The Pretenders F. Sionil Jose A Novel Analysis Presented to Ms. Fe Fulgencio As a class standing component In English 6 Patricia Marie B. Cabitac March 7, 2008 I. The Characters ? Antonio “Tony” Samson – Husband of Carmen Villa, brother of manang Betty ? Carmen Villa – Wife of Antonio Samson ? Manang Betty – Sister of Antonio Samson ? Manong Bert – Husband of manang Betty ? Don Manuel Villa – Father of Carmen Villa ? Mrs. Villa – Wife of Don Manual, mother of Carmen Villa ?
Lawrence Bitfogel – A good friend of Antonio Samson whom he met in America ? Emy – Cousin and first love of Antonio Samson ? Pepe – Son of Emy ? Bettina – Sister of Emy ? Ben De Jesus – Partner in business of Don Manuel Villa, husband of Nena De Jesus, friend of Carmen Villa ? Nena De Jesus – Best friend of Carmen Villa, wife of Ben De Jesus ? Mr. Samson – Father of Antonio and Betty Samson ? Istak/ Eustaquio Grandfather of Antonio Samson ? Godo Soler – A good friend of Antonio Samson in Antipolo who is a journalist ? Linda – Godo’s wife ? Charlie – A good friend of Antonio Samson in Antipolo who is also a journalist ? Dean Lopez – Dean in the university where Antonio Samson used to work ? Dr. Gomez – A professor in the university, an expertise on government ? Dr. Santos – Another professor in oriental history on the same university ? Senator Reyes Partner in his business of Don Manuel Villa ? Alfred Dangmount – Partner in his business of Don Manuel Villa ? Saito San – Partner in his business of Don Manuel Villa ? Father Brown – Priest who presided in Carmen and Antonio’s marriage ? Johnny Lee – A member of BOD, partner in business of Don Manuel Villa ? Bastian – One of the guards where the father of Antonio Samson stayed and to whom he was called “Ama” ?
Julia – One of the maids in the house of the Villas ? Simang – The woman who accompanied Antonio and Carmen when they went to Rosales to look for his root ? Fely – Secretary of Antonio Samson ? Miss Josephine Tinio – Professor of Antonio, Godo and Charlie ? Angel – Engineering student from Iloilo, batch mate of Tony, Charlie and Godo ? Jacinto – Sturdy peasant from Nueva Ecija, batch mate of Tony, Charlie and Godo II. Summary The story of the novel “the pretenders” by f.
Sionil Jose is all about Antonio “Tony” Samson’s search for in his life. He not only searched for his roots but also for appropriate actions toward a bereaved society, such as his. His journey taught him many things and even challenged him to fight for what he really believes in, to which he failed. He had let inequality over rule his whole life. He met Carmen Villa, to which he got married. His life started to change since then, and that was because of his wife’s father, Manuel Villa, who had manipulated his life since then.
The old man gave him everything, even those things that he does not need so to be able to use him. For a couple of years, Tony and Carmen had lived together, with love that bond them as one, however had committed immoral acts in the latter part, which made their union be broken. Tony Samson lost everything he had day by day…until one day, he died. From then on, Carmen’s life became miserable. She did not die but had lived her life as if she’s dead. III. Analysis of the Novel A. Literary Analysis 1. Characters |Round |Flat |Dynamic |Static | |Antonio Samson |+ | |+ | | |Don Manuel Villa |+ | | |+ | |Carmen Villa |+ | |+ | | |Ben De Jesus | + | | |+ | |Godo Soler | |+ | |+ | |Charlie | |+ | |+ | |Emy | |+ | |+ | |Lawrence Bitfogel | |+ | |+ | |Dean Lopez | + | |+ | | Antonio Samson being a round and dynamic character; round because he was fully developed and he has a very detailed characteristic. Added to his being a round character was his being a protagonist. Dynamic because during the course of the story, he had changed drastically; his lifestyle, insights and beliefs went beyond its origin.
Don Manuel Villa being a round and static character; round because he was fully developed and he has a very detailed characteristic. He was an antagonist and yet was a round character. Static because he had not changed throughout the course of the story. His personality was stable all along. Carmen Villa being a round and dynamic character; round because she was, also, fully developed and has a very detailed characteristic. She was neither a protagonist nor an antagonist. Dynamic because, just like her husband, she had, during the course of the story, significantly changed. Ben De Jesus being a round and static character; round although not physically detailed, his emotions and appearances throughout the story made him such.
Static because he did not changed the whole time. His personality was stable. Godo Soler, Charlie, Emy and Lawrence Bitfogel, all of them being flat and static characters; flat because, even if their presence were visible, it were as if invisible as it did not bring any momentous effect on the others. They were barely seen. Dean Lopez being a round and dynamic character; round because he was mentally and emotionally present all the way. Almost every move of Antonio Samson, he was thinking of Dean Lopez. Dynamic, because he had showed noteworthy changes along the way. 2. Plot Exposition The novel started with the introduction of the ending of the story.
