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Commentary on Dogeaters Essay


Analysis of the Novel

Dogeaters follows the stories of several characters in the Philippines, including members of the Alacran, Avila and Gonzaga families who are wealthy and powerful. It also peaked into the lives of the working people, including a waiter, a club disk jockey/ prostitute and a store clerk.

The book begins with long introductions and character descriptions. Rio Gonzaga plays the role of narrator for her family and the author introduces other important characters, such as the wealthy Severo Alacran, and his wife Isabel . However, the author also contrasts the upper-class lives of the Gonzagas and Alacrans with poorer characters that provided an accurate portrayal of the disparity among the different classes in Filipino society.

Another narrator is Joey Sands, a local DJ at a gay club and a male prostitute, who gave the readers a glance at the homosexual social groups in Manila, as well as his personal experiences as a prostitute with rich foreigners.

The author also explores the relationship between Romeo Rosales and Trinidad Gamboa. Romeo is determined to become an actor, which showed us how Filipinos idolize celebrities and actors.

The novel intertwines these characters and stories through a series of events, including the Young Miss Philippines annual pageant, the Manila International Film Festival, and the assassination of human rights activist Senator Domingo Avila.

Dogeaters as what I have said have many short stories of different people in Manila, Philippines and so there were usually conflicts in each story. With every character, the author has shown her reader realistic experiences of each through very specific descriptions and through good storytelling.

There were some conflicts that werent resolved than that of what happened to the poor Orlando Rosales. He had a dream to be known and be famous but then he shortly lived his dream was stopped by his death. Other story than that of Rosario Alacran, an ugly daughter of rich couple finally found her freedom by meeting her true love was cited and that situation was resolved.

The characters resolved conflicts by choosing decisions on what they think is right for them. Though for some, they had no choice rather than to face their problems without a choice or without planning for it at all. They just let life decide for them.

Dogeaters showcases several contrasts in the Philippines. It is a depiction of Filipino life. It is very relevant to the present because what happened in the time and setting of the story like violence, disunity among the Filipino community, overpowering of rich families to the poor families. These events and situation is still happening today.

The story is set in the late 1950s in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. A dictator (Ferdinand Marcos) rules the country. However, the opposition are challenging his authority and his actions, resulting chaos and violence. Many stories of different Filipino families were mentioned to show what is happening in the Filipino society mostly in Manila.

I liked many dialogues in this story since they are quite interesting. Some of it was very intense and others make smile because it is funny. Some I like because the character said the dialogues in times when he/she felt so much emotion.

Here are some of the lines that I liked and were interesting for me.

Dont wake him, if you wake him, he dies. Better to leave him dreaming

-Lola Narcisa Divina

This lined was said when Lola Narcisa Divina, the grandmother of Rio, one of the narrators stopped her granddaughter to wake her husband (Lolo Whitman). Lolo was very sick and is near to death. This struck me because it is weird and because it s an irony. It puzzled me.

I will just let my wife examine her. I am just a surgeon after all

-Dr. Ernesto Katigbak

This line made me laugh because for a long time Dr. Ernesto Katigbak was examining Rosario Alacrans skin problems when the truth is he is not a skin specialist or a dermatologist but in fact a surgeon. It is very funny since her patient suffered for a long time when her wife who is the real dermatologist could have cured her earlier.

You are her mother, Im reminding you

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