What would you like to do?
Plot of the small key by paz m latorena?
THE SMALL KEY by Paz latorena It was very warm. The sun, up above a sky that was all blue and tremendous and beckoning to birds ever on the wing, shone bright as if determined to scorch everything under heaven, even the low, square nipa house that stood in unashamed relief against the gray green haze of grass and leaves. It was a lonely dwelling, located far from its neighbors, which were huddled close to one another as if for mutual comfort, it was flanked on both sides by tall, slender bamboo tress which rustled plaintively under a gentle wind. On the porch a woman past her early twenties stood regarding the scene before her with eyes made incurious by its familiarity. All around her the land stretched endlessly, it seemed, and vanished into the distance there were dark newly plowed furrows where in due time timorous seedlings would give rise to study stalks and golden grain, to a ripping yellow sea in the wind and sun during harvest time. Promise of plenty and reward for hard toil! With a sigh of discontent, however, the woman turned and entered a small dining room where a man sat over a belated midday meal. Pedro Buhay, a prosperous farmer, looked up from his plate and smiled at his wife as she stood framed by the doorway, the sunlight glinting on her dark hair, which was drawn back, without a relenting wave, from a rather prominent and austere brow. "Where are the shirts I ironed yesterday?" she asked as she approached the table. "In my trunk, I think" he answered. "Some of them need darning" and observing the empty plate, she added, "do you want some more rice?" "No" hastily, "I am in a hurry to get back. We must finish plowing the south field today because tomorrow is Sunday." Pedro pushed the chair back and stood up. Soledad began to pile the dirty dishes one on top of the other. "Here is the key to my trunk" from the pocket of his khaki coat he pulled a string of nondescript red, which held together a big shiny key and another small, rather rusty - looking one. With deliberate care he untied the knot, and, detaching the big key, dropped the small one back into his pocket. She watched him fixedly as he did this. The smile left her face and strange look came into her eyes as she look the big key from him without a word together they left the dining room. Out on the porch, he put an arm around her shoulder and peered into her shadowed face. "You look pale and tired", he remarked softly. "What have you been doing all morning?" "Nothing," she said listlessly, "but the heat gives me a headache." "Then lie down and try to sleep while I am gone." For a moment they looked deep into each other's eyes. "It is really warm," he continued. "I think I will take off my coat." He removed the garment absent-mindedly and handed it to her. The stairs creaked under his weight as he went down. "Choleng" he turned his head as he opened the gate, "I shall pass by Tia Maria's house and tell her to come, I may not return before dark." Soledad nodded. Her eyes followed her husband down the road, noting the fine set of his head and shoulders, the ease of his stride. A strange ache rose in her throat. She looked at the coat he had handed to her. It exuded a faint smell of his favorite cigars, one of which he invariably smoked, after the day's work, on his way home from fields. Mechanically, she began to fold the garment. As she was doing so, a small object fell o the floor with a dull, metallic sound. Soledad stooped down and picked it up. It was the small key! She started at it in her palm as if she had never seen before. Her mouth was tightly drawn and for a while she looked almost old. She passes into the small bedroom and tossed the coat carelessly on the back of a chair. She opened the window and the early afternoon sunshine flooded in. On a mat spread on the bamboo floor were some newly washed garments. She began to fold them one by one in feverish haste, as if seeking in the task Of the moment a refuge from painful thoughts. But her eyes moved restlessly around the room until they rested almost furtively on a small trunk that was half concealed by a rolled mat in a dark corner. It was a small, old trunk, without anything on the outside that might arouse one's curiosity. But it held the things she had come to hate with unnecessary anguish and pain, and threatened to destroy all that was most beautiful between her and her husband! Soledad came across a torn garment. She threaded a needle but after a few uneven stitches she pricked her finger and a crimson drop stained the white garment. Then she saw she had been mending on the wrong way. "What is the matter with me?" she asked herself aloud as she pulled the thread with nervous and impatient fingers. What did it matter if her husband chose to keep the clothes of his first wife? "She is dead now, anyhow, she is dead." She repeated to herself over and over again. The sound of her own voice calmed her. She tried to thread the needle once more. But she could not, for the tears had come unbidden and completely blinded her. "My God," she cried with a sob "make me forget Indo's face as he put the small key back into his pocket" She brushed her tears with a sleeve of her camisa and abruptly stood up. The heat was stifling, and the silence in the house was beginning to be unendurable. She looked out of the window. she wondered what was keeping Tia Maria Perhaps Pedro has forgotten to pass by her house in his hurry. She could picture him out there in the south field gazing far and wide at the newly