DESIRE by Paz Latorena (Short Story Analysis)
The short story “Desire” was a fictitious literary piece that focuses on the traits, feelings, and problems of a typical girl with an extraordinary physical feature which gave her the conflict in her life. The main character was blessed with a beautiful body, however, it was greatly contradicted by her face. The body that seemed to be god-given turned out to be a curse to her because it gave the people the kind of impression and treatment that she doesn’t like.
The author’s intentions in writing the story is to account the struggles of a woman in finding the love that would accept her whole personality and appearance and not for what others can overtly see on her. Likewise, the problem presented in the story is a representation of the inferiority feelings that women would always feel for themselves due to their physical features.
For the emotions conveyed, at the first part of the story, I was really amazed on how the body of the main character would look like in reality. The way the author described it in words is such awe to the readers and just by making images in my mind that kind of body would really become a subject of envy to every women. Then, as the story progresses on how she felt for herself and how people, especially men, would treat her, I felt pity on her. However, this was compensated with feelings of admiration when the woman made a plan in overcoming her problems. This part showed the natural intellect and cleverness of women when it comes in resolving their problems and in handling their emotions. The woman “hides” her body from the eyes of the people to prevent them from their prejudices, and this she had succeeded. In addition to that, the woman made a way to entertain herself and to divert her longingness for a true love through writing and exchanging letters, and this again she had succeeded.
In terms of structure, the short story used the following figurative devices:
“her breast rose up like twin roses in full bloom”;
“heir waist was slim as a young girl’s”
“her hips seemed to have stolen the curve of the crescent moon”
the body was described as it is perceived by a sculptor, by a painter, by a poet, and finally by a man.
“Her legs with their trim ankles reminded one of those lifeless things seen in shop windows displaying the latest silk stockings.”
“A homely woman can very well afford to break conventions. Nobody minds her if she does. That is one consolation of being homely,”
“They had a nice long ride out in the country, where the winds were soft and faintly scented and the bamboo trees sighed love to the breeze.”
The aforementioned literary techniques added beauty and further appreciation of the artistry of the short story. They strengthened the description of the appearance of the main character and they helped in creating the atmosphere of contradiction and irony in the events of the story.
Lastly, the ending of the story didn’t make any resolution to the crisis of the main character. Instead, it was just a disappointment on her part because she thought that she had finally found the not superficial kind of love that she wants, but still it is just the same with the others.