How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife

Here's a quick analysis of Manuel Arguilla's How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife.

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The story is told from the point of view of Baldo, the younger brother of Leon. (The second paragraph gives you the clue.)

Leon is called Noel by his wife, the beautiful Maria. In the story, you'll get the feeling that Baldo makes a distinction between traditional names and modern ones. For example, he takes note that his brother calls his wife "Maria" instead of "Mayang", while Baldo's sister-in-law calls Baldo's brother Noel, which is the reverse of "Leon."

Baldo also wonders if their father will approve of Leon's new nickname.

Anyway, Baldo fetches his brother and Maria, and takes them home. They do not pass through the usual route. Instead, they take a shortcut through a field.

I don't know if symbolism is used in How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife. What I felt while reading the story is Manuel Arguilla's great love of Nagrebcan (Bauang, La Union). Arguilla takes the time to note the shape of clouds, the sounds made by the rolling wheels or even the rope near the neck of Labang (the bull), and even the scent of the air.

It's as if Arguilla transports you right there, among Maria and the two brothers. Right there with their father, mother, and sister Aurelia.

Perhaps another title for this short story would be How Manuel Arguilla Brought You To Nagrebcan.

[ First posted on 09/03/2007 by Manuel Viloria ]

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