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Love in the Cornhusks

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Mavis Vermilion

on 20 October 2014

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Transcript of Love in the Cornhusks

Formalistic Approach
Historical Approach
Psychological Approach
Mythological Approach
The story started with a girl named Tinang, asking her former employer to be the madrina in her son’s baptism. Tinang had a brief conversation with her employer whom she called as Señora. The conversation was mostly about married life and it could be concluded that Tinang had experience hardships. Tinang was then informed that a letter awaits her in the drugstore (which served as the post office at that time). She originally thought that its content would be about death, but it was from her first love, Amado. She cried as she read the letter. Amado still loved her but she was already married. Then, a snake came near to them and she grabbed her son closely and prayed for her son’s safety. Among the cornhusks, the letter fell unnoticed.
Love in the Cornhusks
Approaches to the Study of Literature

1. Who is the main character of the story?
The story’s main character is Tinang.
3. What kind of conflict the story has shown?
The story has shown man-to-man conflict. Tinang had issues with herself about her past life with Amado and her present life with the baby and the Bagobo husband.
4. Was the conflict resolved?
5. What other way does the story could have ended?
The letter could have not been left out by Tinang but there are high chances that the baby was really bitten by the snake. Tinang may have noticed that the letter fell.

2. What could be the ideal setting of their story?
The story took place in a barrio, as mentioned in the story. In the Philippine setting, its setting could be in Mindanao, considering that Bagobo was mentioned and lived there.
Autobiographical Approach
1. What does the author trying to imply in the story?
The author implies the consequences of the decisions we had in the past and how it could affect our present life (and maybe the future).
2. Does the author’s residence connected to the story’s setting?
3. If yes, where does the author reside?
The author was born in Mindanao. Even though the author had graduated in Siliman University, she had taught at the University of Mindanao and Ateneo de Davao University.
4. Is there a similarity between the main character and the author?
Yes, the author and the main character are both females and from Mindanao.
5. What other stories does the author has written?
Aside from “Love in the Cornhusks”, the author has written other stories such as “The Madonna Face,” "Young Liberator,” "The Chieftest Mourner,” and “Now and at the Hour.”
Aida Rivera-Ford

