Notes on Marjorie by Isagani Cruz

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Isagani Cruz’s “Marjorie” is a play that depicts a Filipino Woman’s struggle with her identity. It also serves as a satire on some aspects of the Filipinos living, especially the idiosyncrasies that are viewed as stereotypical in the Philippine society. The elements that are crucial in portraying the theme of story are its setting, characterization and the conflict. The first scene is in the Manila Airport, where Marjorie is waiting for her flight to America. The setting is crucial to the theme of the play since it represents Marjorie in terms of who she is and what her motivations are. By being in an airport, she stands neither on Local soil nor on foreign ground. This reflects her struggles throughout the play wherein she cannot decide on her own identity. Is she still a Filipino despite her being married to George, a foreigner and having his children? Or has she become an American? Is she regarded as married even if her husband and children are thousand miles away? Or is her presence in the Philippines suspends any ties made outside her country thus rendering her as a single woman, free to have intimate relations with other Filipino men? Throughout the events that transpire in the story, Marjorie ponders on these questions. Marjorie is a Filipino “balikbayan” who has just returned to the Philippines after ten years of living in America with her husband, George and their two children, Arthur and Wayne. With this, her problem of identity starts to surface. By living in a foreign land for a long time, much of her Filipino characteristics must have faded out and perhaps, she feels that a part of her is missing. And now that she has come back to her homeland, she has to familiarize herself with the Filipino living. We may imply that Marjorie’s primary motive for coming back to the Philippines is that she wants to go back to her roots, to return to her country and rediscover how it feels like to be a Filipino again. Upon her arrival, she seems to cloak...
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