Saturday, February 20, 2016

Summary for the story “Clay” by Juan Gatbonton

          This story talks about an American soldier who was a friendship with the boy, which pertains as the “kid” who is also the narrator or the first person in the point of view in whole duration of the story. The plot takes place in Pampanga throughout the American regime or colonialism in the Philippines that as history suggests predates around 1900s until 1946.

An American soldier. Source:
The story started with an introduction wherein the kid persona waking up looking forward to a usual day where he bonds with Clay. But the day was different because Clay could not be found in their usual meeting place. Quoted: “I looked at the road that was Candaba’s main street.” Another quote goes: “The Americans had built a bridge. This hard asphalt road ran up to the far-off Arayat mountain where the fighting was.” The quotes pertain to the plot as it is mentioned to be in Pampanga during the American period. Several lines in the story best describes that the kid persona was studying in an underprivileged school back then. The classes start at noon for high school level. The absence of the teacher signifies no lessons for that certain class while others with the teachers present can still have it, quoted in the story “in the nearest classroom nearest the stairway, they were having a program and somebody was singing.”

Friendship between Clay and the kid is somewhat uncommon considering that Clay is one of the army mechanics designated in that area. The quoted line goes: “Clay was one of the army mechanics. He was my best friend.” Furthermore, the kid here did treat Clay is somewhat another ordinary human being rather than being an American soldier serving in the US Army which at the time, they were seen as enemies at the eyes of the Filipinos during that time. Also in the story on the other hand, the kid, the student and a teacher are very close that they would simply go to the forest whenever they wanted to. For most of the parts in the story, the kid persona was just refreshing the wonderful memories together with his teacher and as well with Clay.

The kid in the story, lacked parental leadership which is the reason for him to be easily befriended and is warmly close to older people like a teacher and a soldier. In the story, it was not mentioned about any encounter with a parent or him bidding them goodbye. Upon preparation to meet up Clay, it was not mentioned that the kid takes a bath, cloth decently, and some other things. One evening, the kid can easily go to the barracks without any obstacles or any permission. This kid persona is somewhat detached from his friends because normally at school, you are with somebody, gathering in the stairway, laughing and talking. With the kid, he has friends like Ms. Rosete and Clay.

Ms Rosete in the story was shown as an image of an ideal woman at that time. She has the traits of such a woman: beautiful, charming, kind, hospitable, and really ensures that her visitors feel that they are welcome as if they were at home. Clay in this case however, seizes the opportunity to gain advantage over these people who are different to him like the kid and Ms Rosete. Clay was mean to the kid who treats him as the kid’s best friend. The worse thing there is, Clay took advantage on Ms Rosete’s innocence, which is his best friend’s close friend. This was revealed in the form of symbolism used in the story, in which these two symbols are important in the short story which it shows in a form of a pool and the carabao. The pool symbolized Ms Rosete and its whiteness refers to here being very pure. Quote: “If the pool jewels the forest with is whiteness.” Ms Rosete jewels the school particularly the kid with her vibrancy, beauty and goodness. When she was gone, the school is in its gloomy form. The carabao symbolizes Clay as the animal is dirty and harsh do give an impression of ruthless and messy attitude. Quote: “They didn’t give that much care and respect to the sacred pool than the kid gives.” Hence, it is indeed very easy for the carabao to make the water impure and for Clay to do something for Ms Rosete, which is a very inviting pool.

“But I sure convinced her last night, he said. I sure convinced her.” “Once ya get one of those babes convinced, they’re just like the girls here.” Ms Rosete, the woman the kid adores the jewel and as well the teacher of the school is indeed being common girls in that area. With that all of a sudden, Clay and his friends laugh at the idea because they think that women in their place are all equal in terms of weakness into giving in to temptation. A woman who gives in to any foreigner like Clay is just like any other women who are weak enough to the temptation; even she was the purest woman there was.

Overall, the story pertains to the friendship of the kid and Clay in a way that it is perfectly depicted in the story which represents a whole range of view as to the relations of a kid to an American soldier which is somewhat unique and as well rare in the real context of life. Furthermore, this also gives insights that enemies of both sides were not used to fight, in a sense that what a character perceives the other as somewhat other than the usual. In it is the depiction of prejudice; the view of one at the other.



Post a Comment

Follow by Email

Sample Text

Now with the first step complete, a new step arises. And it is not only about blogrolls... Click for more info


Subscribe now on these links:


Popular Posts

Recent Posts

Google+ Badge

Visitors from Nations

Flag Counter

Text Widget

Total Pageviews

Live Pageviews

Find us on Facebook