Forgiveness and Reconciliation in The Fence by Jose Garcia Villa
The Fence By Jose Garcia Villa: A Summary and Analysis
If you are looking for a short story that explores the themes of family, forgiveness, and reconciliation, you might want to read "The Fence" by Jose Garcia Villa. This story was first published in 1932 and is considered one of the finest works of Philippine literature. In this article, we will provide a summary and analysis of "The Fence" by Jose Garcia Villa, focusing on its plot, characters, theme, and literary devices.
The Fence By Jose Garcia Villa Whole Story 94
What is the story about?
"The Fence" by Jose Garcia Villa is a story about a mother and a son who are estranged from each other because of a misunderstanding. The mother, Aling Biang, believes that her son, Iking, has betrayed her by marrying a woman from a rival family. She builds a fence between their houses to separate herself from her son and his wife. The fence becomes a symbol of their hatred and bitterness for many years, until a tragic event forces them to face their feelings and reconcile.
Who are the main characters?
The main characters in "The Fence" by Jose Garcia Villa are:
Aling Biang - the mother of Iking and the protagonist of the story. She is a proud and stubborn woman who holds a grudge against her son for marrying a woman from the Saguinsin family, whom she despises. She builds a fence between their houses to show her disapproval and resentment.
Iking - the son of Aling Biang and the antagonist of the story. He is a kind and gentle man who loves his mother but also loves his wife, Nana Emilia. He marries Nana Emilia despite his mother's objection and tries to make peace with her.
Nana Emilia - the wife of Iking and the daughter-in-law of Aling Biang. She is a sweet and innocent woman who suffers from tuberculosis. She dies after giving birth to her son, whom she names after her father-in-law.
Dodong - the grandson of Aling Biang and the son of Iking and Nana Emilia. He is born with a cleft lip and palate, which makes him look like his grandfather. He dies shortly after his birth.
What is the theme of the story?
The theme of "The Fence" by Jose Garcia Villa is forgiveness and reconciliation. The story shows how hatred and bitterness can destroy relationships and cause suffering for both parties. It also shows how love and compassion can heal wounds and restore harmony. The story teaches us that life is too short to hold grudges and that we should forgive others before it is too late.
The conflict between Iking and Aling Biang
The story begins with Aling Biang building a fence between her house and her son's house. She does this because she is angry with her son for marrying Nana Emilia, a woman from the Saguinsin family. The Saguinsins are Aling Biang's enemies because they killed her husband in a land dispute many years ago. Aling Biang considers her son's marriage a betrayal and a disgrace to her family. She refuses to acknowledge her daughter-in-law and her grandson, who is born with a cleft lip and palate.
The fence as a symbol of division and resentment
The fence that Aling Biang builds becomes a symbol of the division and resentment between her and her son. The fence is made of bamboo poles that are tied together with rattan strips. It is not very sturdy or durable, but it serves its purpose of separating the two houses. The fence also represents the emotional barrier that Aling Biang erects between herself and her son. She does not talk to him or look at him, even when he tries to greet her or offer her food. She also ignores his wife and his child, who are suffering from illness and poverty.
The reconciliation of Iking and Aling Biang
The story reaches its climax when Nana Emilia dies after giving birth to her son. Iking is devastated by the loss of his wife and his child, who also dies shortly after. He decides to bury them in the same grave as his father, whom he never knew. He asks his mother for permission to cross the fence and dig the grave in their family plot. Aling Biang is moved by her son's grief and agrees to let him do so. She also realizes that her grandson looks like her husband, whom she loved dearly. She feels a surge of pity and affection for the child, whom she calls "my little one". She decides to tear down the fence and embrace her son, asking for his forgiveness. The story ends with Iking and Aling Biang crying together over the grave of their loved ones.
The use of irony and contrast
One of the literary devices that Jose Garcia Villa uses in "The Fence" is irony. Irony is a situation or statement that is contrary to what is expected or intended. For example, it is ironic that Aling Biang builds a fence to separate herself from her son, but in doing so, she also separates herself from her husband's grave. It is also ironic that she hates Nana Emilia for being a Saguinsin, but she loves her grandson who looks like a Saguinsin. Another example of irony is that Iking marries Nana Emilia to escape his mother's control, but he ends up losing both his wife and his child.
Another literary device that Jose Garcia Villa uses in "The Fence" is contrast. Contrast is a technique of comparing or contrasting two or more things to highlight their differences or similarities. For example, Jose Garcia Villa contrasts the characters of Aling Biang and Iking, who have opposite personalities and attitudes. Aling Biang is proud, stubborn, and vengeful, while Iking is humble, gentle, and forgiving. Jose Garcia Villa also contrasts the fence with the grave, which are both symbols in the story. The fence symbolizes division and resentment, while the grave symbolizes unity and reconciliation.
