Fo inspired by numerous social events in late 60’s early 70’s undoubtedly influenced some of the issues present in this play such social class and the church Fo succeeds in voicing these issues to the public, skillfully educating them through loud refreshing comedy. The play can be linked to the Worker’s Revolt (Lotte Operaie), which comprised of long hauling strikes and demands, with working conditions improved and fairer wages were proposed, the revolt did not stop there.
‘Proletarians’ now wanted more recognition and successfully blunted the political awareness of this working class, which could no longer be considered ‘poor’ or ‘proletarian’ in the more Marxist and nineteenth century sense of the word. This is symbolic in ‘Accidental Death Of An Anarchist’ as Fo creates the dramatic irony that he uses to satirise the class system. The dramatic irony comes when the audience knows that the judge to whom the police are cowering is really the maniac, which creates the humour.Through this mistaken identity, someone, who comes of a class lower than the police officials in both wealth and status is able to adopt a power position on stage and by manipulating and ridiculing his social superior, creates a great shift in the power dynamics of the scene.
This shift shows the audience how ludicrous the class system is, that it is built on ignorance and can be infiltrated by a man who is ‘certified’ as crazy. Fo utilises Miss Feletti as a representation to convey the issue of feminism, an era of a major challenging issue, known as the emergence of women.One of the two endings in the play, shows how Miss Feletti is grabbed, handcuffed and left in the explosion, even after rescuing the four officers.
This ending reflects the idea that society rejects this new change in conjugal roles as well as the independence to go to work and receive the same pay of men. The change in the conditions for women, especially in Europe and in Italy, was the greatest transformation of the 1970s and, perhaps, of this century. The post-war reconstruction efforts aimed at greater well being also caused many women to work outside the domestic environment.
Life outside the home, direct dealings with society and economic independence all encouraged women to demand recognition of their role in all areas of society and life. This stereotype of ‘women being in the kitchen’ was the preferred norm of the ruling class and the church. However young people and intellectuals began to dispute the validity and structure of this traditional family idea. In spite of this the Church established its power by exploiting the bugbear of the Cold War, aligning itself with political parties.These political parties positioned themselves on the conservative side, called the Right wing.
Fo’s view on the church are voiced through the Maniac “this bishop to whom I was referring was an inveterate hypocrite. A liar, a cheat and a disgusting lech”. This was a very dangerous, powerful issue, as religion especially the Church was a significant part of Italian culture, which no one would talk about.
In attempt to educate the audience of issues based in society, Fo not only uses satire to expose the police force but in many ways to expose an important issue of a corrupted religion.In the period of which ‘Accidental Death Of An Anarchist’ was set to imagine that the police is dishonest but religion too (the one place you ‘believe’ you could trust) In the 1960’s, (the Economic Boom) the seed of political corruption was a renewal of the ‘Mafia’, in a more modern version. Stripped of its traditional “peak-cap and shotguns” appeared again in an industrial guise, well hidden within the nation’s economic activity. It engaged in activities of all kinds such as construction, drug distribution, and in those of a very secret kind behind with certain politicians in positions of power and prestige.The votes of the large electorate that, particularly in the South, could be controlled by organised crime.
All this favoured the ‘democratic’ maintenance of Italian politics in its conservative position, on what is known as the Right wing. This significant part of culture influenced the direction of his writing. The concept that corruption in the police force, especially the brutality, exploiting the concerning issue that cover-ups occur, not just mildly through verbal lies but the threatening idea that the legal system, often likely to resort to crime in bid to save their own skins.