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Magnificence: Short Story and Vicente

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Magnificence’s plot follows the traditional pyramid model. It began by introducing the characters and setting of the story. It showed how Vicente, the bus conductor relates with the two children by helping them in their studies. Also, he promises the kids to buy them pencils that would make their classmates envy them. The story now reveals his real intention. He was actually trying to earn the little girls trust and wanted to molest and touch her physically. Fortunately, the mother came down stairs and caught Vincente’s act before he could harm the little girl. The woman was very much angry and slapped Vicente’s face. She asked the little girl to take a bath and chamge her clothes. She stayed by her daughter’s child until she fell asleep.

Vicente – bus conductor
Mother – president of neighborhood association
Daughter and Son

The short story started with a man named Vicente coming to the house of the two children to tutor them with their class works. The family absolutely trust him for they think that this man was always so gentle, so kind, and there was nothing to fear with when his around. The mother and Vicente met in a neighborhood association meeting, where the mother is the president. After the meeting, Vicente told the mother that he is willing to tutor her two children – the boy who is eight years old and the girl who is seven years old. His reasons for this were the smartness of the two children and his vacant time during the evenings for he was a bus conductor. Vicente promised the two children that he would be bringing two pencils for each of them. Vicente has favoritism because he plans to give the girl more by buying her the biggest pencil he can find.

Two weeks later after his first tutor with the children, he brought along with him the pencils he promised. The next evening, he was earlier than the usual time he goes there to tutor the children. He asked the boy to get a glass of water for him. He was left alone with the girl. The girl got frightened and got away from Vicente. As she got away, the mother came and saw what was about to happen. After telling the children to go to their room, she kept on slapping Vicente until he was brought to the door and he ran away to the shadows. The mother took the girl a bath before the girl slept and asked her to burn the pencils Vicente gave to them.

Magnificence in the story was obviously seen in the mother of the two children. She was so great that she caught what was about to happen between the Vicente and the little girl, who is very innocent. If she did not come, maybe Vicente will take advantage of the little girl with her alone.

Pleasure principle drives one to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. The id is responsible for our basic drives such as food, sex and aggressive impulses, and demands immediate satisfaction. As for Vicente, his id is obviously seen because he was about to seek pleasure with the girl of seven by having her sit on his lap and kiss him during the time of their tutorial class. He uses the pencils to let the girl be close to him because he knows that she is fond of it. The children want to have pencils for their immediate satisfaction and to envy their friends.

The ego’s main concern then is with the individual’s safety and allows some of the id’s desire to be expressed. The mother’s superego shields her daughter from the incestuous instincts that she thinks Vicente will do.

Phallic symbols refer to the male generative powers. For this short story, the phallic symbol used is the pencil. Children love pencil and they are crazy about it so Vicente used this object to seek pleasure with the girl. The two children used these pencils as a power to envy other kids. The colors of the pencil that Vicente gave to the children also have significance in the story. The girl received red, yellow and white pencil, which is a jumbo size. Red means power/ passion and sexuality, yellow means intelligence and consciousness, and white, being the biggest among the three, means innocence and purity/cleanliness. It only says that the little girl is very innocent, clean and has no sign of dirt with her. She does not have dirty thoughts inside her mind and she does not think things like what Vicente is doing with her when he asked her to sit on his lap, and embrace and kiss him. For the little girl, these things were nothing because her
mind was not open to such things.

The mother at the end of the story asked her daughter to take a bath quickly. She presided over the bath that the girl took, scrubbed her, and soaped her. She also changed the girl into new clothes and she burned the clothes that she had taken off the girl. For me, this symbolizes cleanliness and purity, to take away the pleasure that Vicente seeks with the little girl. The mother also asked the girl to burn the pencils Vicente gave to them so that they would always forget the man and never ever be tattooed on their mind.

Theme of Magnificence by Estrella D Alfon?
Strangers should never be trusted.
Trust is not inherited, it is gained.

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