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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The World Is An Apple

Alberto Florentino
Photo by Rene Ner

Can one man's world revolve in an apple? Can all his flaws be magnified a million times beyond the naked eyes? Can he see his mistakes no matter how he avoid confronting his own conscience?

Alberto Florentino did just that.

One of the stories written by a Filipino author, "The World is an Apple", has reached the conscience of even an ordinary man whose willpower to view life is anchored mainly on a three-square round meals a day. Alberto Florentino managed to tap the inner voice of man through the used of a symbolism to inject a deeper sense of purpose in life, which is rising from one's frailties.

It goes beyond the essence of the entire plot by focusing on the microcosm of daily life lived in poverty.

Florentino's "The World is An Apple" talks about the sad fate of an indigent father who had to struggle everyday to feed his family, but the twisting part of the story was focused on his weakness to the temptation of the flesh, hence eroding his noble purpose as a father for the story evolved in man's evil-minded nature to succumb to the lust for physical pleasure forgetting his greater responsibility outside himself.

Florentino has also managed to use another angle in the story to make his readers see that money is not the evil but the man who uses the money is to be blamed for his personal woes.

The story went this way...

A poor worker of an apple factory was fired from work after stealing one apple which he said was for his sick daughter. He had to steal to feed his daughter for he used his salary to spend nights with prostitutes, hence, the money that was intended for the family was diverted to satisfy his lust for the flesh.

Unmindful of his own sin, the poor worker blamed the management of the apple factory for firing him just only because of the one apple that he stole. He opined that the company had plenty of apples to share and asserted that he was treated unfairly.

He questioned the act done to correct his mistake,but he failed to examine himself for the bad thing he did as a wayward and selfish husband.

What is the moral lesson of this story: that man's ineptness is the cause of his own misfortune. Man can choose to become bad because he wanted the pleasures of life and he does not exercise control over his reactions to the evils that life could bring...

He should have prevailed over his temporal desires for the flesh and not spent all his money for prostitutes. His family should have been his priority more than anything else..

Why did I cite this story? For one point: Man has the power over his life for he has the freedom to exercise proper judgment on things requiring his utmost attention. As a family man, his works and time should have been focused on meeting the needs of his family and not his personal desire for sex. Sadly, this story has successfuly made the readers see that most of human flaws originate from man's selfish myopia about life.

This brings us to one conclusion: that good principles and values will effectively work beneficially to the person who have them and will not work for those who do not have the right perception and attitude about life.

Responsibility comes with the knowledge and submission to one's fate. In the case of the man who fell prey to the lust of the flesh, he knew at the start that he was married with a sick daughter who needed him the most.

Man's weakness is a flaw that must not always be accepted as expected. We should remind ourselves that although we are not perfect, we must also remember that perfection does not mean being holy at all times but it also means, in its ideal definition, being responsible for one's role in life...the role that he has chosen himself to be..the choice that was not of other's making but of himself.

Granting for the sake of argument that he has lost his love for his wife, but this does not give him the right to neglect his duties as a father. One's wrong choice for a marriage partner should not be extended to the fruit of such union regardless of the internal problems between the couple --an innocent life, that of his daughter.

I recommend this story as a must read. This will show the readers that poverty is also a state of mind and not of the pocket. The man who knows only himself and does not hold himself dutybound for his responsibilities in life is indeed a man who is to be considered the poorest of all.

Only a man who knows his limitations and looks after the welfare of his family and not sacrificing them at the moment of his weakness, is the man who is worth the wealth of this world and who deserves respect and admiration no matter what his economic state of life is.


A REJOINDER:

For those who could not understand the motive of the poor man to evade the truth, and questioning my "lust for the flesh" as inaccurate term to be used in my analogy, this is my reply to such query:

Measure the lust for lie as against the lust for flesh- both contain the same focus for self-satisfaction. To conceal the truth by using a prostitute is an error that is greater than indecency. For the former cohabits not the wife, while the latter destroys principles and dignity. Both are garbages of the human soul that must be disposed for the former leads to the latter.

Whichever weighs heavy on your point of view is your own sublime.


3 comments:

Creyme said...

Hi.. you are right about the world is an apple, this is a good story and that is why i want this play to be our project for lit102 but where shall i find a copy of the script? i suppose you know where i can find one. can you pls. help me know where i could find the book that contains the script? i will appreciate any reply from you. Thank you very much...

Bai Maleiha B.Candao said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my article. This mind piece was written from my memory back when I was in college then and we were tasked to read Florentino's The World is an apple.

I found it in our college library and it was a book on short stories of Filipino writers. The name of the author who compiled those stories slipped out of my mind.

I am really sorry Creyme. Please try google or yahoo. Maybe there are available online sites that can provide you the entire script.

Good luck. :)

Bai Maleiha B.Candao said...

A REJOINDER:

For those who could not understand the motive of the poor man to evade the truth, and questioning my "lust for the flesh" as inaccurate term to be used in my analogy, this is my reply to such query:

Measure the lust for lie as against the lust for flesh- both contain the same focus for self-satisfaction. To conceal the truth by using a prostitute is an error that is greater than indecency. For the former cohabits not the wife, while the latter destroys principles and dignity. Both are garbages of the human soul that must be disposed for the former leads to the latter.

Whichever weighs heavy on your point of view is your own sublime.

The mind is like a river; upon its waters thoughts float through in a constant procession every conscious moment. You stand on a bridge over it and can stop and turn back any thought that comes along. The art of contentment is to let no thought pass that is going to disturb you. -Dr. Frank Crane