Missing Someone

Topics: Pandesal, Bread, Humiliation Pages: 2 (735 words) Published: October 10, 2013
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Bread of Salt, as if often noted, is Gonzalez's loving homage to Joyce's Araby. Both short stories feature young adolescents infatuated with a girl who is oblivious to them. Moreover, this puppy love ends in a searing instance of humiliation and realization; made all the more painful by the fact that even in that instant of pain, the girl is ignorant of their feelings. Bread of Salt casts this theme though in distinctly Filipino terms. A running image throughout the story is how the narrator, is similar in many ways to pan de sal, the bread of salt. The similarity is physical: the bread is described as diminutive,nut-brown and the size of my little fist, just as the narrator is still basically only a boy. Note how the image of the narrator is quite similar to that of bread baking, I could feel my body glow in the sun as though it had been instantly cast in bronze. The similarity is also metaphorical: just as bread needs to bake in the fire to rise and be ready, so too must the narrator undergo trials before he can be called a man. Indeed, a crucial acknowledgement at the end of the story (after he has embarrassed himself before Aida) is that the narrator admits that he is not yet baked, It was not quite five, and the bread was not yet ready. This acknowledgement though only comes at the end. For most of the story the narrator is insistent on his maturity, that he has grown up enough for love. Thus his disdain for his aunt, She was the sort you could depend on to say such vulgar things. Thus also his constant need to excel, Quickly I raced through Alard. There is too his quiet pride in being accepted into a big-boys club, the band, Pete pressed my arm. He had for some time now been asking me to join the Minviluz Orchestra, his private band... My head began to whirl. Taken together these acts have the quaint tone of a young lad insisting to all around him that he is no longer a boy. The object of all this effort is...
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