The conclusion summarises the main arguments of the book through commenting upon the generic terms through which melodrama establishes its relationship to reality. Because of its core problematic – the gap between expressive elevation and prosaic reality - melodrama can offer special ways of rendering realism, of considering tensions around such ideologically charged subjects as the family, the conditions of the oppressed, and female experience, and it can offer a stimulating framework through which to highlight its relation to music and to the other arts. Whether in the interplay of disappointment and protest, of feeling and authenticity against performance and stylisation, in a Catholic hope in transcendence or the proliferation of social realism, the dynamics of melodrama lie in its potential as a form of tension, a potential whose realisation is responsible for its particular success in post-war Italian cinema.
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