Lit React ~ Analysis & reactions on works of fiction.

17 Jun 2011

(Short Story) May Day Eve by: Nick Joaquin

(Reaction) Love Lost, Never Found by: Patrick Shane Diaz

View other reactions on works by Nick Joaquin.

Life is always full of regret, for we always realize what we have when it is gone. For Badoy and Agueda Montiya, they both lived and loved with hate, resentment, regret. As the story ends, Badoy realized how he wasted his time with Agueda, how he could have loved her, so much more than he did. He realized that he became the devil in Agueda's life, as she became the witch in his. In the end, they both blamed the superstition of May Day Eve.

For a moment he had forgotten that she was dead, that she had perished---the poor Agueda; that they were at peace at last, the two of them, her tired body at rest; her broken body set free at last from the brutal pranks of the earth---from the trap of a May night; from the snare of summer; from the terrible silver nets of the moon.

Fate is defined in the dictionary as an inevitable and often adverse outcome, condition, or end. The story is set under the assumption that Badoy and Agueda both believe in superstition, as well as fate. They believed that for they saw each other in the mirror that fated night that they are bound to be with each other.

What they failed to realize is that fate is dictated by the people involved. It is not anything inevitable, since love cannot be forced, only given or received. Badoy and Agueda fell into the trap of the May Day Eve, wherein they saw it as fate, only to be duped in the end by the circumstance of their relationship. However, they failed to see that it was how they saw their relationship to begin with, that caused them to be the devil/witch in their mirror that night.

Love is a splendid thing: it just happens, as most romantics say. That is how it had happened for Badoy and Agueda. But as the honeymoon stage ended, they both felt what was missing, and in turn grew to hate each other. What they never realized is that love is constantly worked on. Love is earned, and given willingly like it is free to the one we love.

Badoy and Agueda both saw the worst in each other whenever they told their children the story of that fateful night. They chose to see the worst, but in the end, it can be seen that they were in love. The worst in each other only came out when they chose to see it that way. Happiness comes out whenever we choose to be happy.

And remembering how she had sobbed so piteously; remembering how she had bitten his hand and fled and how he had sung aloud in the dark room and surprised his heart in the instant of falling in love: such a grief tore up his throat and eyes that he felt ashamed before the boy; pushed the boy away; stood up and looked out----looked out upon the medieval shadows of the foul street where a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage was rattling away upon the cobbles, while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tiled roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wild sky murky with clouds, save where an evil old moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable the window; the bowed old man sobbing so bitterly at the window; the tears streaming down his cheeks and the wind in his hair and one hand pressed to his mouth...

Regret comes to Badoy in the end, when he realized what he had lost. However, in the way he chose to see Agueda, he loved her in the end. The realization may have come too late. It is a pity that he had to regret the life he had with Agueda, as she did with him. Yet the May Day Eve can be seen as a blessing for the both of them. For they both loved each other, even though they failed to realize it.


The author chose to disguise the type of married life that the couple had. This can be seen as a way for readers to understand what was lost, or see the waste in what they had.

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