The Pretenders Summary

Are you looking for summaries of F. Sionil Jose's "The Pretenders"?

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The Pretenders is the fourth in the five Rosales novel series of F. Sionil Jose, a famous Filipino writer. This novel was written in 1962.

The story has 18 chapters: a choragus, 16 chapters, and the chorus.

Here's a quick summary of the Choragus:

We find Carmen Villa Samson (daughter of Don Manuel Villa) alone in her room one evening, after her husband Antonio Samson had left. This time, she fears Tony has left her for good.

She has trouble sleeping, tries to read, sets aside some torn bits of paper she finds on the floor, and finally manages to fall asleep at close to dawn. She wakes up, and her father knocks on her door to tell her that Tony died in at the railroad tracks in Antipolo Street.

After the funeral, she visits the place where Tony had lived. She finds the tracks and the soil still stained with her husband's blood. She goes to the house, rather, room where Tony had lived and finds his two suitcases there.

She asks for those suitcases, but Tony's sister hangs on to them.

Carmen remembers how she fell in love with Tony, as well as their past conversations about the rich, the poor, and extramarital indiscretions. Carmen also thinks about her involvement with Ben de Jesus, the husband of Carmen's best friend.

She visits her husband Tony's office the day after the funeral, where she discovers a 5-volume diary among Tony's things. All the volumes are filled with Tony's handwriting, except for the 5th which was only half-filled.

The final entry is three months old, and it reveals how Antonio Samson searches for the purpose of his life.

Carmen remembers the torn bits of paper and reconstructs them. She reads what's written on those sheets, but still doesn't understand why her husband died.

Her parents worry about Carmen's disposition, so they invite her to dinner at Alba's. At the restaurant, a Spanish singer sings a few songs, one of which triggers intense emotions in Carmen. She realizes how alone she is without Tony.

Carmen loses her sense of hearing.

Her parents bring her to Dr. Clavecilla, an EENT in Ermita. The doctor does not find any physiological reason for Carmen's sudden deafness. Communicating via pen and paper, Carmen writes that she knows why that has happened to her.

She also writes that she knows what will happen next: she will lose her other senses. First, her sense of smell, then her sense of touch, and finally her sight. She also writes that she realizes there is no cure for her condition.

(Hmmm... I wonder why she did not talk about her sense of taste.)

And that's the quick summary of the 9-page Choragus chapter of F. Sionil Jose's The Pretenders.

[ First posted on 11/01/2007 by Manuel Viloria ]

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