plowed land, with no thought in his mind but work. Work. For. To the people of the barrio whose patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, smiled on them with benign eyes from his crude altar in the little chapel up the hill, this season was a prolonged hour of passion during which they were blind and deaf to everything but the demands of the land. During the next half hour, Soledad wandered in and out of the rooms, in an effort to seek escape from her own thoughts and to fight down an overpowering impulse. Tia Maria would only come and talk to her to divert her thoughts to other channels! But the expression of her husband's face as he put the small key back into his pocket kept torturing her like a nightmare, goading her beyond endurance. Then, with all resistance to the impulse gone, she was kneeling before the small trunk. With a long drawn breath she inserted the small key. There was unpleasant, metallic sound for the key had not been used for a long time and it was rusty. II That evening Pedro Buhay hurried home with the usual cigar dangling from his mouth, please with himself and the tenants because the work in the south field has been finished. He was met by Tia maria at the gate and was told by her that Soledad was in bed with a fever. "I shall go to town and bring Dr.Santos," he decided, his cool hand on his wife's brow. Soledad opened her eyes. "Don't Indo," she begged with a vague terror in her eyes which he took for anxiety for him because the town was pretty far and the road was dark and deserted by that hour of the night. "I shall be all right tomorrow." Pedro returned an hour later, very tired and rather worried. The doctor was not at home. But the wife had promised to send him to Pedro's house as soon as he came in. Tia Maria decided to remain for the night. But it was Pedro who stayed up to watch over the sick woman. He was puzzled and worried - more than he cared to admit. It was true that Soledad had not looked very well when he left her early that that afternoon. Yet, he thought, the fever was rather sudden. He was afraid it might be a symptom of a serious illness. Soledad was restless the whole night. She tossed from one side to another, but towards morning she fell into some sort of troubled sleep. Pedro then lay down to snatch a few winks. He woke up to find the soft morning sunshine streaming through the half opened window, playing on the sleeping face of his wife. He got up without making any noise. His wife was now breathing evenly. A sudden rush of tenderness came over him at the sight of her - so slight, so frail. Tia Maria was nowhere to be seen, but that did not bother him for it was Sunday and work in the south field was finished. However, he missed the pleasant aroma which came from the kitchen every time he woke up early in the morning. The kitchen looked neat but cheerless, and an immediate search for wood brought no results. So, shouldering an ax, Pedro descended the rickety stairs that led to the backyard. The morning was clear and the breeze soft and cool. Pedro took in a breath of air. It was good - it smell of trees, of the rice fields, of the land he loved. He found a pile of logs under the young mango tree near the house, and began to chop. He swung the ax with rapid clean sweeps, enjoying the feel of the smooth wooden handle in his palms. As he stopped for a while to mop his brow, his eye caught the remnants of a smudge that had been built in the backyard. "Ah!" he muttered to himself. "She swept that yard yesterday after I left her. That coupled with the heat must have given her a headache and then the fever." The morning breeze stirred the ashes and a piece of white cloth fluttered into view. Pedro dropped his ax. It was a half - burnt panuelo. Somebody had been burning clothes. He examined the slightly ruined garment closely. A puzzled expression came into his eyes. First it was doubt groping for truth, then amazement, and finally agonized incredulity passed across his face. He almost ran back to the house. In three strides he was upstairs. He found his coat hanging from the back of a chair Cautiously he entered the room. The heavy breathing of his wife told him that she was still sleep. As he stood by the small trunk, a vague distance to open it assailed him. Surely, he must be mistaken. She could not have done it, she could not have done that…that foolish… Resolutely he opened trunk. It was empty. It was nearby noon when the doctor arrived. He felt Soledad's pulse and asked questions which she answered in monosyllables. Pedro stood by listening to the whole procedure with an expression when the doctor told him by the gate that nothing was really wrong with his wife although she seemed to be worried about something. The physician merely prescribed a day of complete test. Pedro lingered on the porch after the doctor had mouthed his horse and galloped away. He was trying not to be angry with his wife. He hoped it would be just an interlude that could be recalled without bitterness. She would explain sooner or later, she would be repentant, perhaps she would even try to convince him that shi had done it because she loved him. And he would listen and eventually forgive her for she was young always remain a shadow in their lives. How quiet and peaceful the day was! A cow that had strayed by looked over her shoulder with a round vague inquiry and went on chewing her cud, blissfully unaware of such things as a gnawing fear in the hear of a woman and a still smoldering resentment in a man's
8 people found this useful
Was this answer useful?
