A Literary Analysis on the Transfer

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  • Topic: Bishop, Holy Orders, Clergy
  • Pages : 4 (1339 words )
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  • Published : March 16, 2013
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To value one’s own emotions too highly and to forget that others’ emotions should be acknowledged is a natural human tendency. Mr. Conrado Arabia portrays this tendency. In Bienvenido N. Santos’ “The Transfer”, we see how the turn of events make him realize that Father Simplicio Ruivivar is not just their parish priest – he is also human and, just like any other human, he yearns for love, understanding and attention.

The first part of the story, which consists mostly of descriptive paragraphs, introduces the setting and characters. The story starts with an account of the preparations for the Bishop’s arrival, and Mr. Conrado Arabia, the chairman of the local Catholic Action Committee, is introduced. Lines in the story reveal that Mr. Arabia is one with the townsfolk in their desire to have Father Simplicio Ruivivar transferred. Through Mr. Arabia’s and the townsfolk’s accounts, we get a picture of who Father Ruivivar is to them – an old parish priest who, according to the townspeople, should be transferred “to a small, out-of-the-way town” because “he is not strong enough anymore to carry on the growing complexities of his job.”

Nothing much is said about the story’s setting. The town where the story takes place is unnamed. The story gives no description of the town itself and gives no hints about the time period the story is set in. The readers are, however, introduced to Malabo, a small seaside town where Father Ruivivar is to be transferred. Malabo is a Filipino word which means unclear or uncertain. It can be said that Malabo symbolizes the ambiguity of Father Ruivivar’s future or, in a more general context, the uncertainty of the future of old people. Due partly to old age, they live their lives not knowing what to expect of tomorrow and thus, they feel uncertain and doubtful. The story also provides an elaborate description of two specific places – the Bishop’s Palace and Father Ruivivar’s room. The Bishop’s Palace was formerly a mansion of a wealthy...
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