II. Neocrit Formalism
The short story, May Day Eve, by Nick Joaquin carefully and brilliantly depicted the status Filipino women had during in the past. In this still seemingly patriarchal world, we are somehow forced to believe that men are superior and that women are just subordinate to men. This ideology was even more highlighted in the past, where women were totally deprived of the necessary rights that men had always enjoyed. In the story, the vital issue of marriage, wherein women are forced to marry men, was particularly portrayed.
Women had lost the capacity to decide and fulfill their own desires, making their lives almost meaningless. Agueda in the story had died miserably because her life was molded into something she didn’t wish. She was forced to marry Don Badoy Montiya because the latter had a tremendous desire for her. Her whole life was spent grieving for the situation she can’t escape.
The story revolved around
"Oh, how I detest you, you pompous young men! You go to Europe and you come back elegant lords and we poor girls are too tame to please you," were the hurtful words she hurled at Badoy. The theme couldn"tmt have been as apparent and evident if the point of view had not been that of a female. Agueda was a beautiful and brave young girl who despised men like Badoy. It was the defining incident that clearly portrayed the inner anguish of DoAa Agueda in her marriage to a man she never loved. The plot of the story is complicated because the author had deviated from the normal flow of a story. The story involved flashbacks and large time-period jumps. An irony surfaced in the latter part of the story: DoAa Agueda was telling her daughter about a devil she saw in the mirror on a May Day Eve, while deep inside she means the devil to be her husband. This development of Agueda"tms character further shows the _________ of the status of women as ______. This irony had made the story effective for the reader"tms understanding of the unfortunate situation DoAa Agueda was undergoing because of Don Badoy"tms dominance over her. He had fallen deeply in love with her, despite her obvious loathness for him, and had sworn to have her no matter what. Men like Badoy had a seemingly irresistible power over the society especially to women like Agueda, enabling him to have her in the end. This kind of tone appeals well to the emotions of the readers, inciting in them the right attitude towards the theme of the story. The complexity of the plot invokes the reader to think deeper and analyze the story so that he may relate to the characters and clearly understand the underlying issues within the story.