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May Day Eve

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by

Ingrid Espinosa

on 16 August 2011

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Transcript of May Day Eve

May Day Eve (Nick Joaquin) STORY element in focus: Point of View story is told in back and forth chronology brings out contrast "Papa (Badoy)" "the devil" scar of honor ('or so he says') - dirty, graying, tobacco-smelling moustache
faded with time scar of sin, elegant mustache, fine clothes, flashing eyes, horns and tail that she didn't see during that time (later told to daughter) future past setting: Spanish Period
Historical context - during this time a.) women were inferior to men and b.) superstitions created a big impact on the Filipino society SPECIFICALLY: MAY DAY EVE *the point of view of each is dependent on this flashback Physical environment - in a room with a mirror during May Day Eve (this becomes the main setting of the story because it is the only place where time is frozen and where every memory happened) In the first paragraph as well as the last, only one long sentence was used. (unhindered passion) assumption: Agueda must have been sleeping over at Badoy's house because his sister is her friend. (p55) Young Agueda ahead of her time headstrong and defiant
liberated
has sharp tongue (and teeth)
mature
non-conforming
knew of 'European' men Young Badoy product of his time from Europe
confident,has a sense of superiority, vain, aggressive
full of passion (vengeance, violence, hate, love intention of getting Agueda) Joaquin uses the same sentence to begin and end the story but with different emotions for the same occasion of May Day Eve the first is festive and full of possibilities
the last is full of sadness and regret passion/strong emotion/love, excited to see future regret, submission, estrangement
melancholy for the past magical realism before it was popular in Latin American stories Agueda looks in the mirror during May Day Eve and sees her future husband, Badoy.
Agueda marries Badoy
Resulted to a bitter marriage May Day Eve of 1847 ----> goes forward to the old Agueda telling her daughter about the "devil" + reminiscing about it ----> shifts back to the May Day Eve of 1847 again ----> goes forward to the old Badoy telling the story to his grandson + reminiscing about it on a May Day Eve Old Agueda miserable, bitter, angry, resentful Old Badoy tame, resentful, nostalgic witch Agueda said to be bewitching, horrible, torturous, cruel, blood-drinker, heart eater, most beautiful creature, dark, fatal miserable, bitter, angry, resentful foreshadowing most obvious is the foreshadowing of Agueda and Badoy's marriage "I will never forget this night!" (Badoy) As shown, time can change many things, but it can also retain others attractive, deceiving appearance "...smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable Maytime memories..." "the girls who were dressing upstairs...were soon sighing amorously over those young men bawling below; over those wicked young men and their handsome apparel, their proud flashing eyes, and their elegant mustaches so black and vivid in the moonlight that the girls were quite ravished with love, and began crying to one another how carefree were men but how awful to be a girl and what a horrid, horrid world it was" ". . .for it was a night of divination, and night of lovers, and those who cared might peer into a mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it was they were fated to marry. . ." "...I danced a waltz with you but you would not give me the polka." "She had been a mere heap of white hair and bones in the end, a whimpering whithered consumptive, lashing out..." "...the bowed old man sobbing bitterly at the window..." Of Raging Passions and Hasty Decisions "For a moment he had forgotten that she was dead, that she had perished---the poor Agueda; that they were at peace at last, the two of them, her tired body at rest; her broken body set free at last from the brutal pranks of the earth---from the trap of a May night; from the snare of summer; from the terrible silver nets of the moon." He was regretful of how he wasn't able to love her as much as he could have. The mirror hung on the wall before her; a big antique mirror with a gold frame carved into leaves and flowers and mysterious curlicues. SYMBOL "Mirror, mirror
show to me
him whose woman
i will be" TIME can change what was once a fiery character into a "heap of white hair and bones in the end" TIME can bring back memories that can bring out regret. PASSIONS flared in youth can blind people. "...the face she now saw in it was an old face - a hard, bitter, vengeful face..." TIME can turn the tide of emotion. Agueda and Badoy each had a 'taste of hell' from each other, made obvious with how they referred to the other as 'witch' or 'devil' Tragedy The tragedy is not that their marriage didn't work out, but that they each had a different love and passion for the other that they forgot. It seems that time changes people, but it is more likely that people change with time, along the way building and breaking love and relationships (time is but a serene guard "Guardia sereno-o-o"
that reminds us of what has passed "a las doce han dado-o")
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