We Who Cannot Be Daughters Clarissa V. Militante


Published: 2014


179 pages


We Who Cannot Be Daughters  by  Clarissa V. Militante

We Who Cannot Be Daughters by Clarissa V. Militante
2014 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 179 pages | ISBN: | 10.53 Mb

The author was able to bring the setting and time into life through vividly describing the scenarios the characters were in. She did not settle for easy descriptions, like for example, if I were to say, the girls were sleeping on a mat, the author would write in such a way where you are given specific details that would lead you to the authenticity and origin of the story- she would write, an old hand-woven anahaw mat with frayed edges protected the three from the cold...

(p.1). Her choice of Tagalog words to use as objects of references helped put myself in the story because of familiarity- words such as alcade (p.3), guardia civil (p.47), and barkada (p.172) are just some of the many terms we use in the Philippines that brought the story alive.As for the time, Clarissa related it to the present with flashbacks to support the flow of the story- telling us what is in the now and then giving details on the background of each given situation.

One example would be, ...Adora, whose bloodline had never been ascertained, who never even knew that she bore sons twice..., the statement would then be followed with, Sitos mother was an orphan who grew up in a convent (p.32)- the author starts with what has already happened (which made my mind think on possible histories the characters experienced) then moved into the past experiences of it- this made me realize that, just like when we live our lives, we look back to our own past to answer the future we will have to avoid unnecessary setbacks.The details of the different settings: San Vicente, Manila, and the convent, together with the Spanish, American, Japanese, and authoritarian regime on time, created a smooth transition of the characters growth throughout the entire story.The novel also argues that the mothers cannot be mothers because they die when their daughters are born, as seen in pages 51, The sight of the bloodied flesh fascinated him that he forgot about Elena who had just expired, 122, Maria Sarah would die upon giving birth to her daughter, and 139, By that time, Rosa had survived cutting the umbilical cord and cleaning both the baby and the sleeping Laura, but that is the literal sense of the novel.

I came to understand that it was their way of thinking about the dream they all had about a cave woman, who represents each of them, throwing herself to the fire that made them believe in the destiny of them not being mothers. In reality, they still are the mothers of their respective daughters- besides the close resemblance of each one of them and their husbands, the values, beliefs, and history they all shared and was past down from generation to generation is what makes them still mothers.

No matter what destiny or death brings, they still live as memories in the present through knowing that the future is already won since they create their own destiny.

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