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Without seeing the dawn chapter one summary

My not having read it all these years testifies to either an individual failure on my part to seize the opportunity for this pleasure-charged learning experience since I actually intended to lecture on Lazaro Francisco's novel when I was invited last yearor a failure of the educational-cultural apparatuses to enlighten Filipinos like me about their society and history—nay, their own identities as Filipinos—which up to now is in the process of being constructed by the ongoing practices and what Raymond Williams calls "structures of feelings" of everyday life.

For, indeed, Javellana's novel is virtually the parabolic rendering in fictional form of about half-a-century of our existence as a people, but not yet as a nation, as I will argue in a moment.

It seems that we don't need to read Renato Constantino to be assured of the persisting success of the Second Japanese invasion of the Philippines, a fact which makes suspect the collective silence over Javellana's epic of Filipino resistance against Japanese barbarism in World War II Now while all these may signal the need to read, or even re-read this novel, I would be without seeing the dawn chapter one summary first to caution you not to anxiously read it as a simple historical document of the years before and during the Without seeing the dawn chapter one summary occupation—goodness knows how many countless M.

Of course no one is forbidden to read it that way, but I suggest that we can more profitably use a strategy of reading the text to unlock and harness its emancipatory potential without seeing the dawn chapter one summary hitherto unsuspected ways, to mobilize its power of making us critically aware or conscienticized about the network of social relations and discourses that constitute our identity.

I might begin by foregoing any superfluous theoretical review of the principles of post-modern criticism by quoting a passage in Book One, Chapter 8, since I think it is pedagogically wiser not to frighten away the audience with French and German terminology. At this point of the narrative, Carding—our fortuitously named protagonist Ricardo Suerte—has returned to Lucing, his wife, after attacking the landlord's son, Luis Castro, whom he has caught while running away naked from his wife's embrace.

Carding uses force, not language, to "settle our differences," as the schoolteacher Manong Marcelo says, and adds: Carding affirms the power of speech 3ver the uselessness of unarticulated thoughts, a distinction that spells moral and political difference in the novel: There was happiness in his voice like that of a man of whose faith has been vindicated by his God" p. But that night, despite his attempt to reinstate the comforting routine of the past, the repressed returns.

I quote the text of his dream: That night, sleeping beside his wife, he had a horrible nightmare. He dreamed that he was plowing the riceland when he felt an earthquake so violent that even the sturdy Bag-o stumbled and he himself fell forward upon his plow, and when he turned his head he saw Don Diego rolling up the land from under his feet just as if it were a piece of paper.

When he had finished rolling up the land the rich man stuffed it into his pocket and walked away. Tlen, with the startling reality of dreams, he dreamed that he was being arrested by two policemen in khaki uniforms, and when he tried to struggle, the policemen merely laughed at him because he was so thin without seeing the dawn chapter one summary weak, as though there were a famine in the land and he had not eaten for a week.

He asked them why they were arresting him and they replied, "Don't you know? Because you have killed Luis Castro. If we read this text of the dream-work via a psychoanalytic hermeneutic as an elaborate allegory of a collective wish-fulfillment, we can see the operation of two modes by which the unconscious as well as the narrative apparatus produces the text, and these are none other than those of metonymy and metaphor.

The first part of the dream-work expresses the pattern of metonymic linkage by proximity: By a metaphoric twist, the land-paper equation shifts to land-money which the owner can stuff in his pocket: Here, I would propose, is the symbolic reading of the vast economic and political changes occurring in the first 40 years of our history encapsulated in the ongoing conversion of land from use-value to exchange-value.

I am thinking here of the phenomenon of landlord absenteeism exemplified in Chapter IX, "The Letter," an apt rubric together with share-tenancy. These realities should be familiar to all Filipinos, especially in the light of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Plan CARP and controversies surrounding all government attempts at land reform since President Manuel L. We can connect this with the disclosure of a cultural-moral truth which eludes the censor, the Cartesian ego of the narrative, and which transpires here in the metaphoric displacement of the earthquake by the landlord's presence or advent.

Note that the force of the earthquake shakes man and animal down; supine, Carding witnesses Don Diego's gesture of snatching away his land, clearly a foreshadowing of the next episode. The moment of discovery "when he turned his head," however, doesn't trigger a shock of recognition—in a dream, we know that everything appears natural and moral, precisely what the concept of "ideology" signifies in that ideology is a psychic and social practice in which all contradictions are smoothed and hidden, or reconciled by mechanisms of displacement and substitution—such modes of normalizing and naturalizing are what we are describing here.

Now consider here how the earthquake, a natural event, is displaced by the sudden intrusion of the landlord so that what is natural becomes a catastrophe: Without seeing the dawn chapter one summary process of condensation reveals the nature of the peasant mentality, an entire world-view and lifestyle which explains the persisting hegemonic rule of the landlords.

