Obsession and Objectification in Wartime Sicily
It is only natural to fall in love with the first truly beautiful woman one meets. Renato was no different. Riding his new bike at the dawn of war, he fell in love with Malèna the moment he saw her. Such a love was never meant to be but Renato would not give up just yet.
What Renato lacked in courage he made up for in imagination. The unadulterated visions of a love-stricken boy with the object of his affection. Renato feelings were as pure and valiant as they could be and he demonstrates this time and again. His obsession is one of profound appreciation.
Malèna remains stoic and soberly defiant despite all the hardships thrown her way. The fact that she was able to forgive those who abused her and move on with her life in the same place where she was savagely persecuted shows her character and devotion.
“She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret.”
“I think you are another of these desert-loving English: Doughty, Stanhope, Gordon of Khartoum.
No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees, there is nothing in the desert. No man needs nothing.”
— Prince Faisal