Thanks for the feedback!
THE SMALL KEY "The Small Key" is a short story by Philipino author Paz Latorena. It is about a woman named Soledad who is married to a man named Pedro Buhay. They live on …a farm. One morning Soledad finds herself knowing that the farm will produce plenty but that she still had some inner feeling of discontent. She planned to mend some of her husband's shirts, which were in a locked trunk. Pedro took out from his pocket a string which held two keys, one large and shiny and one small and rusty. He gave Soledad the large key to his trunk and put the small key back in his jacket pocket. Since it was hot that morning, he removed his coat before leaving to work in the field. When he was gone, Soledad began to fold the jacket and the small key fell to the floor. It is obvious that Pedro values the small key while Soledad fears it. Soledad knows that the small key is a key to a different trunk. She tries to busy herself so that she will not think about what the smaller trunk contains, but she cannot stop thinking about it and reveals that the small trunk contains clothing that belonged to Pedro's first wife. She wonders why it is that he keeps her old clothing and why he seems to have a special feeling about them. She obviously fears that Pedro still loves his first wife even though she has been dead for many years by now. She reveals that she hates the things in the small trunk and worries that they will destroy the relationship between her and her husband. Despite her attempts to not think about the contents of the small trunk, Soledad opens it. At this point, Pedro returns home to find Soledad in bed supposedly with a fever. It turns out she does not. The next morning Pedro discovers a pile of ashes and half burnt clothing in the backyard. He realizes what Soledad has done and rushes to look in the trunk to confirm it. Soledad has indeed, burned his first wife's clothing. Pedro is angry and bitter that this has happened and he expects that Soleda will explain things later. He thinks to himself that he will forgive her because he loves her but that even if she did it out of love for him, it will always remain a matter of some resentment toward her for doing it.
She is one of the famous female writer in the Philippines..
small key is about the honesty of two persons ===== i think "small key is about the honesty of two persons" is not exactly correct. I mean the question is what the theme is. a…nd that answer is more related to plot. i think the theme of the story is; "Sometimes people do something to satisfy themselves even when they are fully aware of what the consequences of their actions will be." i think this story is more like pandora's box...
Paz Latorena, the youngest among the four children of Florencia Manguera and Valentin Latorena, was born on Jan. 19, 1908 in Boac, Marinduque. She finished basic schooling at …St. Scholastica's College in Manila and the Manila South High School (now the Araullo High School). In 1926, she took up Education at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Manila where she also attended a short story writing class under a key figure in Filipino literature in English, Paz Marquez Benitez of "Dead Stars" fame. In 1927, Latorena received an invitation from Benitez to write a column for the Philippines Herald Magazine, of which Benitez was the literary editor. That same year, Latorena, along with other campus writers, founded the UP Writers' Club. The Literary Apprentice, the UP Writers' Club's publication, then ran a short story by Latorena, "A Christmas Tale." Latorena also wrote poetry under the pseudonym, Mina Lys, which, according to Tanlayco, had a "romantic significance," for the then young writer. Before the year ended, the Marinduque native won the third prize in Jose Garcia Villa's Roll of Honor for the Best Stories of 1927 for her story, "The Small Key." For her final year of college in 1927, Latorena transferred to UST to finish her Education degree. She became the literary editor of the Varsitarian and published her poems, "Insight" and "My Last Song," under her nom de plume Mina Lys. She shortly earned her master's and doctorate degree while teaching literature courses in UST. In 1934, her doctoral dissertation, "Philippine Literature in English: Old Voices and New," received the highest rating of sobresaliente. Latorena's former students are now giants in Philippine letters: F. Sionil Jose, Nita Umali, Genoveva Edroza Matute, Zeneida Amador, Ophelia Dimalanta and Alice Colet-Villadolid, to name a few. "She was a delight to listen to and was one of the writers of the most beautiful short stories in her period," F. Sionil Jose said of Latorena in a video presentation. "We explored the characters of Shakespeare's stories. She was a formidable presence. We waited for the words of wisdom to fall from her lips and we were never the same after that," Luisa Zumel, a student who was eventually inspired to be a teacher herself, said in an open forum. In 1943, Latorena authored her last story, "Miguel Comes Home." She died a decade later, on October 19, 1953, of cerebral hemorrhage.