By "hegemonic rule" I mean in Gramsci's sense domination by the active, willing consent of the subaltern groups, not by coercion. As for the peasant problematic of life, I am referring to the system of beliefs and feelings and practices, a heterogeneous mixture of various contradictory elements, that conceive of private ownership of land arable or agricultural land as natural, legitimate, sacred, and therefore unquestionable and unalterable.

As long as this belief and assumption prevails, as it does today in general, any attempt at agrarian reform by reformist law is doomed without an accompanying radical transformation of consciousness and practices.

Thus, my reading of the double processes of metonymy displacement and metaphor condensation as constitutive of a structure which provides social-cultural identity to the dreamer, to characters in the narrative, is intended to unfold the class code or discourse structuring the text.

This class code or discourse manifests itself not directly but always and chiefly in combination with another code or discourse, that of gender, and much more obliquely, that of race. Pursuing our hermeneutic labor of deciphering the dream-work, we encounter the next sequence which foregrounds power relations.

Carding is being arrested by two policemen in khaki uniforms. Obviously the police represent the law, the coercive agency of the status quo in favor of landlords, and by extension the military civilians, like Carding, recruited to defend the existing order against alien invaders. The subject is now twice reduced to an object, first by the landlord and here by the representatives of the state. Where earlier Carding was plowing the land, here he has become "thin and weak," the effect of alienated labor and dispossession.

The earthquake-landlord metaphor is subsequently displaced by the two personifications of patriarchal law whose laughter mocks the pathetic and feeble resistance of the peasant's body. Note the explanation for his weakness: Here we confront a premonition of that other "natural" catastrophe, the flood of Chapter XVIII which wreaks havoc on whole towns, a "natural" event that acquires meaning as a disaster of the social system—insofar as it attests to the inadequacy, or indifference, of the government of the elite to protect all citizens.

The famine can be tied to Don Diego's confiscation of land; but now he has been displaced by his son, the mythical Prince Charming of Lucing, whose death is attributed to Carding. We are told that Carding is about to submit "peacefully" but something interrupts: Carding notes, first, that she is also thin, a mark of the solidarity of peasant-victims; and, second, she is trapped by "the embrace of a naked man" abusing her, his body bearing the face of Luis Castro, who, though dead, is still very much alive.

Now here is a rich and manifold complex of numerous connotations which condenses the thematic issues of the novel. Suffice it here for me to point to only one thread: Part of the dreamer's psychic energy supports this seduction, the other part undermines it. Economic wealth translates into sexual power. So we behold the ghost of the past the dead landlord's son return to rape Lucing the body —a metaphoric displacement of land—even as we recall that in the preceding chapter we saw Lucing surrendering, yielding herself to a promise of bliss and liberation from her plight.

But in this dream she is resisting, an example of metonymy evolving into metaphor, giving the illusion of resolving tensions. The wife's resistance expresses the husband's revolt against a condition of rape. What cuts off this play of the unconscious, the fulfillment of submerged impulses and wishes prohibited in waking life, namely the wife's intervention, may be taken as an emblematic figure of what will interrupt the male fantasy, the patriarchal fantasy of conquest and self-validating possession, as evidenced in Carding's refusal to live permanently with Rosing the prostitute, and his attempt to strangle the "third son" in opposition to Lucing's will to assert her own reproductive right even in a context of war where brute force prevails.

Just like the first son, the third embodies the stillborn hopes for emancipation from social necessity.

In this milieu, sexuality obeys customary and traditional rituals: The law of the peasant patriarch, which is effectively limited by the precariousness of his livelihood, is soon undermined by, first, Carding's individualistic defiance of custom in building his house at the wrong time; and second, the stillborn monkey-child considered as punishment for the first; and third, the usurpation of Carding's dominance at home by the Guest.

All these up to Chapter IX, "The Letter," demonstrate the futility of a decent humane existence in the semi-feudal set-up of the Philippine countryside during the Commonwealth period, the virtual emasculation of the male peasant by class subordination, and the oppression of women by male supremacy and landlord privilege.

We now come to the pivotal chapter, "The Letter," which indicates the power of literacy, education and knowledge to control all those deprived of the resources and opportunities to participate fully in the life of modern society. If the countryside is cursed by predators of all kinds, can the city offer a better prospect, a viable alternative? The next episode is a testing of such an alternative.

The discourse of prostitution identifies him as the mythical knight of the Lady, his subjectivity approximating Without seeing the dawn chapter one summary in the eyes of Lucing.

Rosing substitutes for Lucing but only to make Carding only one station in her endless procession of partners, so that we can see Carding become literally absorbed into the circulation of goods in a commodity system where the mediation of pleasure is performed by the availability of the woman's body to anyone with the means of exchange-value.

But Carding's male strength is restored: Carding, product of a milieu of use-values, is exposed to the drastic reduction of everything to quantifiable counters money and all the mystifying fetishism that surrounds the urban market and the symbols of power. Because his peasant soul resists, he returns to his wife and what she represents: Although the city experience liberates the peasant from the taboos of tradition and custom, it does not fulfill the need of self-affirmation and solidarity that Carding wants to gratify.