Carmen Villa, who was Antonio Samson’s wife, was in her room late at night mourning on her husband’s disappearance. An argument probably had occurred that made her husband left and did not come home that night. It wasn’t the first time though, but still she could not sleep. She had tried reading books found in the cabinet along their bed, she even try reading the yellow pages in the old book they, with her husband, got from Ilocos when they went there to find Antonio’s roots and had picked up those torn bits of paper scattered in the floor. She kept it in a shoe box. She got tired and eventually fell asleep. When she woke up, Don Manuel, her father, told her that Tony, Antonio Samson her husband, was dead. Conflict/ Problem
Antonio Samson together with his friends, Godo Soler and Charlie had this goal, since they were writers, in proclaiming to the society that they, just because they are not rich, do not anymore have the privileges those rich people get. Through their essays that are published, they wanted to somehow make a stand in such a society. This was, even before, their ultimate goal to which all these years have always been a dilemma because of this simple fact: they are poor and so they are nothing. On the other hand, Don Manuel Villa together with his business partners, Senator Reyes, Ben De Jesus, Johnny Lee, Alfred Dangmount and all other connections he has, their money speaks for themselves. No matter how illegal their business is, it continues to progress because they are rich. Another is Antonio Samson’s search for his roots.
He not only needed it for his ongoing essay but also for his self-fulfillment, which was rather hard as he was still young when they left their province and their life before was complicated, that also explains his father’s imprisonment. Complication/ Rising Action Carmen Villa’s marriage to Antonio Samson. Because of that, Don Manuel had the opportunity and also an excuse to dictate Tony on what he should do. He used Tony, being a writer, to cover up their illegal transactions and make essays that praise not only him but also his business. This then contradicted Tony and his friends Godo and Charlie, with regards to their ultimate goal as writers.
Tony acted as if he’s a dummy to Don Manuel but he couldn’t do anything because he loves Carmen and so must love, understand and obey her parents. But then again what can he do? He was only Carmen’s husband; that was how he was treated. In addition, Mrs. Villa did not like him and so he must do something for her to like him. As expected, his friends did not like the way he was acting but with the help of the Villas money and fame, Don Manuel was able to remedy it without his knowledge. People in the university he used to work to, specifically, Dean Lopez changed the way they treat him as he chose to act as a dummy to the Villas rather than continue what they were doing. He had let injustice over rule his life. Then he found out Emy had a son, and it was his child.
Emy, who was his cousin and first love, had a miserable life after he left. And as for her wife, she had been going out at night for several times already, with a guy picking her up in their house. He does not know the real reason; all he knew was that it was because of Nena De Jesus, her best friend and her husband Ben De Jesus who happen to be the guy who picks Carmen up. Now how worst can his life get? Climax During one of the nights when Ben picked Carmen up, Tony followed them. He had been feeling something bad which was quite alarming that’s why he had decided to follow the two. He was surprise to see that they stopped in front of a motel and then went inside. Of all places, why in a motel?
He tried to wait but they did not go out for a reasonable time and so he chose to go home instead. When she arrived, he was quiet but the tension was there. Tony is acting a little bit unusual and when he started speaking, his words and the tone of his voice is implying something; something which was not proper, it’s over, while Carmen pretends to act as if nothing happened. Denouement/ Resolution Tony’s implication through his words became real. He packed up his things and left. For all he knew, this was not the first time they went out. All those times, he was being cheated and he did not know. They were all pretending to be happy and satisfied with regarding their marriage.
Don Manuel’s wife tried to stop Tony from leaving as she was concern about their reputation. Because of all her husband’s transactions in his business, that might be influenced by their separation. But Tony’s mind was already closed. He has decided. Nothing can stop him now. It was at the end of his patience and there’s no more room for extension. Conclusion After a couple of years, Tony died. Suicide or by accident, it was never known. Different people, different predictions. Lawrence Bitfogel came to the Philippines, supposedly to visit the country and Antonio as well. But it was too late; tony was dead when he arrived. He had a chance to come and visit Don Manuel.
There he saw what kind of people Tony had lived with and was amazed how he was able to live with such kind of people. Carmen’s life became miserable; she had lived her life without any direction at all. She avoids eating and for several days, arranged those torn bits of papers she kept in a shoe box which her husband done the last night they argued and left her. It was the manuscript her husband had been doing and so she fixed it and when it’s done, she published it with her own money, not asking anything from her parents, not even a centavo. Slowly, her life ended… not through any disease but had killed by her own conscience; about what she did to her life, most especially to her husband’s life. B.
Sociological Analysis Don Manuel Villa, Senator Reyes, Alfred Dangmount, Johnny Lee and Ben De Jesus. They were the famous ones, they have all the money in the world, their opinions and suggestions do matter a lot and the society is in their hands. But they were dummying one another; they are using one another for their own survival. Their power is like a chain that when one disappears, everything falls spectacularly into pieces. Antonio Samson, Godo Soler and Charlie. They were the opposite in terms of popularity, they have no money. Their opinion does not matter and they are nothing in the society. But they are helping each other to survive.
