Culture Dominating Nature
in The Wedding Dance by Amador Daguio
The Wedding Dance by Amador Daguio is almost always interpreted as a love story between two married couple – Awiyao and Lumnay. Most readers thought the story focuses on how a man can be so selfish to hurt a woman like Lumnay, on how Lumnay sacrificed her happiness for the one she loved, on how painful the story of Awiyao and Lumnay ended, on how true love does not always have a happy ending. However, the story can also be interpreted more deeply as one reads between the lines – not just analyzing the text literally.
The story suggests the conflict between nature and culture. Simply defining those terms - nature describes how a human normally acts, while culture deals with how the society evolved based on human nature.
Looking into the text, the conflict between man and woman can be seen as part of the conflict between nature and culture: the man - representing culture, and the woman – signifying nature.
Awiyao’s decision to get married again was because of the dictates of society. “Lumnay, if I did this it is because of my need for a child. You know that life is not worth living without a child. The man have mocked me behind my back. ...” Awiyao was concerned with what people would think about him. He was worried that his being a man might be questioned because of Awiyao and Lumnay’s failed effort to have a child. He decided to follow the culture of his tribe rather than what he really wanted.
On the other hand, Lumnay was questioning the cultural law of their tribe. She wants Awiyao back because of her love for him. For her, love is greater than laws. “Why did the unwritten law demand, anyway, that a man, to be a man, must have a child to come after him?” Lumnay ignored the law. She followed her emotions.
Lumnay and Awiyao represent the paradoxical relationship between nature and culture. Though Awiyao loves Lumnay, the societal norms were still more influential for him. This shows how...
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