It has no ending. Meaning you are to conclude what really will happen.
to clean the toilet properly
"Sometimes people do something to satisfy themselves even when they are fully aware of what the consequences of their actions will be."
plot and theme of the sunset by paz latorena'
because it is small
Analysis The story entitled The Small key by Paz Latorena is about how we react in a certain situation if we defeat of our emotion? "Someti…mes people do something to satisfy themselves even when they are fully aware of what the consequences of their actions will be." Through this theme we will know what is the nature of every person that we do some decision that we do not think first, lately we realize that what we did is wrong, for me if I am Choleng I will not burned the clothes remembrance of Pedro to his husband, because that is one way for him to give value to his wife. In this attitude of Pedro he shows the early Filipinos that they era sentiments person that he give importance to the person he love. And for Soledad it portrays that even now most of the Filipinos has the attitude of being jealous.
Soledad-the wife Pedro Buhay-husband Dr. Santos- doctor Tia Maria- Aunt
hahahahahahahahahaha ! mult silamik machine gun ako papapapak !
The sun was salmon and hazy in the west. Dodong thought to himself he would tell his father about Teang when he got home, after he had unhitched the carabao from the plow, and… let it to its shed and fed it. He was hesitant about saying it, but he wanted his father to know. What he had to say was of serious import as it would mark a climacteric in his life. Dodong finally decided to tell it, at a thought came to him his father might refuse to consider it. His father was silent hard-working farmer who chewed areca nut, which he had learned to do from his mother, Dodong's grandmother. I will tell it to him. I will tell it to him. The ground was broken up into many fresh wounds and fragrant with a sweetish earthy smell. Many slender soft worms emerged from the furrows and then burrowed again deeper into the soil. A short colorless worm marched blindly to Dodong's foot and crawled calmly over it. Dodong go tickled and jerked his foot, flinging the worm into the air. Dodong did not bother to look where it fell, but thought of his age, seventeen, and he said to himself he was not young any more. Dodong unhitched the carabao leisurely and gave it a healthy tap on the hip. The beast turned its head to look at him with dumb faithful eyes. Dodong gave it a slight push and the animal walked alongside him to its shed. He placed bundles of grass before it land the carabao began to eat. Dodong looked at it without interests. Dodong started homeward, thinking how he would break his news to his father. He wanted to marry, Dodong did. He was seventeen, he had pimples on his face, the down on his upper lip already was dark--these meant he was no longer a boy. He was growing into a man--he was a man. Dodong felt insolent and big at the thought of it although he was by nature low in statue. Thinking himself a man grown, Dodong felt he could do anything. He walked faster, prodded by the thought of his virility. A small angled stone bled his foot, but he dismissed it cursorily. He lifted his leg and looked at the hurt toe and then went on walking. In the cool sundown he thought wild you dreams of himself and Teang. Teang, his girl. She had a small brown face and small black eyes and straight glossy hair. How desirable she was to him. She made him dream even during the day. Dodong tensed with desire and looked at the muscles of his arms. Dirty. This field work was healthy, invigorating but it begrimed you, smudged you terribly. He turned back the way he had come, then he marched obliquely to a creek. Dodong stripped himself and laid his clothes, a gray undershirt and red kundiman shorts, on the grass. The he went into the water, wet his body over, and rubbed at it vigorously. He was not long in bathing, then he marched homeward again. The bath made him feel cool. It was dusk when he reached home. The petroleum lamp on the ceiling already was lighted and the low unvarnished square table was set for supper. His parents and he sat down on the floor around the table to eat. They had fried fresh-water fish, rice, bananas, and caked sugar. Dodong ate fish and rice, but did not partake of the fruit. The bananas were overripe and when one held them they felt more fluid than solid. Dodong broke off a piece of the cakes sugar, dipped it in his glass of water and ate it. He got another piece and wanted some more, but he thought of leaving the remainder for his parents. Dodong's mother removed the dishes when they were through and went out to the batalan to wash them. She