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Literature Presentation

The White Horse of Alih

Paul Balala

on 20 January 2013

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Transcript of Literature Presentation

Finally to conclude, "The White Horse of Alih" is basically a story of shame, dishonor, and redemption. Like most of Mig Alvarez Enriquez's works, "The White Horse..." is about the quaint Spanish/American colonial culture of the people of Zamboanga set picturesquely against an Islamic background.

It details the rich Islamic culture cultivated in most Moro-Islamic areas as they define themselves against the slow emergence of a new culture during the Spanish and American Occupations.

FIN. About the Author The White Horse of Alih Mig Alvarez Enriquez is a short story writer, novelist and playwright.
A native of Zamboanga City.
Elementary and Secondary at Ateneo de Zamboanga.
Gained his A.B. at Arellano Univeristy.
Went on to study and gain a "Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing" at the State University of Iowa through an International Scholarship and a Fulbright Grant
Earned a Guggenheim Fellowship which he used to travel around Europe..
He then studied in the Universidad Central de Madrid on a Zobel de Ayala Grant.
His short stories began to appear in countless publications as early as 1939.
Fellowships in Yaddo Foundation, N.Y.; Edward MacDowell Colony, N.H.; Huntington Hartford Foundation, CA. When he came back to the Philippines, he taught and directed in the University of the East for some years, then went on to teach at De La Salle University.

Works: Novels:
The Devil Flower
House of Images
Two Liberation Plays
Fourth of July, Twice Told

Labaw Donggon

Short Stories:
The White Horse of Alih
A Tale of Two Houses
Maria Clara
Death of a House
The Other Maria Clara Elements: Setting : A Moro Village in Zamboanga during the American Occupation.

Characters: Alih; Omar; Lucy; Fermina; the Girl from Balete; the Imam.

Plot: Alih and Omar devise a plan to redeem their shame by killing someone.

Exposition: Alih and Omar are robbed by pirates while sailing across the sea.

Conflict: Alih and Omar want redemption for the dishonor brought upon them.

Climax: Alih kills his brother, Omar.

Resolution: Alih is arrested by the authorities, his fate remains ambiguous. Summary: "The White Horse of Alih" tells the story of young Alih, and his older brother Omar, as they try to redeem themselves from the shame of being robbed of all of their prized possessions. Alih and Omar decide that the only way to strip themselves of their shame is to cleanse their body, prepare themselves for burial, and kill someone. By killing some random person (and in turn being killed by the authorities), Omar believes that Allah will send the eponymous white horses for them to be carried to paradise.

It was during the Fourth of July Parade at the plaza. Before the actual plan was carried off, Alih reminisces about the three women who have made incredible impacts in his life: Lucy, an American girl he met when he was in First Grade; Fermina, a Christian barmaid he drunkenly flirted with before he was sentenced to jail for six (6) months; and the girl from Balete to whom he lost his virginity.

As he comes back to reality, he sees a girl atop a float at the back of the parade. As the float came closer, he starts to compare the girl to the girl from Balete he slept with. Suddenly, a drunken Omar rampages around the plaza, intent on killing anyone who stands in his way. As Omar comes closer to the parade girl, Alih runs in a flash to save the her, remembering Lucy, Fermina a nd the Girl from Balete. In the end, Alih kills Omar and is arrested by the authorities. The White Horse Explained The eponymous White Horse comes from a Moro legend which explains that if a Moro should kill someone (and be killed in the process), Allah shall send for a white horse to retrieve his soul and bring it to paradise, where thousands of houri (women) are waiting for him.

The Imam, or village priest, warns Alih and Omar not to continue their plans, as the story is not true, and bloodshed will not redeem them. In the end, Alih decides his houri (being the girls he has shared his life with) is more important than his white horse. by Mig Alvarez Enriquez ` Book of the Month News Magazine, July 1959
Palanca Award (Third Place), 1978
Palanca Award (Third Place), 1988
Palanca Award (Third Place) , 1993
Free Press Literary Award, 1951
Patnubay ng Sining at Kultura Award, 1989
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