The story begins with the line: “She stepped down from the carretela of Ca Celin with a quick, delicate grace. She was lovely. She was tall. She looked up to my brother with a smile, and her forehead was on a level with his mouth.” The presence of the words, ‘stepped,’ ‘carretela,’ and ‘quick, delicate grace,’ makes the scenery ofa guy or a person who is somehow struck by the beauty and elegance of a woman. The scene is similar to fairytales like Cinderella, expensive weddings, debut, and royalties depicting a girl stepping down a carousel or stairs filled with elegant grace. Thus, this gives the idea that the woman, who the point of view is looking at is a classy upper class woman. In an article by Tepfenhart (2018) it is indicated that “men notice a lot of things about girls when they first meet them, even when it comes to casual meet ups rather than dating. Biologically speaking, men are hard wired to take not of a certain part of a woman’s body, her clothes and even her posture when they first see her.” The point of view is a boy and that is a probable reason for emphasizing how graceful the lady is, therefore, the point of view had his first impression to the lady.
Also, according to an article of Biesanz (2012) it is found that impressions were marginally can be related to greater liking the person and most significantly predicting that the two may have greater interactions. Positive biased impressions are strong foundation for relationship development. Thus, this can create positive impact on the creating a relationship among new acquaintances. Comparatively, the studies of Costello (2013) shows that “first impressions made within the first seventeen (17) seconds of meeting someone new. Fifty-five percent (55%) of that impression is based on appearance, seven percent (7%) is based on words and thirty-eight percent (38%) is based on the tone of voice.” This means that before we even get sufficient time to demonstrate our own abilities, the first impression is already cast. Of then, these first impressions are irreversible. The actions and appearance of the lady made the first impression that well is not just irreversible but will be progressive on the next lines.
In accordance with how Baldo describes Maria may suggest that the usage of the word ‘lovely’ by Baldo can be an evidence that Baldo is struck by the beauty of Maria. It also stated in an article of that men are not overly comfortable in using the word lovely as a compliment for new acquaintances.Thus, it is an event that shows how subjective Baldo is in the beautification of Maria’s character throughout the story. Another key point into Baldo’s admiration to Maria, according to an article of Mbuthia (2018) it is normal to first notice the outstanding physical appearance of every person because they are an image. Thereupon, she listed the top five (5) key things that men usually notice in women. These are height, smile, eyes, bust and dressing. The moment when Maria step down from the Carretela, Baldo notice everything about Maria (which will be further discussed on the next lines.) Also, according to the study of researcher Kun Guo, a psychologist at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, “Eye movement is spontaneous and very difficult to inhibit so we thought perhaps we can use an eye tracker as a reliable marker to track sexual interest.” Likewise, the sentence depicts how Baldo is very observant in terms of the physical appearance of Maria that may suggest two things: One is; he admires Maria and second; he is sexually attracted to Maria. However, one thing is for sure, it is the first time of Baldo seeing Maria. In relation with the key things that men usually notice, first from the list is the height. Baldo is younger than his brother Leon, however, it is not indicated what is the exact age of the two or how young Baldo is to Leon. It can only create a visualization that Baldo is still at his puberty age in which can suggests that he is still in between 12 to 16 years old. Baldo noticed immediately that Maria is tall.
According to Mbuthia (2018) ‘Majority of men feel intimated by women who are taller than themselves. Therefore, they will always notice the height of a woman they think has the potential of working out something with.’ It can form an indication that Maria is taller than Baldo, however, Maria is in the level of Leon’s mouth. By looking at these description, it may create an assumption that large age gap is existing between the two brothers. Consequently, in literal speaking, if someone is tall, we look up to them. It shows how great they are compared to those who are small. Correlating this statement figuratively, the first paragraph stated that Maria is tall which we can think that she is an elite. That Maria came from the Urban, which she can be classified as an upper class person.