When the contradiction between the market-cash economy in which Rosing is an epitomizing figure and the macho individualism of Carding could not be flattened out or occluded, its elision occurs in the next sequence from Chapter XV to Chapter Y. The textual will to displace contradictions now takes the form of a migrating or nomadic line: The contradiction is now dialectically resolved in the birth of the second son, proof of the protagonist's fertility.

This compensates for the unredressed grievances of the past until "The Flood" reminds the community of its vulnerable status and reinforces an oscillating skeptical, fatalistic trend.

A move to Mindanao is contemplated, a plan which captures all the Commonwealth and postwar schemes of the government to defuse agrarian tensions by a simple bodily transplantation of peasants, not the elimination of age-old practices and laws of exploitation. This move is foiled by the outbreak of the inter-imperialist war, a larger conflict of competing imperialisms which subsumes the antagonism between colonized natives and colonizing West. But the future is foreclosed when the promise of the homesteader Isaac Celes, a vision of utopian peasant fulfillment, evaporates in the smoke of World War II.

What happens in Part II is a protracted ordeal where the peasantry and women undergo division and splitting, but this time the narrative polarity is not between classes or genders but between the life-destroying Japanese hordes and the race of the sensitive, courageous and suffering Filipinos.

It is in this site of combat that the racial and national inscription of identity takes place. Part 11 also witnesses the transformation of Carding Suerte from a passionate lusty demon or animal drawn in earlier chapters to a selfless patriot hero—a veteran of Bataan, the Death March, and imprisonment. A bandit hero, symptom of wartime anarchy and personification of one strand of Carding's ethos, threatens the without seeing the dawn chapter one summary Carding joins with others to kill Morata, the bandit chief.

Nonetheless Carding still refuses to join the guerillas until the Japanese ravage the village and brutalize the peasant residents. The suicide of the castrated Lucio underscores the fusion of sexuality and social status in this milieu. Lucing finally reveals the past to Carding; the past returns, and historical memory is born and ushers in the peripeteia for Carding: It is this personal injury to his honor and desecration of his home that drives Carding to his final suerte: Carding emerges with an ugly cut from his forehead to his left cheek, the stigmata of the agent of justice, but also of the violator of kinship laws.

We may ask next what provokes Carding to plan killing "the third son"? Employing another perspective, we can use this reflection from the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci on the physiognomy of the peasant psyche which may elucidate Carding's ressentiment, his impulse to strike on his own, repay an eye for an eye, the ambivalent mix of violent initiative cunning and fatalist resignation: What does a poor peasant obtain by invading without seeing the dawn chapter one summary uncultivated or badly cultivated piece of land?

Without machines, without a house at his place of work, without credit to wait for the time of harvest, without cooperative institutions which will acquire the crop itself. It satisfies for the first moment his primitive greed for land; but at the next moment when he realizes that his own arms are not enough to break up the soil which only dynamite can break up, when he realizesthatsee4ds are needed and fertilizers and tools, and thinks of the future series of days and nights to be spent on a piece of land without a house, without water, with malaria, the peasant realizes his impotence, his isolation, his desperate condition and becomes a brigand and not a revolutionary, becomes an assassin of the 'gentry,' not a fighter for workers' and peasants' communism.

He stood beside the bed in deep thought, unable to understand the miracle of the birth of the infant whom God had touched with the small finger of death before birth. He looked down at his hands and he knew that they were never meant to murder an infant, whatever other sins they might be stained with. Strangely, he did not feel very glad and his fear and hatred of the child were gone. Instead he felt clean and whole inside him.

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And when he looked down upon his wife, who was sleeping after her travail, she too seemed clean and perfect once more. It seemed that she had been cleansed by the miracle of the stillborn child. But Carding's catharsis is short-lived since his wife penetrates his reticence and ferrets out his original murderous intent, her accusation driving him out of the house.

Before his martyrdom for the national cause in the final chapter, when he leads a suicide contingent against the Japanese camp, Carding is captured by the Japanese military police Chapter XIV, "The Kempei".

  • It has the aspects of embarrassment, same, and shyness rolled into one;
  • Strangely, he did not feel very glad and his fear and hatred of the child were gone;
  • But later it was revealed that the Japanese soldiers who attacked their village killed his father and son and raped his wife.

This is the moment of anagnorisis or recognition of the totality, when Carding becomes a witness to a father being decapitated. It is a scene emblematic of the collective future destroyed and hope aborted, a moment of discovery registered in the psyche: That night Carding dreamed that Tio Ramon was standing beside him, babbling eternally, "He is innocent. Why don't you kill him? The dead returns to life in the person of the headless Antonio, symbolically castrated, with the deluge of blood flooding the prison and drowning everything, a flood that revalorizes or redeems the earlier flood and endows the sacrifice of the innocents with a purificatory charisma.