Born in Sulu, Aida Rivera-Ford crossed over to Negros Oriental in 1949 for an English degree at Silliman University. Records toast her as the first editor of Sands and Coral, the school’s literary folio. In 1954, she flew to the University of Michigan on a Fulbright grant to secure her master’s degree in English.
“Love in the Cornhusks” is one of five well-crafted stories for which Rivera-Ford won the Jules & Avery Hopwood Prize in Michigan.
1. What is the moral lesson of the story?
The moral lesson of the story is mainly about the consequences of the decisions we made in the past. These decisions could possibly affect us in the present, and probably the future. The effects of our decisions may be good or bad. Even though the decision have hurt us, we should move on because we are incapable of going back to the past.
2. What values can you get from Amado?
Amado is portrayed as a neat and hardworking guy. Amado is a proof that there are people who strive to aim high for themselves regardless of their social status.
3. What values can you get from Tinang?
Tinang is a brave woman for facing her problems due to her past. Maturity has developed in her that made her a responsible person than she was in the past. Overall, Tinang is strong and nurturing woman.
4. What was the person working in the pharmacy trying to imply when he offered to read the letter for Tinang?
It may be rude on Tinang’s part but the person implied that Tinang’s an illiterate.
5. What is the overall impact of the story to the youth today?
It makes us more conscious of our choices. We should contemplate about the decisions we are going to make because life will not go in the way we want.
Moralistic Approach
Sociological Approach
1. What was the society’s influence on Tinang in the story?
2. What is the implication of the lesson in the story for the decision-making of the youth in the present society?
The youth should be more careful and more responsible for the decisions they are going to make. The youth should be more aware of the possible outcomes of their decisions.
3. Is there a possibility that the youth will encounter Tinang’s situation?
4. Why? In what situation could this possibly happen?
Some of them may not have proper guidance from their parents/guardians and they could be influenced by their surroundings that could lead them into some unfavorable events of their lives.
5. What was Tinang’s response to the society that time?
Although there were cases she felt superior than her fellow workers (including the Bagobo), but she somehow made herself inferior towards the society. In every situation, she was passive and spontaneous.
1. What is a Bagobo? What are their cultures and traditions?
The Bagobo were the first ethnic group in Mindanao encountered by the Spaniards at the end of the nineteenth century. Its name was derived from the words "bago" meaning "new' and "obo/obbo/uvu" meaning "growth",or "grow" which refer to a recent formation of people along the Davao Gulf coast. The Bagobos have ornate traditions in weaponry and other metal arts. The Bagobos lead a simple life. Household chores are done by the mother and older daughters. Bagobos still practice kaingin system. They move from one place to another in search of food.
2. How are Bagobos viewed at that time?
Bagobos were viewed as the one of the lowest classes during that time. People don't like to mingle with them. They don't want to be as dirty as the Bagobos.
3. How does the society view relationships during that time? Do they have standards?
Relationships at that time were valued during that time. It really matters for the society whoever you marry. During that time, if you marry a Bagobo, you will also be classified as low-class because how the society looks at Bagobo is very low. They do have standards.
4. How was education valued at that time?
For me, females weren't given the chance to finish school because everyone thought females should be train in the house, not in the school so that they would be able to serve their future husbands. Just like in the story, Tinang just finished grade six and then worked at an early age.
5. In what year do you think the story happened?
For me, the story happened during the mid 1900's because they still used letters to communicate.
1. How did Amado show his fidelity to his lover for Tinang?
Amado wasn’t able to show his full commitment to Tinang. Although his feelings for Tinang never changed after a long time of separation, the fact that he left Tinang without proper communication made his fidelity doubtful. If he also respected Tinang, he would have waited for Tinang’s decision about their relationship.
2. What is the effect of Amado’s temporary loss to Tinang’s decision in life?
Since Tinang was left having a baby with no father, she decided to marry someone else who can take Amado’s place. Amado’s loss made Tinang decide to marry someone she doesn’t love.
3. How does the current situation of Tinang change her outlook in life? Why is it permitted by the author?
Tinang’s current situation made her more matured not just in looks but also in her emotions. She was able to move on from all her past mistakes which she thinks wouldn’t help her in her current and future life. She thinks more about her baby and wat her life would be with her current husband.
4. What could be Senora’s implication
when she mentioned how Tinang chose to marry a Bagobo? Was she preferring someone else for Tinang to marry? Probably someone better?
It could be inferred that Seniora preferred someone better than Tinang’s current husband because she always pries about how miserable Tinang’s life became after marrying a Bagobo. Perhaps, it could be Amado she thinks that fits for Tinang, since she mentioned how Amado perfectly stood out than the rest of her workers.
5. What is a Bagobo? Why is a Bagobo portrayed as someone who has low status, education, capability to do family responsibility?
Bagobos are known as tribal people who belong to the Manobo family. They are apparently looked down in the story because they are not capable of handling urban activities and they are dependent on farming and other agricultural works. And also, the Bagobos only speak the native language which makes it hard for them to communicate widely since they are uneducated.
1. Is there any symbolism present in the story?
Yes. The snake is an example.
3. How is the snake viewed by humans?
The humans see snakes as a dangerous creature. When we see a snake, we normally we avoid them or gather much people to keep the snake away from us. Just like us, Tinang was in a scared state when she saw the snake approaching to her son.
2. What is the symbolism of the snake in the cornhusks?
The snake serves as a warning to Tinang that she may commit a mistake again. The appearance of the snake made us see the clear response about Tinang’s decisions that she was about to make.
4. What's with the snakes? What do snakes symbolize?
In the Bible, serpents are depicted as a paradoxical combination of wisdom and evil—beautiful yet repulsive. They have a fluid grace if viewed from a safe distance, but they are to be feared because they strike from hiding places and strike without warning.

Snakes symbolize abasement or ignominy because of sin.
5. What archetypal characteristic does Tinang, as the story’s main character, show?
The Caregiver
1. What was the role of Tinang? Amado?
Tinang worked for Señora as a housemaid however she got pregnant, left her work, and married a Bagobo. Amado is Tinang’s first love who got Tinang pregnant. He suddenly left without saying a word and Tinang married another man for the baby’s sake.
2. How did the workers treat Tinang based on the story?
She was praised and complimented because of her good looks and neatness.
3. Compare Tinang from her mistress, Senora.
Tinang is a lot different from her mistress. Señora got the wealth but Tinang didn’t have it. Señora even gave her clothes to Tinang and the child.

4. Was there a male dominance shown in the story? If yes, when was it shown?
Yes, it was shown in the part when Amado got Tinang to follow him in the woods.
5. As a woman, if you were in Tinang’s situation, would you also do what she did or would you wait for Amado? Why?
Yes, I would also do what Tinang did for the sake of the baby. Growing up without a father would be hard for the baby.
Feminist Approach
Tinang was afraid about the society’s opinions about pregnant women without the baby’s father. Because of this, she married the Bagobo even though she disdained him.

Codera, Trisha Ann
Archival, Nikki
Calderon, Derrek Anselm
Grateja, Josephus
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