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Loss of Innocence in Nino Ricci's Lives of the Saints

            Loss of innocence is a necessary component to maturity. It is the gradual transition into adulthood that every child must go through. Nino Ricci's "Lives Of the Saints" deals with the loss of innocence of a boy who realizes that the world is not as perfect as he thought it would be. Vito's loss of innocent occurs as he realizes the imperfections and faults of his mother. .
             In the novel, Vito is very attached to his mother. He begins using foul language and this leads to his mother slapping him. After that, things become different for Vito and his mother. He notices his life changing. .
             "What's the matter with you? Oh! Basta!".
             "It tastes like shit," I said. .But an instant later my face was burning: my mother had slapped me, hard, against the cheek. (Ricci, 70-71).
             "My mother, too, had withdrawn into a shadowy silence. Since the day at the restaurant a veil seemed to have fallen between us." (Ricci, 74-75).
             "I spent my time alone now, waiting for something to happen that would restore the normalcy of things, for the festival, for school to begin in October." (Ricci, 75).
             Vito notices that his life is changing and that his mother is changing as well. He is beginning to see the differences in his mother. He hears her sobbing at night and at this point in the novel, still in the beginning, he does not understand the meaning of this change. He does not understand what is happening yet. .
             Vito becomes confused when everybody in the village starts talking about his mother and when she suddenly starts showing signs of pregnancy. .
             "You know, you"re lucky your mother didn't go with another man," he said in a whisper. "Then there"d be trouble, eh? They say that if a woman goes with another man and gets bitten by a snake, then the next baby she has will have the head of a snake. And then the only thing you can do" -He made a sudden jabbing motion with a clenched fist, and I started back - "is to kill the baby the minute it's born, and cut out its eyes, so the evil eye won't follow you.

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