The story is a representation of today’s social issues, how people value physical beauty over the beauty inside. The story is about the experiences of a girl who has a broad forehead, masculine look, broad small nose, small and slanted eyes. But from her neck down to her small feet, she was perfect, the body that every man dreams of. Even though she has a breast that rose up, a full busts and slim waist, she hates her body because of how men treat her, seeing her body makes them think of unclean thoughts towards her and she hates being noticed because of her body. She wants to find true love, a man that will fall in love with her not because of her physical appearance, specifically her body, but because of her intelligence, of her character. She wore unflattering clothes to hide her body, and focused on writing. In the midst of all her searching, she met a white man, who she thought was the one. He didn’t talk to her because of her body, he was interested in her because of her brain, her intelligence, her writing. In the end, he was still just like any other man, tempted by physical beauty, luscious body, which lead them to depart. (Latorena, 2010)
We argue that the short story “Desire” by Paz Latorena shows social issues today, how we value physical beauty of a person over their character. Furthermore, it also showcases the repression of desires and pain of the characters of the story. We used psychological and formalist analysis to prove our thesis statement. Also we will first discussed how people value physical beauty over the beauty inside. Also the repression of desires, pain of disillusion of the characters of the story. Second, a theme and symbolisms in the story that relates to the thesis statement. Lastly, the effects of the main character desires towards the disillusion of pains.
People Value Physical Beauty Over the Beauty Inside
In terms of psychological theory of Sigmund Freud, there are three main types of psychological approach namely, the id, the ego and the superego. Id is the animal nature that says",” Do what feels good",” such as immoral, selfish desires, passionate thinking and etc. While the ego is the reality based part of your personality that makes decisions to satisfy the Id and superego. Lastly, superego is the socialized “conscience” that tells you what’s right, fair or wrong. Based on the definition, it clearly stated that people tends to value more physical beauty over the beauty inside from the Id, because of most people judge people outside, for example a woman has a great figure that any man dreams of, but she had broad forehead, masculine look, broad small nose, small and slanted eyes.(Latorena, 2010) However, she is kind and good hearted person but people judged her to her face, not knowing how she is kind and beauty in the inside. It cause the woman to be self conscious to the people around her especially those who have urges that has immoral thinking to her neck down to her small feet that makes superego and ego enter, when the woman starts wears oversized dress that completely lost the figure of her body.
Repression of Desires and Pain on Disillusion
Repression is the act that uses force to control something, in other terms restriction of something. Desires are feelings that represent the emotions of a human being namely, happiness, anger, sadness, fear, pain ",lust, agony and etc. People sometimes restrict their desires for themselves that tends people to be self-conscious. The repression of desires works in Id of the white man, because in the short story, when the protagonist shows the true nature of her figure that any man can dream of, that she hoped that she will be accepted who she is not only her features of her body, he immediately change the way he look at her and begins to have immoral thinking. Still the white restrict his desires to the protagonist until she give in and then he admit how she love her body like
any other man that unbrightness light of their eyes, that serves the ego of the white man to the protagonist.
In the short story the protagonist and the white man shows as the ego, while the Id serves the restriction of their desires that restricts their pain, lust, sadness and etc. When the protagonist have been self-conscious of her body and the white man restricts his lust when he saw the features of her body. Furthermore, the superego serves as constrictions of their desires.
Pain is something that everyone hates of, is something everyone suffers of. People expects something greater than you think, something that you did not think of, that you feel unsatisfied and defeat. In the short story when their are events that the protagonist experiences defeat and pain that she never expect.
“She heaved in a deep sigh. She was right. She had found a man to whom her body mattered little if anything at all. She need not take warning. He had learned to like her for herself. They had a nice long ride out in the country, where the winds were soft and faintly scented and the bamboo tress sighed love to the breeze. They visited a little our of the way nipa chapel by the roadside where a naked Man, nailed to the Cross, looked at them with eyes which held all the tragedy and sorrow of the world – for the sins of sinning men. She gazed at the figure feeling something vague and incomprehensible stirring within her. She turned to him for sympathy and found him staring at her… at her body..”(Latorena, 2010)
This shows the hints that the white man loves her body not herself, that made the protagonist suffer from disillusion from the white man, she thought that she accepted as who she is not only her body, but it later revealed that in the story that white man felt sorry after he said that he only love her body. He broke a maiden’s heart that makes him feel more guilty in the end.
“There was a world of regret in the eyes she turned on him.“For what?” she asked in a tired voice. “You have just been yourself… like other men.” He winced. And with a weary smile she passed within”(Latorena, 2010)
Symbolism and themes