A moral philosophical analysis of gregorio brillantes
A Moral Philosophical Analysis of Gregorio Brillantes’ Faith, Love, Time & Dr. Lazaro An Occasional Paper Presented to Mr. Mark Anthony Moyano Department of English and Humanities College of Arts and Sciences Central Luzon State University In Partial Fulfilment Of the Requirements of the Course Literary Criticism by: Catubig, Rona Calderon February 12, 2013
I. Summary Dr. Lazaro was called by Esteban over the phone, the father of a week-old child who had a high fever, a bluish skin and its mouth would not open to suckle—tetanus of the newborn, a hopeless case for Dr. Lazaro. Out of his profession and duty he said he would go. Ben drove for him, in their way to meet Esteban at the station Dr. Lazaro tried to open a conversation with him. He asked Ben what was the book he was reading. Ben told him about it, and he mocked Ben of becoming a regular saint like her mother. He told Ben that perhaps he would go on medicine after his A.B. but Ben was not quite sure about it because he wanted to be a priest. They met Esteban and he led the way to their nipa hut. When they reached the hut Dr. Lazaro saw the baby barely breathing. He injected a whole ampule, and another after. He tried to draw air into the baby’s lungs, pressing and releasing the chest but even as he worked to rescue the child, the bluish color of its face began to turn grey. Dr. Lazaro gave up on the baby. Ben came close to the baby and baptized it by pouring a trickle of water from a coconut shell on the infant’s brow. Dr. Lazaro watched Ben with surprise. Dr. Lazaro told the parents that he cannot do anything about the baby anymore. Esteban’s wife began to cry and the old woman comforted her that it is the will of God. Esteban pressed folded bills to Dr. Lazaro’s hand and thanked him for coming that far and at that hour of the night. When Dr. Lazaro and Ben was on their way home he asked Ben if he baptized the baby and Ben confirmed it. Dr. Lazaro asked Ben what would happen if he did not baptized the baby and the latter told him that the baby will not be able to see God. Dr. Lazaro questioned the teachings of the church. He ceased to believe in God maybe because of the things that had happen to him in the past. The story ended by Dr. Lazaro calling his son Ben, Reverend Father Ben Lazaro with uncertain humor and he asked what should he do to gain eternal life.II. Interpretation The Faith, Love, Time & Dr. Lazaro tells the reader that there could be things in a person’s life that would make him lost his faith to God and how one would want to devote his life serving God. The story demonstrates that for certain things that had happened in Dr. Lazaro’s life like losing his other son and because of his profession he questioned the existence of God. In spite of the fact that his wife is a religious and devoted person he seemed not to believe in God. Even the fact that his son, Ben, wanted to be a priest he still questioned the church and its teachings. The story has an underlying theme as well, that love is about respect. Dr. Lazaro loves his wife that much that he respects her being religious despite of his loss of faith. It is said that Dr. Lazaro’s wife keep herself busy knitting some altar vestments, there were plaster saints she keeps inside their room in their cases of glass,
and there is also a Sacred Heart in their house. Dr. Lazaro did nothing to suppress about this and I think it is because of respect. Dr. Lazaro asked Ben about his plans after finishing his A.B. and when Ben shows signs of wanting to be a priest when he told him about the book his reading Dr. Lazaro suggested that maybe he could go on medicine or engineering. When Dr. Lazaro saw Ben baptized the infant he questioned the teachings of the church but not Ben. It shows that he love his son that he respects what his son wanted to be. He even called Ben a Reverend Father although he may seem mocking his son about it.III. Technical Analysis A. Plot The story’s beginning already shows that there is a conflict encountered by Dr. Lazaro. It shows that the conflict has something to do with Dr. Lazaro’s profession and faith. There is, however a suspense whether Dr. Lazaro would be able to save the baby’s life. When Dr. Lazaro gave up on the baby Ben baptized it believing that it will not see God if it will not be baptized. The events on the story are not predictable. B. Setting The story’s time and place setting is perfect for the story. The story took place in the house of Dr. Lazaro and in the hut of Esteban and his family, in a barrio somewhere during midnight. The province is a perfect place for the story, being remote and midnight, being remote time of the day. It complements the character of Dr. Lazaro because he seems remote to his family in terms of communication. It also complements the conflict in the story which is Dr. Lazaro being remote to his faith. C. Characterization 1. Dr. Lazaro Dr. Lazaro is the main character in the story. The story revolves around him as it is entiltled Faith, Love, Time & Dr. Lazaro. The writer used Dr. Lazaro’s character to reveal how the three elements affect one’s life. There is a conflict in Dr. Lazaro’s faith for he had lost his faith to God long ago is reflected by his dialogues: “..there’s a disease, suffering, because Adam ate the apple.”;”The Church teaches, the Church say..” and his thoughts: “Soon the child will be out of it, you ought to be grateful.”;”The world will teach him his great lessons.”;”Some night, huh, Ben? What you did back in that barrio—your mother will love to hear about it.”;”Reverend Father Ben Lazaro.”;”Father Lazaro, what must I do to gain eternal life?” The way he reacts and the way he speaks, he speaks with disdain when he is pertaining about faith or about religion.
