What Is the Summary of “The Oil Jar” by Luigi Pirandello?

Luigi Pirandello’s “The Oil Jar” pits a lawsuit-obsessed landowner, Don Loll Zirafa, against an isolationist inventor, Uncle Dima Licasi. Don Loll wishes to preserve the value of an oil jar at the expense of Uncle Dima, who is trapped inside by the strength of a powerful glue he created.

The story takes place during the olive harvest. Don Loll Zirafa sees opportunities for lawsuits every day. The workers on Don Loll’s farm know his disposition and are both fond of and afraid of him. A new oil jar breaks, and Uncle Dima comes to repair it. Uncle Dima is angry that Don Loll interferes in the repair process. In his anger, Uncle Dima, repairing the jar from inside, does not notice that the jar’s opening is small.

Don Loll is furious regarding his property and delighted to have found a good lawsuit. Don Loll demands that Uncle Dima pay for the jar before it is broken to free him. The workers have a raucous late-night party around the entrapped Uncle Dima, who has refused to pay for the jar. The noise of the party infuriates Don Loll, who pushes the jar down a hill, thus breaking the jar at his own expense and freeing the inventor.