Friday, July 19, 2019

How My Cousin Manuel Brought Home A Wife :: essays papers

How My Cousin Manuel Brought Home A Wife Manuel Arguilla and Charlson Ong’s stories may have an almost similar title, with each of the main characters bringing home a wife who is different from the local people. However, the newer version addresses a much more serious issue. In Charlson Ong’s â€Å"How My Cousin Manuel Brought Home A Wife†, the writer used contrast of characters(particularly Consuelo and Mei Lu) and contemporary language to show that even in the modern age, racial discrimination still exists and destroys one’s happiness. Hearing about his son’s return with a Brazilian wife, Mei Lu is devastated. Her agony clearly worsens to the extreme upon seeing her daughter-in-law: Consuelo, a huge and black woman whom she describes as â€Å"bigger than the great wall and blacker than the pit of her kettle†. â€Å"She might learn to live with the fact of a foreign daughter-in-law, Spanish-speaking and all. But Consuelo? The woman simply failed to strike me as being in the universe of possibilities Aunt Mei Lu could imagine.† It is made clear by the writer in these lines that a foreign daughter-in-law of a skin color other than black would be bearable for Mei Lu. Mother says Carlos should not have brought Consuelo to the house. But did they not send Carlos to the airport to bring the couple back home? Apparently, they were expecting a white Brazilian. At 70 and being â€Å"from an age where the word beauty conjured a fairness often described as being edible and where petite, teen-age, virgin brides were tucked neatly into fragile sedan chairs fit for babes†, Mei Lu can not accept the fact of having Consuelo, who has just the opposite qualities, as the wife of her only son. She regards Consuelo as subhuman. This she reveals by her wailing: â€Å"You call that a daughter-in-law?† Furthermore, she associates Consuelo’s black skin color with evil. Eventhough she has not spoken a word to Consuelo, except for the words â€Å"O kui† she called to her face, Mei Lu automatically as sumes that she tried to kill Manuel, who was actually saved through Consuelo’s psychic abilities, and is only after Manuel’s money, which is not as much as Mei Lu thinks at all.

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