walked with slow careful steps and Dodong wanted to help her carry the dishes out, but he was tired and now felt lazy. He wished as he looked at her that he had a sister who could help his mother in the housework. He pitied her, doing all the housework alone. His father remained in the room, sucking a diseased tooth. It was paining him again, Dodong knew. Dodong had told him often and again to let the town dentist pull it out, but he was afraid, his father was. He did not tell that to Dodong, but Dodong guessed it. Afterward Dodong himself thought that if he had a decayed tooth he would be afraid to go to the dentist; he would not be any bolder than his father. Dodong said while his mother was out that he was going to marry Teang. There it was out, what he had to say, and over which he had done so much thinking. He had said it without any effort at all and without self-consciousness. Dodong felt relieved and looked at his father expectantly. A decrescent moon outside shed its feeble light into the window, graying the still black temples of his father. His father looked old now. "I am going to marry Teang," Dodong said. His father looked at him silently and stopped sucking the broken tooth. The silence became intense and cruel, and Dodong wished his father would suck that troublous tooth again. Dodong was uncomfortable and then became angry because his father kept looking at him without uttering anything. "I will marry Teang," Dodong repeated. "I will marry Teang." His father kept gazing at him in inflexible silence and Dodong fidgeted on his seat. "I asked her last night to marry me and she said...yes. I want your permission. I... want... it...." There was impatient clamor in his voice, an exacting protest at this coldness, this indifference. Dodong looked at his father sourly. He cracked his knuckles one by one, and the little sounds it made broke dully the night stillness. "Must you marry, Dodong?" Dodong resented his father's questions; his father himself had married. Dodong made a quick impassioned easy in his mind about selfishness, but later he got confused. "You are very young, Dodong." "I'm... seventeen." "That's very young to get married at." "I... I want to marry...Teang's a good girl." "Tell your mother," his father said. "You tell her, tatay." "Dodong, you tell your inay." "You tell her." "All right, Dodong." "You will let me marry Teang?" "Son, if that is your wish... of course..." There was a strange helpless light in his father's eyes. Dodong did not read it, so absorbed was he in himself. Dodong was immensely glad he had asserted himself. He lost his resentment for his father. For a while he even felt sorry for him about the diseased tooth. Then he confined his mind to dreaming of Teang and himself. Sweet young dream.... ------------------------------------------- Dodong stood in the sweltering noon heat, sweating profusely, so that his camiseta was damp. He was still as a tree and his thoughts were confused. His mother had told him not to leave the house, but he had left. He had wanted to get out of it without clear reason at all. He was afraid, he felt. Afraid of the house. It had seemed to cage him, to compares his thoughts with severe tyranny. Afraid also of Teang. Teang was giving birth in the house; she gave screams that chilled his blood. He did not want her to scream like that, he seemed to be rebuking him. He began to wonder madly if the process of childbirth was really painful. Some women, when they gave birth, did not cry. In a few moments he would be a father. "Father, father," he whispered the word with awe, with strangeness. He was young, he realized now, contradicting himself of nine months comfortable... "Your son," people would soon be telling him. "Your son, Dodong." Dodong felt tired standing. He sat down on a saw-horse with his feet close together. He looked at his callused toes. Suppose he had ten children... What made him think that? What was the matter with him? God! He heard his mother's voice from the house: "Come up, Dodong. It is over." Suddenly he felt terribly embarrassed as he looked at her. Somehow he was ashamed to his mother of his youthful paternity. It made him feel guilty, as if he had taken something no properly his. He dropped his eyes and pretended to dust dirt off his kundiman shorts. "Dodong," his mother called again. "Dodong." He turned to look again and this time saw his father beside his mother. "It is a boy," his father said. He beckoned Dodong to come up. Dodong felt more embarrassed and did not move. What a moment for him. His parents' eyes seemed to pierce him through and he felt limp. He wanted to hide from them, to run away. "Dodong, you come up. You come up," he mother said. Dodong did not want to