Nick Joaquin's "The Woman Who Had Two Navels" revolved around the upper middle class expatriates' consciousness during the American period of colonization. It portrayed every character's struggle to maintain their "selves" in a foreign setting like Hongkong. It can also be defined as coming to terms with the political consciousness during that period. The novel also contained mixtures of hatred, love, anger, insecurities, and sufferings that manifest in the realities of life making the flow of the story more provocative and appealing to the audience.
The title of the novel excited my curiosity; that's why it took me a long time to analyze and think the interpretations that I have to use to show its significance. The story started with Connie, a daughter of a wealthy politician. Connie portrayed herself as a person with two navels.
Literally, when a woman has two navels, this means that she has two umbilical cords. The navel is the shortened umbilical cord - usually removed when a person is born. But it is not possible because if a person has two umbilical cords, he is a preternatural being - a mutant.
Connie, pretending that she has two navels may refer to the "rebirths" that she underwent. The first rebirth was escaping from her mother's evil clutches since she was an unwanted child - always ostracized and continuously suffered from the ghosts of the past that haunted her. Let us not also forget her inability to deal with her life due to parental constrictions and the love affair of her husband Macho and her mother that made her feel miserable at some points in her life. The second rebirth refers to her awakening, herself realization and emancipation as a woman. She learned to face reality and accepted the truth. In my point of view, her reason why she pretended to have two navels is that she wanted to forget everything about her, to be different so that another personality will reside and dwell on her.
Looking from another... [continues]
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