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How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife
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How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife
By Manuel Arguilla
â€œHow My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife,â€ is a short story written by the highly acclaimed Filipino writer Manuel Arguilla. This award-winning story is a long-standing favorite in Philippine literature. To examine this piece, the authorâ€™s background must first be considered. Formalistic, historical, and sociological approaches can also be utilized to analyze the story further. Prominent symbols and their interpretations will also be discussed.
About Manuel Arguilla
Manuel Arguilla was born to Crisanto Arguilla and Margarita Estabillo in Barrio Nagrebcan in Bauang, La Union on June 17, 1911. The Arguillas were a humble, hard-working family who farmed the small piece of land they owned to make a living. In school, Manuel was a sharp student who showed promise of being a brilliant writer at an early age. He graduated as salutatorian of his high school and then left La Union to study at the University of Philippines, where he would eventually earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Around the same time, he married fellow writer, Lydia Villanueva,
and moved to Ermita, Manila.
After college, he worked at the Bureau of Public Welfare and taught at the University of Manila. After working at the bureau for a few years, Arguilla was selected
to be the managing editor of The Welfare Advocate, the businessâ€™ newsletter. He served at the Bureau until 1943, when he was appointed to the Board of Censors. During this time, he was working at a Japanese propaganda agency and also as an agent of the Markingsâ€™ Guerillas, an anti-Japanese rebel movement. In 1944, the Japanese discovered Arguillaâ€™s disloyalty and arrested him. A few months later, he was tortured and executed at Fort Santiago.
Arguilla is best known for the piece in discussion, â€œHow My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife,â€ and over 50 other short stories, some of which include "Midsummer," "Heat," "Morning in Nagrebcan," "Ato," "A Son Is Born," and "The Strongest Man." His own life seemed to have influenced much of his work, as will be discussed shortly. Long after his death, Arguilla and his work is still celebrated for the authentic depiction of the lives of ordinary Filipinos, usually farmers and other rural folk. His short stories are simple yet seem to capture the complexities of the Philippine culture.