come up and stayed in the sun. "Dodong. Dodong." "I'll... come up." Dodong traced tremulous steps on the dry parched yard. He ascended the bamboo steps slowly. His heart pounded mercilessly in him. Within, he avoided his parents eyes. He walked ahead of them so that they should not see his face. He felt guilty and untrue. He felt like crying. His eyes smarted and his chest wanted to burst. He wanted to turn back, to go back to the yard. He wanted somebody to punish him. His father thrust his hand in his and gripped it gently. "Son," his father said. And his mother: "Dodong..." How kind were their voices. They flowed into him, making him strong. "Teang?" Dodong said. "She's sleeping. But you go on..." His father led him into the small sawali room. Dodong saw Teang, his girl-wife, asleep on the papag with her black hair soft around her face. He did not want her to look that pale. Dodong wanted to touch her, to push away that stray wisp of hair that touched her lips, but again that feeling of embarrassment came over him and before his parents he did not want to be demonstrative. The hilot was wrapping the child, Dodong heard it cry. The thin voice pierced him queerly. He could not control the swelling of happiness in him. "You give him to me. You give him to me," Dodong said. ------------------------------------------- Blas was not Dodong's only child. Many more children came. For six successive years a new child came along. Dodong did not want any more children, but they came. It seemed the coming of children could not be helped. Dodong got angry with himself sometimes. Teang did not complain, but the bearing of children told on her. She was shapeless and thin now, even if she was young. There was interminable work to be done. Cooking. Laundering. The house. The children. She cried sometimes, wishing she had not married. She did not tell Dodong this, not wishing him to dislike her. Yet she wished she had not married. Not even Dodong, whom she loved. There has been another suitor, Lucio, older than Dodong by nine years, and that was why she had chosen Dodong. Young Dodong. Seventeen. Lucio had married another after her marriage to Dodong, but he was childless until now. She wondered if she had married Lucio, would she have borne him children. Maybe not, either. That was a better lot. But she loved Dodong... Dodong whom life had made ugly. One night, as he lay beside his wife, he rose and went out of the house. He stood in the moonlight, tired and querulous. He wanted to ask questions and somebody to answer him. He w anted to be wise about many things. One of them was why life did not fulfill all of Youth's dreams. Why it must be so. Why one was forsaken... after Love. Dodong would not find the answer. Maybe the question was not to be answered. It must be so to make youth Youth. Youth must be dreamfully sweet. Dreamfully sweet. Dodong returned to the house humiliated by himself. He had wanted to know a little wisdom but was denied it. When Blas was eighteen he came home one night very flustered and happy. It was late at night and Teang and the other children were asleep. Dodong heard Blas's steps, for he could not sleep well of nights. He watched Blas undress in the dark and lie down softly. Blas was restless on his mat and could not sleep. Dodong called him name and asked why he did not sleep. Blas said he could not sleep. "You better go to sleep. It is late," Dodong said. Blas raised himself on his elbow and muttered something in a low fluttering voice. Dodong did not answer and tried to sleep. "Itay ...," Blas called softly. Dodong stirred and asked him what it was. "I am going to marry Tona. She accepted me tonight." Dodong lay on the red pillow without moving. "Itay, you think it over." Dodong lay silent. "I love Tona and... I want her." Dodong rose from his mat and told Blas to follow him. They descended to the yard, where everything was still and quiet. The moonlight was cold and white. "You want to marry Tona," Dodong said. He did not want Blas to marry yet. Blas was very young. The life that would follow marriage would be hard... "Yes." "Must you marry?" Blas's voice stilled with resentment. "I will marry Tona." Dodong kept silent, hurt. "You have objections, Itay?" Blas asked acridly. "Son... n-none..." (But truly, God, I don't want Blas to marry yet... not yet. I don't want Blas to marry yet....) But he was helpless. He could not do anything. Youth must triumph... now. Love must triumph... now. Afterwards... it will be life. As long ago Youth and Love did triumph for Dodong... and then Life. Dodong looked wistfully at his young son in the moonlight. He felt extremely sad and sorry for him.
Soledad-the wife Pedro Buhay-husband Dr. Santos- doctor Tia Maria- Aunt