Before this passage Michele comes to the realization that the boy in the hole had been kidnapped and put there by his friends and family. In chapter four Michele sees Felice Natale’s brown 127 car when he was visiting the boy at the farm house. This was one of the first indications to Michele that his friends and family was involved.
The theory had entered Michele’s mind but he had not thought into great detail about it until he sees his father, mother, and the fathers of the village all sitting around the television watching the report on Filippo’s kidnapping.He hears the adults using heartless language towards Filippo’s distressed mother, his own father saying ‘Two ears we’ll cut off. Two. ’ This use of callous language indicates to Michele that the adults are not the role model guardians that he previously thought they were, and were actually evil and cruel human beings. When Michele makes the connection between his parents and the kidnapping of Filippo he is very distraught, describing his father as the bogeyman. This term, ‘bogeyman’ depicts the father as someone to be feared, a monster in Michele’s eyes.This indicates that Michele has lost trust for his father and he is scared of his new evil image.
In the passage we see Michele’s damaged sense of trust towards his friends. After he comes to the realization that his parents are involved in Filippo’s kidnapping he finds it difficult to trust anyone. This is evident in this passage when Michele accuses Barbra of trying to kill the dog, despite her good intentions of trying to clean him. After realizing that the people he has trusted his entire life have betrayed him he cannot trust anyone because he feels as though the trust will be broken.
The dogs with the ticks in this passage is a metaphor for the village people being happy and fine on the surface but hidden underneath the surface are sinister, evil and shaken people. The ticks are itching at the dog, with their heads buried in the flesh sucking the blood until their stomachs are swollen. This is representation of the dog is similar to the representation of the village people in that they have a burden that is itching at them, weighing them down and is sucking their existence out of them. The cleaning of the dog – washing away all the ticks and cleaning the dog symbolizes a clean slate and fresh beginning.Once the ticks are rid of the dog is happy and is not controlled by blood sucking vampires. The burden of Filipo and the struggle to get out of the rut that they have put themselves in is itching at the villagers and is sucking their happiness out of them.
The cleaning of the dog and ridding all the dirt off him is foreshadowing the plans that the village have at the end of the novel in killing Filippo. The fathers have plans to kill Filippo to clean the slate and be rid of their burden. Once the burden is lifted the slate is cleaned and they can go back to life as they once knew it.