One night, Michele sees his parents watching on the television news that a child named Filippo belonging to the Carducci family has been kidnapped from Milan, and the boy in the pictures shown looks just like the boy in the hole. This is a heavy burden on Teresa.
As he returns home he is scolded for being late. When Felice find Michele in the hole, he beats him.
Michele fears Felice. Do whatever they feel is in the best interests of each other or themselves.
Michele promises to obey his father. Ammaniti got the idea for the book during a road trip to Apulia in the late s.