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The Last Time I Saw Mother
Transcript of The Last Time I Saw Mother
by Arlene J. Chai Setting Characters Plot Themes Caridad - main Character
Thelma - Caridad's "mother"
Emma - Caridad's "auntie"
Ligaya - Caridad's "cousin" Jaime - Caridad's husband; daughter Marla
Raoul - Thelma's husband; wealthy; dead
Alfonso - Emma's husband; Ice plant; dead Philippines
Olongapo (Zambales) Present
Past (around WWII) Beginning:
Caridad lives in Australia, with her own family
Recieves letter from Mother (Thelma)
Leaves to go back home to the Philippines to visit her mother
Her mother tells Caridad her life-long secret; Caridad's acceptance Middle:
*Voices of Emma & Ligaya, Thelma
Emma: Marrying Alfonso; having 7 kids; war; Alfonso's death; giving up baby; financial burdens
Ligaya: Growing up; eldest child of Emma & Alfonso; experience baby sister being taken away
Thelma: Marrying Raoul; not being able to have kids; first child; supports Emma & family; taking Caridad as a child of her own End:
Thelma is much happier
Family comes together: gathering, family picture
Caridad retruns to Australia, reevaluates her life
Receives Phone call, Thelma dies Filipino-Chinese writer
Born and educated in Manila, Philippines
Graduated from Maryknoll College
Emigrated to Sydney, Australia 1982
Took a break and wrote her first novel About the Author *Peace with the past
Revealing the secret
Giving up the baby
Telling the truth “Right and wrong are judgments we make
on hindsight. But at that moment of choice,
we make our decisions the best way
we know how.” (p.328) “There is something I have learned about the
dead. They live on. They turn into dust and they
become part of the earth and the wind blows them up.
They are in the very air we breathe. And their words live
on with our minds, returning without being called.” (p. 50) “The poor are not far from sight. They live in little pockets on the periphery of these affluent subdivisions. A constant reminder to the rich that there is another side to life [sic].” (pgs. 30-31)