Lastly, the last line justifies that Maria is not tall because she looked up to Leon as she smiles. Baldo’s observation includes every detail about Maria that seems to show how Baldo’s admiration towards Maria is at its peak. In accordance with the article of Mbuthia, second on the list is the smile. It is indicated in the article that: ‘A beautiful smile from a woman is almost irresistible by any man. Ladies who flash smiles are deemed warm and approachable. Such a thing keeps a man at ease and they are most probably going to be able to strike a conversation with the lady. Studies reveal that a smile stimulates more positive reaction.’ This may suggest or support the idea of Baldo’s point of view is a reason why the character of Maria in the story seems to be simple yet elusive. In contrasting with the lines “She was tall,”and“…her forehead was on a level with his mouth,” justify that Maria is not tall at all. If one is tall, then it can’t be compared to the other. In this case, Maria was compared to the height of Leon which can suggest that Maria may be tall for Baldo but still, she is short as to compare with the height of Leon. It is only shown in the story that Maria is tall because Baldo’s admiration seems to be the way for the enrichment of Maria’s character. To further emphasize these claims, the second paragraph mainly consists of the lines: “’You are Baldo,’” she said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder. Her nails were long, but they were not painted. She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. And a small dimple appeared momently high on her right cheek.“’And this is Labang of whom I have heard so much.’” She held the wrist of one hand with the other and looked at Labang, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud and the sound of his insides was like a drum.”
Maria’s action upon meeting Baldo is a disrespect for the younger brother of Leon. Most likely, Maria’s relationship to Baldo is an affinity that the relationship of Maria towards the relatives of Leon is by the virtue of marriage, and so, Baldo is considered asa brother-in-law of Maria. However, the movement of her hands as she placed it in the shoulder of Baldo seem to be one of the many uncertain event in the story. According to Singh (2006) sharing of good relationship with in-laws is a vital part of marriage. It can be tricky for both men and women. Also, it can put pressure on a marriage if someone is excessively attached or detached with their in laws. The family can create a huge impact on the relationship of the two especially if the story is meant to Maria’s journey as she meets Leon’s family In accordance with this.Elliot’s statement indicates, “It is the women’s attitudes or behaviors that have caused the men to become frigid.” Particularly with the action of Maria as she placed her hand lightly on the shoulder of Baldo. The adverb ‘lightly’ is present on the text, meaning to say, it was placed delicately which can suggest that it is done as an act of courtesy upon meeting her brother-in-law.
On the contrary, it is placed on the shoulder, comparatively, Du-Marie (2016) stated ‘Most of the literature on body language is inordinately fixated on the face, hands and legs, I think it is worthwhile to consider what the shoulders can reveal about us, even though the shoulders have limited movement when compared with other parts of the body, they can be used to convey various signals.” Given by this statement, the placement of Maria’s hand may indicate different kind of relationship towards Baldo. In one of the article by the same author, it is showed that shoulders communicate respect and reverence; happiness and joy. These meanings can be associated to Maria’s arrival to meet the relatives of Leon in a way, placing her hand on the shoulder can suggests that it is a sign of respect as for she is a new member of the family or happiness upon seeing his husband’s family. In addition to this, based on an article in studying of body language, touch is initiated by the higher status and active persona, which means the person who initiates, is the one steering the wheels.
This study can justify the first sentence from the first paragraph that Maria is from upper class people or can be considered as an elite. Although this may be true, it can’t deny the fact the the shoulder may signify different meaning. Du-Marie (2016) stated that, shoulders communicate vitality but they also communicate dominance and hierarchy. Shoulders can be a symbol of strength, therefore, it can reveal the heart and mind effectively and these are relevantly visible in someone’s figure. This may indicate that Maria has a purpose in placing the her hand in his shoulder that overlooked by most of the readers. Correlating this statement from the actions of Maria, this may suggest a method of pastoring Baldo.
A connotation of targeting you as their enemy can be associated with their hand placed on the shoulder. It signals that they want to disarm you for controlling purpose. Based on the article: “Therefore, the signification of shoulder is All power. Hand in the Word signifies power, as shown before; arm signifies still Greater power; shoulder symbolise where the power resides, the arms is the action which comes and the hand is the execution of will.” It can then create an impression that the method of Maria’s action is another indication that she using pastoral in order to make someone behave just like how a Shepherd pastors his sheep.