The role of religion and superstition
Another aspect of "The Fence" that deserves attention is the role of religion and superstition in the story. Religion and superstition are important elements of Philippine culture and history, especially during the colonial period when the story was written. Jose Garcia Villa shows how religion and superstition influence the characters' actions and beliefs in different ways.
For instance, Aling Biang is a devout Catholic who prays regularly and attends mass every Sunday. However, she also believes in superstitions such as omens, curses, and witchcraft. She thinks that Nana Emilia is a witch who has cast a spell on her son and caused him to marry her. She also thinks that her grandson's deformity is a sign of God's wrath or a curse from the Saguinsins. She does not see them as human beings worthy of love and respect, but as enemies who have brought misfortune to her family.
On the other hand, Iking is not very religious or superstitious. He does not care about the feud between his mother's family and Nana Emilia's family. He does not believe that Nana Emilia is a witch or that his son is cursed. He loves them both unconditionally and accepts them as they are. He does not blame God or anyone else for their deaths, but accepts them as part of life.
The significance of the title and the number 94
the main symbol of the story. It represents the division and resentment that Aling Biang feels towards her son and his wife. It also represents the emotional barrier that she erects between herself and her son. The fence is the cause of their estrangement and suffering for many years, until they finally tear it down and reconcile. The number 94 is also significant in the story. It appears twice in the story: once when Aling Biang counts the bamboo poles that she uses to build the fence, and once when Iking counts the bamboo poles that he removes to tear down the fence. The number 94 is not a random number, but a symbolic one. It has two possible meanings: - One meaning is that 94 is the year when Jose Garcia Villa wrote the story. He wrote it in 1932, which is 94 years after 1838, the year when the Philippines was colonized by Spain. The story reflects the colonial history and culture of the Philippines, which was influenced by Spanish religion, politics, and society. The story also shows the struggle of the Filipino people to assert their identity and independence from their colonizers. - Another meaning is that 94 is the number of years that Aling Biang and Iking have been separated by the fence. Aling Biang builds the fence when Iking is 26 years old, and Iking tears down the fence when he is 120 years old. This means that they have been estranged for 94 years, which is a very long time. The story exaggerates the length of their separation to emphasize how much they have wasted their lives by holding grudges and refusing to forgive. Conclusion
What is the message of the story?
The message of "The Fence" by Jose Garcia Villa is that forgiveness and reconciliation are better than hatred and bitterness. The story shows how Aling Biang and Iking suffer from their conflict and how they find peace and happiness when they reconcile. The story also shows how love can overcome any obstacle and heal any wound. The story teaches us that we should not let our pride, prejudice, or anger prevent us from loving our family and friends. We should also not let our past or our present circumstances dictate our future. We should always be open to change and growth.
How does the story relate to the Philippine culture and history?
The story relates to the Philippine culture and history in several ways. First, it reflects the influence of Spanish colonization on the Filipino people, especially in terms of religion and superstition. Second, it depicts the social and economic conditions of rural life in the Philippines during the early 20th century, such as poverty, disease, land disputes, and family feuds. Third, it expresses the Filipino values of family, loyalty, honor, and resilience. Fourth, it celebrates the Filipino spirit of creativity, humor, and optimism.
Here are some frequently asked questions about "The Fence" by Jose Garcia Villa:
Who is Jose Garcia Villa?
Jose Garcia Villa was a Filipino poet, writer, critic, and teacher. He was born in Manila in 1908 and died in New York in 1997. He was known as one of the finest poets in English in Asia and as a pioneer of modernist poetry in the Philippines. He was also a mentor to many young Filipino writers who became part of his literary group called "Veronicans". Some of his famous works include "Footnote to Youth", "Have Come Am Here", "The Anchored Angel", and "The Essential Villa".
What is a cleft lip and palate?
A cleft lip and palate is a birth defect that affects the upper lip and roof of the mouth. It occurs when these parts do not fuse properly during fetal development. It causes a gap or opening in the lip or palate that can affect speech, eating, breathing, hearing, and appearance. It can be treated with surgery and other therapies.
What is a bamboo pole?
A bamboo pole is a long and thin piece of bamboo that can be used for various purposes. Bamboo is a type of grass that grows fast and strong in tropical and subtropical regions. It can be used for building materials, furniture, tools, weapons, musical instruments, art, crafts, and more.
What is rattan?
Rattan is a type of climbing palm that produces long and flexible stems that can be woven into various products. Rattan is native to Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia. It can be used for furniture, baskets, mats, ropes, and more.
What is a land dispute?
A land dispute is a conflict or disagreement over the ownership, use, or control of a piece of land. Land disputes can be caused by various factors, such as unclear boundaries, inheritance issues, illegal occupation, corruption, violence, or environmental degradation. Land disputes can have serious consequences for the people involved, such as loss of livelihood, displacement, human rights violations, or even war.