The Ironic Dominance of ID in a Distraught Father in Manuel Arguilla’s “Rice”

Manuel Arguilla’s brief story “Rice” (1938) offers the readers with a meandering of activities that mirrors two literary techniques. 1 is of a psychoanalytic standpoint wherein the three divisions of the psyche are what dominate or interplay in the evolution of the tale. A person division is the id, which is aspect of the psyche that is fully unconscious and is the supply of psychic vitality derived from instinctual wants and drives. The next division is the moi which is the organized conscious mediator amongst the particular person and fact specially by operating both of those in the perception of and adaptation to reality. And finally, is the superego which is the portion of the psyche that is only partly acutely aware, which signifies internalization of parental conscience and the guidelines of society, and which features to reward and punish by way of a method of ethical attitudes, conscience, and a feeling of guilt. The other literary technique could be a Marxist standpoint which states that a literary perform may well comprise a lesson about the effects in our life of the immorality and popular indecency of the effectively-off classes who are offered the rights to operate and management our financial system.

The story commences with Mang Pablo, an outdated farmer in Hacienda Consuelo who is on his way dwelling, looking for his family members to report his mischief for that day’s harvest. Osiang, the wife of his very good close friend, Andres, meets him as she will come out of their hut. Mang Pablo, due to his outdated age, struggles to tell Osiang of that day’s harvest for she is caught up pounding in her mortar. In the meantime, Osiang rants about the immorality of the people today from Hacienda Consuelo to have them, the very low-class individuals settling in the put, pay back a fine of five 1cavanes of rice for a handful of snails they would get in the creek. Mang Pablo, once once more, struggles to inform Osiang that there is no rice for that working day.

The tale shifts to a flashback of what happened in the morning when he, Mang Pablo, collectively with the other tenants of Hacienda Consuelo have pushed to the property of the Senora to borrow grain. Regrettably for him and his fellow farmers, an announcement will come from the 2encargado of the sacks of rice. The announcement says that five sacks of rice to be borrowed on that working day will turn out to be 10 at harvest time. This news terribly surprises Mang Pablo and the other farmers, ranting that they have generally borrowed 3tersiohan i.e. 4 cavanes of rice for 6. Immediately after which, the Señora arrives out with her cane beating the polished ground as she threatens the farmers with the news that just about every sack of rice harvested on that working day will be loaded by vehicles and be delivered to the town so the tenants will definitely starve of hunger.

The tale shifts back to the present with Osiang, who is nonetheless oblivious that you will find no rice for that day, giving Mang Pablo coals from her stove. Mang Pablo attempts once again to notify Osiang of the horrible news but she goes back again to pounding in her tiny stone mortar.

Following some time, Osiang’s spouse, arrives and meets up with Mang Pablo. Mang Pablo insists on halting Andres and their fellow farmers’ plan of robbing rice and killing the truckloaders but Andres’ head is built up. They argue on the consequences of their plan. Mang Pablo feedback on going to 4Bilibid if they continue with their system. Andres solutions again, saying there will be rice in the Bilibid. Mang Pablo insists once again on what they would obtain if they would go through their strategy. Andres answers this, stating, the rice is for their wives and they young children.

Following Andres and Osiang’s exit arrives his family members with each other with a watchman. The watchman techniques Mang Pablo and informs him of the violation – buying snails from the creek – his spouse and children fully commited and the fine they have to pay out. Then they stroll home. Sabel, Mang Pablo’s daughter, continuously cries to his father of starvation. Immediately after thinking about what to do with his desperate circumstance, Mang Pablo grabs his bolo, will come out of their hut, and walks his way to Andres who stands silently waiting around for him by the broken-down fence.

As aforementioned the story of “Rice” could be seen in two literary perspectives. One particular is that of a Marxist perspective. In the story, the Señora in Hacienda Consuelo signifies the affluent people who oppressed the powerless individuals represented by Mang Pablo, his household, and his fellow farmers. The Señora‘s illustration of an affluent oppressor is implied when she will come out of her mansion with her cane beating the porch’s ground. A cane has the two a beneficial and destructive connotation. In the tale, although, the cane symbolizes negativity – it was a resource applied for beating or inflicting agony.

The Señora experienced occur out, her cane beating a swift tattoo on the polished floor of the porch

The story also reflects a scenario of repression and manipulation of staff by their entrepreneurs. It is apparent when the announcement of five sacks of rice borrowed grow to be ten at harvest time will come in. Mang Pablo and his fellow farmers recurring above and above that they have constantly borrowed tersiohan i.e. 4 sacks of rice develop into six. They insisted that 5takipan – five sacks for 10 – is as well significantly.

“5 turn out to be ten,” the encargado claimed, “Both that or you get no rice.”

“Do you see those vans?” she experienced completed, pointing to 3 large crimson trucks underneath the mango tree in the lawn. “If you do not just take the rice today, tonight the vehicles will carry each sack in sight to the town. Then I hope you all starve, you ungrateful beasts!”

The story also depicts value for things for their usefulness in the modern society. For the oppressed (Mang Pablo and the other farmers), rice is a thing that they, lowly folks, value and use to fulfill their starvation for meals. For the oppressors (Señora and the authority), they price rice for it symbolizes that they are of high social standing and have electrical power to dominate in excess of the lower-course people today. This literary work’s context continues to be reliable with the ideology that rice is a staple food items for all people to fulfill hunger, and to symbolize one’s social status and electric power in the modern society.