All of them have one and the same goal and they are supporting one another. The above illustration shows how rich people differ greatly from the poor people. Despite the righteous acts those people who belong to the lower class does, they still don’t have the power, the kind of power those people who belong to the upper class have. The social condition those characters and the others moved is the same as the social condition we presently is experiencing. I am speaking of the word inequality. Men who are rich have more privileges and rights, which aren’t supposed to be that way, as compared to the poor. Because they have the money, they are favoured. They are followed.
They are right, no matter how wrong they may be. The society is within their control. Whereas, the poor men have less privileges and rights, which supposedly to have more, as compared to the rich. And because they have no money, they are not favoured. They are not followed and no matter how right and appropriate their actions may be, it is still considered as trash by the majority. Lastly, society is beyond their control, as implied by their very weak authority. C. The image of the woman as portrayed in the novel Image of women as portrayed in the novel in general: women are portrayed as wives, sisters, helpers and nothing more. Their existence was erely for them to act as a wife, a sister and a helper; outside the “real world” their presence is not as important as men. If those poor men were as “nothing” in the society, women are worst, regardless of whether they are rich or poor. But of course, richer women are slightly above the poor women nevertheless, are still treated unfavourably. There is no difference between their being there/their presence to their absence. They are under men; meaning, men are superior to women. Their opinions, feelings and decisions do not matter like those poor men described earlier. Decisions are made by men not considering women’s sake. Image of women as portrayed in the novel: Carmen, Mrs.
Villa, Betty, Emy and Julia. All of them were regarded solely by their primary roles; Carmen and Mrs. Villa as wives, Betty as a sister, Emy as a single mother and Julia as a helper. Almost all of them portrayed each other’s roles; however, those given were the main ones. To illustrate it more visibly, Carmen and Mrs. Vila, their being just wives were perfectly shown during their weak participation on transactions and decisions made by their husbands, Tony and Don Manuel, respectively. As for Betty, her emotions and suggestions were disregarded by her brother Tony; in marrying Carmen, Betty was not in favor of it, nevertheless, Tony continued.
His sister’s emotion was ignored, he did not mind the concern showed by her sister. As for Emy, her being a single mother, that alone shows how unfair life is for her, for women that although it wasn’t their fault that she fell in love with the father of her son and gave birth, still he left her. And Julia, the helper, she was purely a helper, who never had the chance to mingle and have fun. As a whole, those roles played by different women in the novel and their experiences are those that are the lowest and hardest experiences and roles in the world. Because they were women, they weren’t given enough importance, just because they were women.
In the end, no matter how unfair the treatment to them all their life, it did not change, worst, all of them did not have any significant effect to other characters. IV. Conclusion The pretenders by F. Sionil Jose. After reading the novel, several thoughts formulated and remained on my mind. How the author ended the story was another thing. Even the arrangement, how he started it; he first introduced the ending, probably because novels are long and it usually bores the reader that’s why making them wonder why it happened will encourage them to go on reading and eventually, finish it up to the part before the ending, which he had introduced in the beginning. A wonderful idea.
Three major lessons I have learned; (1) in life, principle is the most priceless possession one could ever have, (2) in marriage, never marry because of any other reason except love, and (3) in decision-making, always think before you act. 1) Principle; one’s belief, which guide him throughout his journey. Many people trade their principles in life for material thing, more often than not, it is traded for money; people tend to forget their principles in life for money. They look up to it as something powerful or above all things in life. They think that with money, life can be easier, happier, more complete and all that. But the truth is? Money complicates things more. Money causes evil. Money destroys life. Money ruins one’s principle.
Antonio Samson’s life was screwed up because of money. If not for money, his life would have been almost perfect. His goal could have been successful. 2) Love, such an easy word to say yet is so hard to define. Love is often misinterpreted by the word infatuation. Love is almost the same as infatuation but not completely. Not exactly, but the most obvious difference of love from infatuation is its truthfulness on itself and the combination of the “want and need” feeling for another person. That is absent in infatuation. Nevertheless, people, even without examining their feelings deeply and completely, they immediately regard it as love. And worst, they get married.
A marriage, without love, won’t work. It may, on the earlier part of it but it will never last. During their marriage life, everything will go on smoothly but when real problems occur, it will result to hardship and might end up being separated. It is because in the beginning, there was never a connection which bound them together and continues to bind them as one. There was only a feeling of want or need, maybe, but not both. Thus, marriage not bound by love would never last. 3) Always think before you act. This is the very first thing to consider for everything. This may seem simple but several people already have committed mistakes because of this.
At first thought, a decision may appear to be correct but if to be examined deeply, it could be wrong. It could also complicate things more, instead of solving it. A simple decision ruins everything. Just like Carmen and Tony’s decision to get married. They did not think about it carefully and as a result, both their lives became miserable in the end; Tony killed himself while Carmen lost all her senses which almost killed her. Those three lessons were the highlights in the novel. Each character faced all three once or twice in all throughout their journey. Others succeeded, others failed. But in the end, being true to one’s self is, still, the most important lesson to be learned and everything will follow perfectly.