The Bread of Salt

Topics: Boy, Short story, Character Pages: 3 (1006 words) Published: July 22, 2014

Every early morning, a young boy of fourteen has already got used to his routine of buying pan de sal , wondering what gives it flavor and shape. His usual daydreaming of being “destined” for Aida, his romantic interest, makes him more competent in the field of academics and music (playing violin). The boy thinks that the money he will eventually earn from playing the violin capacitates him of giving her a brooch and stationery as an expression of his unspoken emotions. Together with the Saez’s band, he performs in the asalto for Don Esteban’s twin daughters, wherein Aida perceives him sneaking some sweets into the packet under his shirt. As speechlessness and embarassment ascend over composure, the warmth of feeling he has for Aida vanishes. One understands that life is about embracing reality and realizing that not all dreams come true, as the young man is awakened to what he has to accept. N.V.M. Gonzalez gives readers a picture of a young boy who is fond of daydreaming or fantasizing. The boy, having an intense adoration towards the Old Spaniard’s niece, assumes that the latter also holds romantic interest in him but tries to be discreet. As the boy visualizes himself being a genius, world-class violinist and certainly winning Aida’s “hand”, the author makes the readers see a character who imagines delighful events in an extremity to the extent that he almost finds it real. The astute reader observes the suggestion of conflict between what exists in the mind and what actually exists. Metaphors are creatively used to add color and meaning to the story. The lines “I wondered if the sea wind carrying the straggling notes across the pebbled river did not transform them into a Schubert’s Serenade” (personification), and “Neither by post nor by hand would a reply reach me. But no matter; it would be a silence full of voices.” (oxymoron) suggest the intensity of affection the boy has towards Aida. His whimsical imagination of being with the beloved, strengthened...
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