Michele does not engage is exploiting others, in fact he obtains the rational reasoning of an educated adult. The most imperative case in which Michele expresses maturity is when he discovers Filippo. Initially Michele acts childish proclaiming Filippo as his, evidently influenced by Skull’s flawed and selfish logic-‘finders keepers’. Michele also behaves in that manner due to the lack of exposure of such situations. This is the only way he knows how to handle the ‘secret discovery’. Michele observes the discovery of a boy in a hole as a mysterious adventure that he must solve.
But the height of Michele’s developing maturity is exposed through the continual visits to Filippo. Michele takes responsibility for Filippo’s wellbeing by ‘bathing his eyes’. The flaws of the adults force Michele to lose his rightful youth and take on the problems of adulthood. The adults in the novel have no redeeming justifications as to why they kidnapped and caused Filippo to become a ‘tormented soul’. Maturity may result in betraying promises in order to do the right thing. Despite Michele being obligated to his father, he recognises the wrong his parents have committed. Michele’s ‘oath was crumbling away’.
He combats his fears and is ‘not scared of anything’ in attempt to save Filippo from his ominous death. Michele is punished for trying to do the moral thing. Michele is a character who demonstrations a significant transition from naivety to maturity. While Michele is obtaining maturity the adults are losing it by betraying their duty of parenthood and morality. Innocence no longer exists in Michele’s world because he has been exposed to the heinous realities of the world. Michele is able to distinguish the difference between reality and imagination and realises ‘it’s men you should be afraid of, not monsters’.