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We Won't Cry About This

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Nicole John Tomes

on 2 February 2014

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Transcript of We Won't Cry About This

Strength and Acceptance
1st Person Point of View
Point of View
>> 43 yrs old; the character who parties with her amigas constantly, drinks until the wee hours of the morning, reads such an eclectic array of books (by Gary Zukav, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau and Thich Nhat Hanh), dates younger men and seems to have certain affinity for mess and laziness.
- reveal an important truth.
Author's Purpose
We Won't Cry About This
Socorro Villanueva
- 52 years old.
- When she was 41, she yielded to parental pressures and took up psychology. But the need to express herself in words never left.
- She also returned to school, this time for a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
- She wrote the short story “We Won’t Cry About This” as a course requirement which became her winning entry in the 52nd Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards. It earned the first prize.
- Her literary work "We Won't Cry About This" remained relatively unpopular.
- She was also the recipient of the N.V.M. Gonzalez Award for her story, “Lavender”, in 2001.
- Lastly, she was also a fellow in the UP National Writers’ Workshop in 2001.
In the story, all the techniques that was used by the author is based on the reality. She describes the mother as the type of mother in our generation. However, inspite of the not so good description, the author portrays a character that is strong enough to face all the challenges in her life.
Katrina/ Tyke/ Tykee/ Tyke-wonder/ Tyke-coon
>> the 18 yrs old teenage narrator and daughter in the story.
>> an interesting, complex and dynamic character.
>> 16 yrs old; another daughter in the story, Katrina's sister.
- the story is told by Katrina, who is one of the characters in the story.
- The author wants us to understand that hiding one’s true feelings is not commendable and yet she seems to be telling us that neither does hysteria nor emotivity. What is and should be done instead in these circumstances is to enjoy the remaining moments, conserving and spending one’s energy into what is productive and important.

- What brought the climax in this short story is the rising action which is the violent incident in December which ensues from Katrina coming home late and thus earning the ire of her sister, Squeak.
- The fight between the siblings could be regarded as the climax of the story wherein all the rage, curbed emotions of the past days, months and years were let out.
Falling Action
- The resolution is found in the last section of the prose, when Katrina cozies with her mom in the hospital along with Squeak, sad and maybe even fearful but somehow one begins to sense a quiet understanding in her action, a resigned piercing acceptance and a desire to embrace the present. This newfound enlightenment comes with the knowledge that heading toward the future is a skate on the ice-forever slippery and uncertain.
The external conflict revolves around the effort to deal with the mother’s illness which is an outside force.
External Conflict
In Socorro A. Villanueva’s short prose the conflict is both internal and external but mainly the conflict resides within the characters’ psyche.
Internal Conflict
The internal conflict rages inside Katrina, her emotions swinging a la pendulum between denial and acceptance.
From “We Won’t Cry About This”
By Socorro Villanueva
She stays in bed with Ralph Waldo Emerson all weekend, his book close to her breast, like a lover. And she has conversations with this man, dead a century, because, she says, his words are alive for talking-to and true, and she likes truth and true men, whatever she means by that. She takes to books because she doesn’t have a man otherwise is what I think. She dated for a while---Roque, this longhaired commercial director who was like eight years her junior. But now he’s gone, thank God. Lately she talks to books and is outrageously lazy. She has her recent favorites, like Thoreau and the Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Gary Zukav, the soul geek. The bible, even. But she and Emerson, woooh, they’re tight.
“You have a problem with that?” she asks me without looking up from the page. She looks pale.
“I think, Ma, you’re going psycho,” I say, and she laughs, says she suspects she was born nuts and may have passed it on to me along with her nose and skin color.
“It’s child abuse, what you do. Raising us crazy by example,” I say.
Her room is a mess. Sheets are falling off the sides of her bed and an altar of bottles stands on her night table---coke, water, and wine---like the holy trinity. The whole room is gloomy with the curtains drawn and the walls dim into hepatitis-yellow. Books, books, books.
“Hey!” she says. “Who says I’m raising who here? I’m just reading a book, for Christ’s sake!”
My sister, her name is Squeak, marks her page on “The Celestine Prophecy” (also from Mother’s library) and comes to lie between Ma moe--- like it was a detergent bar she’d picked and me on the bed.

Ma’s bedroom couch is Squeak’s house. She lives there like a mindless, faithful mongrel, and there are nights when she stares out the window into the big sky and sees UFOs. Day after Ma first heard about this, she got up on the roof to see if it were possible for a peeping tom with a flashlight to get near that window. Impossible, from any angle. There was no access, unless Peeping Tom could fly, she said. One night I saw them both looking out, almost midnight it was, and my Ma---my Ma! ---told me they were waiting for aliens to swing by the block that night.
“Look at you,” I tell Squeak, “you’re 16, you should be on the phone with boys, not reading a book about prophets!”
“This is so not about prophets, dork!” she squeaks
In March---nothing good happens in March---Ma comes home with her hair all gone, head shaved to a shine. She zooms into the dining room and goes: “Ta-da!”
Squeak and I shriek. A freaking Sinead O’Connor! She is 43, for crying out loud!

Then she breaks the news, breaks us. She says she better get at the hair before the chemo does. She says the word---kheemoe---like it was a detergent bar she’d picked up at Unimart. I feel like I'd been stabbed. Right here, between my ribs. I fly out there, leaving a trail of curses behind me and go straight to my bedroom. I whack my pillows until the seams come off and the white fluff flies about me like dry snow.
She struts around the house like she was healthy, like she had hair. “How come your friends don’t come around anymore?” she asks me on my way out to school one morning while I struggle balancing my history book and my gym bag and my stuff bag. I tell her something, like the guys are busy---“college now, you know,” crap like that. She winks at me. She winks at me!
“What you winking at me for, Ma?”
“It’s a blessing I get hit in the lungs. ‘T least I get to keep the boobs,” she says.
“Right. Like you’re A-cups were something to die for!”
“Ah like dem,” she says. “I’ll keep them or die.”

She is at the door, with the sun on her face. Something about her makes me want to say, “Wanna come?” But if I ask her, she will come. Her head is blinding orb in the light.
“Ever consider wearing a wig?” I say as I get into the car.
She goes: “But I feel hip this way!”

Other Characters
Tita Lanie
>> mother's younger sister, a big time lawyer.
>> the mother's, mother who treated her a trip to Europe.
Dino, Father, Marge, Ignatio et Lamina and Roque.
Rising Action
- The story started in a scene where the mother stays in bed all weekend for just reading the book written by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In this scenario, the author introduces the main character in the story which is the mother.
- The falling action in the story is when Katrina started to realize her mistakes, and learned to understand her mother's present condition.
Man vs. Fate
Man vs. Self
>> the house with a purple sala which is also Katrina's family, first home.
>> a townhouse given by Katrina's father which became their second home.
Room 401
>> one of the rooms in the hospital where Katrina's family celebrated the Christmas.
Valle Verde
The End
- The story shows that inspite of all the struggles that the mother experienced, she keep on telling her children that "We Won't Cry About This," a sign of being a strong and optimistic person.
Full transcript