An overlapping literary approach to this story, in addition to a Marxist method, would be a psychoanalytic perspective. As reviewed, psychoanalytic technique will involve the roles of the three divisions of the psyche – id, ego, and superego – in a literary get the job done. In Arguilla’s “Rice”, an interaction of these three divisions is implied as to how he narrates each individual celebration in the story. He commences with Mang Pablo subjecting to his ego as he accepts the reality that he will permanently be a lowly man sure to provide the persons in electric power.

Although not mentioned, the continual and unconscious disregard of Osiang with Mang Pablo’s news that there will be no rice could counsel Mang Pablo’s acceptance of his latest situation of living in a spot dominated by persons of superiority i.e. the entire ignorance of the substantial social class to small social class individuals like them.

“Andres is talking with some of the adult males at the house of Elis. Osiang, do you know the place Sebia and the children are?”

Why won’t he appear residence? He is familiar with I have been ready the entire day for the rice he is bringing home! I am so hungry. I can not even drag my bones away from the stove. What is he doing at the house of Elis, the shameless, fantastic-for-nothing at all son-of-a-whore?

Pablo moved absent from the fence, stumbling a minor, for the very long blades of grass bought in his way. “There is no rice, Osiang,” he identified as again wheezily about his shoulder, but evidently the woman did not hear him for she went on chatting: “Mang Pablo, how quite a few cavanes of rice did you borrow?...”

“There is no rice, Osiang,” he whispered. He felt also exhausted and weak to increase his voice…

The following sentence taken from the range indicates that Mang Pablo succumbs to be a lowly servant to the people today in Hacienda Consuelo when he could not carry himself any longer to Osiang to convey to the terrible announcement.

Pablo appeared up at her and preferred to notify her all over again that there was no rice, but he could not convey himself to do it…

In the middle of the story, Mang Pablo is becoming dominated by his superego of contradicting his fellow farmers’ strategy of stealing the sacks of rice they thoroughly harvested and the possible likelihood of killing the truckloaders. It is evident in the story when his fellow farmer, Andres, comes dwelling to his spouse, Osiang.

“Are you coming with us?” he requested Pablo, his voice grating harshly in his throat as he strove to speak quietly. There was in his modest eyes, a fierce, determined seem that Pablo uncovered tough to meet.

Do not be a fool, Andres,” he reported, coughing to distinct his throat and trying to seem calm…

“What can you do, Andres?” he stated. “You say you will prevent the vans bearing the rice to the metropolis. That will be theft.

In the conclusion what dominated in Mang Pablo’s psyche is his id. Just after the watchman, with each other with his spouse and children, strategy him and inform him of his family’s violation, Mang Pablo contemplates on how to locate payment for his family’s violation and on how to discover food to feed his loved ones. His daughter, Sabel, regularly will come and mutters to him her starvation for food items. Until that night, he decides to succumb to his id – he decides to go with Andres and their fellow farmers’ approach of stealing and killing the truckloaders of the rice they harvested in the early morning.

The piece of wood at very last broke and Pablo was still left with a small stub in his hands. He gazed at it, sobbing with rage and weak spot, then he ran to the hut crying, “Give me my bolo, Sebia, give me my bolo. We shall have food stuff tonight.

Pursuing this scene, Sebia tries to quit Mang Pablo on succumbing to their prepare. Mang Pablo’s superego at some issue, interaction his id, major him to his indecisiveness.

“God help save me,” Pablo mentioned, brokenly. He introduced up his knees and dropping his confront between them, wept like a baby

Outdoors the darkness had thickened. Pablo picked his way by way of the tall grass in the yard. He stopped to appear again at his house

Mang Pablo’s final motion exhibits that he has finally permit his id dominate him.

He tightened the belt of the large bolo all around his midsection. Pulling the old buri hat firmly above his head, he joined Andres, who stood waiting by the damaged-down fence. In silence, they walked with each other

“Rice” is a narrative, created by Manuel Arguilla, which depicts the way of living of farmers who are underneath the authority of the superiors in Hacienda Consuelo. It narrates how the rice marks the variation among the two courses, for obtaining rice indicates possessing substantial social position and energy. The oppressors (represented by Señora) use their authority (of proclaiming rice harvested by the farmers) to gain in excess of the lowly people today (the oppressed, Mang Pablo and his fellow farmers). It also narrates how just one dilemma can direct a person to committing a heinous criminal offense brought about by desperation which is manufactured evident when Mang Pablo joined his fellow farmers in undertaking the crime for his and their families’ survival.

1cavanes – one particular cavanes of rice is equal to one sack of rice (fifty kilos of rice)

2encargado – a single who carries masses or sacks of rice from sleds to vans

3tersiohan – a program of borrowing among Filipinos wherein four sacks of rice is paid out for 6

4Bilibid – a Filipino expression for “jail” or “jail”

5takipan – a system of borrowing among the Filipinos whereby in five sacks of rice is paid for 10 (the amount to be borrowed will become double at harvest time)


Arguilla, M. E. 1998. How My Brother Leon Brought Property a Spouse and Other Tales. Manilla: De La Salle College Press, Inc.


Still hungry? Here’s more