries to revive the silk worm farm but is unsuccessful. His prospects of accomplishing his life goals in Italy are slim once his father's business goes under. When his fiancé's father dies, his prospects are even slimmer and helps him decide the immigration issue. His main goal of owning his own land will have to wait. He helps build the subways in NYC, works hard and saves his money. He sends money home to his wife until the outbreak of WW II when he is prohibited from sending money to an Axis country. This causes great concern for him and his family. He makes several trips to Italy. One result of those trips back to Italy is that a child is born 9 months after each visit, until he has 5 children. His first son is born only a couple of months after he emigrates. (That child is my father). During his visits to his wife in Italy he learns that she is having an affair with her childhood sweetheart who is also married. He can do nothing to stop this because he is only home for a few weeks a year. He grudgingly accepts her affair as something he can't do anything about. Besides, he is having an affair as well.