Rice by Manuel Arguilla

1525 Words Feb 27th, 2011 7 Pages
RICE by Manuel Arguilla
Formalistic Approach

The story “Rice” is a narrative story describing the situation of rice farmers and their family in Hacienda Consuelo. It was when the social condition is only on the side of those in the higher class.
At the beginning of the story you can actually feel the dark or unpleasant feeling the characters is experiencing. Mang Pablo, the main character has three children – two of them are boys and a little girl named Isabel. He is a thin dark man. Thin because of inadequate food especially this season when they have no harvest. He is dark in complexion because of everyday farming under the heat of the sun. Her wife Sebia is also thin as indicated in the line “her skirts clung to her thin legs...” The
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Ben Lucero first visits Cebu, his mother's hometown near Manila, when he travels there for her funeral. As a guest in the home of his wealthy and powerful Aunt Clara, he finds himself disoriented by the unfamiliarity of Filipino life--especially when confronted by the spectacle of self-inflicted crucifixion, a grisly local custom by which penitents attempt to placate the divine wrath--and overwhelmed by his sudden infatuation for Ellen, his aunt's secretary. Gradually and belatedly, Ben discovers the forces and events that shaped his family and formed the silent, unknown background of his life: the brutality of the Japanese occupation, the poverty and clannishness of Filipino life, the weird syncretism of the indigenous Catholicism, the pervasive corruption of the island authorities. He flees to the security of his native Seattle, but there he finds himself haunted by his recollections of Cebu, and impelled by circumstance to resolve the doubts he has experienced regarding his faith and identity.
The novel starts when Ben arrived in the Philippines and his reunion with his Aunt Clara. The first part talks about the history of Clara’s friendship with Ben’s mother and how Clara became wealthy, how she rescued Remedios from the Japanese and how Remedios married Ben’s father, Albert and moved to the States. It also tells more on

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