The time speaks of Dr. Lazaro, of how time made him lost his faith, of how time is moving fast behind him. The love speaks of Dr. Lazaro, of his love for his wife and son and the respect he has for them. Dr. Lazaro seems to be avoiding something. He seems to be afraid of something. This is shown when they are on their way to meet Esteban at the station when he stared in the emptiness of the night outside the car he felt like being pulled by the darkness. Even in their way to Esteban’s hut and they needed to cross the river he felt a sudden fear of the black water and the emptiness and darkness of the field. He seems to avoid speaking about his son as well for he committed suicide. Probably, it is one of the reasons why he lost his faith. Dr. Lazaro being a doctor has committed himself to an oath that he would always be of service to people in whatever circumstances, whenever disregarding the time of day and wherever disregarding how far or near it would be even if it is not his heart’s will. He tries to cure people because of his profession and not because of goodwill. As a doctor he believes that his patients do not survive because their body cannot take the pain anymore and not because it is the will of God.2. Ben The son of Dr. Lazaro who Dr. Lazaro wanted to be a doctor but Ben wanted otherwise. He wanted to be a priest. He is very eager to be of help as Dr. Lazaro observed of him. He willingly drove for Dr. Lazaro. He even baptized the infant when Dr. Lazaro said that he had done everything he could to save the baby but it was hopeless already as he put it.. He baptized it not wanting for the baby not to see God when it goes to heaven because it is a Catholic belief.3. Wife of Dr. Lazaro She is the religious wife of Dr. Lazaro. In the story she did nothing to persuade or convince Dr. Lazaro to redeem his faith again maybe because of respect, the same thing that holds Dr. Lazaro.4. Esteban and family Esteban is the father of the baby whom Dr. Lazaro tried to save. There is a framed print of Mother of Perpetual Help in their hut. When Dr. Lazaro declared that he had done everything the mother of the baby cried but the old woman said “It is the will of God, my daughter.” When Dr. Lazaro bid goodbye Esteban said “I shall be grateful always, doctor,” “And to your son,
too. God be with you.” It only shows how religious and how faithful these people are. They are contrary to the character of Dr. Lazaro. They are the type of Catholic who believes that everything happens for a reason and it is God’s will.D. Point of View The story is told from a Third Person Limited Omniscient point of view. The narrator enters the mind and feelings of a sole character, Dr. Lazaro. The angle of narration allows the reader to know only how Dr. Lazaro directly and exactly feels and thinks because after all the story is about love, faith, time and Dr. Lazaro and it is Dr. Lazaro’s thoughts and feelings that have utmost importance.E. Symbolism 1. Sacred Heart It symbolizes the faith of Dr. Lazaro’s wife. It also symbolizes her religion which is Catholic. 2. Mother of Perpetual Help It symbolizes the faith and religion of Esteban and his family. They are poor as Esteban handed only a few folded bills to Dr. Lazaro. But the faith they have is bigger than them for they accepted the fate of the baby as God’s will. In addition to this, even when Dr. Lazaro seemed to have done nothing to save the baby or make it recover, because it was not mentioned whether the baby died or survived, Esteban still wished God to be with Dr. Lazaro and Ben as they head home. 3. Darkness/Night The story begins with the “ the country darkness..” It symbolizes the faith or loss of faith of Dr. Lazaro. 4. Lights Lights were mentioned in the story many times: “..the lights on a distant highway at the edge of town.”, “.. the dimness of the single bulb under the eaves.”, “Try it without the lights.”, “glow of the dashboard lights”, “swinging ball of the flashlight beam..” All these lights mentioned were not bright lights but dim lights in the middle of the vast darkness, in the middle of the night. It symbolizes the hope for Dr. Lazaro to that somehow there is still hope for him to redeem his faith again. The bus roared and its light blinding Dr. Lazaro symbolizes the redeeming faith of Dr. Lazaro. 5. Coconut Shell and Water It symbolizes baptism or as a whole the teachings of the Church.
6. Dust It symbolizes the dirt when Dr. Lazaro chose to live out of faith, in the darkness that he’s now ready to clean away from his clothes and his skin, the dust that lingered on them for a long time.IV. Judgment The story is a good literary piece for teaching moral philosophy. It shows that in a person’s life there came the times that would measure and test his/her faith, such is shown by the character of Dr. Lazaro. On the other hand, it is shown in the character of Esteban and his family the faith because even when the baby in their family is in a critical situation there was no situation in the story that shows their loss of faith and hope. In fact they are even grateful although Dr. Lazaro was not able to do something for the infant. The place setting and the time setting suits the story well for it exactly symbolizes the faith of Dr. Lazaro, there is something missing and it is the light. It was said that there is an obscure disappointment in his heart, that he feels a certain deprivation of joy. The Faith, Love, Time & Dr. Lazaro does not only appeal to readers’ emotions but also teaches them about moral problems in life.