The Journey Of Jory And Belen In Talking To The Moon

1955 words - 8 pages

In Noël Alumit’s novel, Talking to the Moon, he engages his readers in the life of the Lalaban family. Through the journey of the Lalaban family, Alumit lets us understand the different issues that Filipino-Americans encounter in the United States. Alumit cleverly utilizes the journeys of both Jory and Belen to provoke thoughts about family as well as different social issues; he utilizes these characters to progress the narrative arc of the novel. As the head of the Lalaban household, Jory and Belen take their journeys at times together and at times separately. Though physical journey is evident, Alumit permits these characters to travel space, time, and worlds. Through the usage of the concept of family, the journey of Jory and Belen unfold where they realizes their own realities. During this journey, the notion of the “American Dream” is contested. Alumit uses Jory and Belen’s experiences to provoke our thoughts about family, reality, and the “American Dream”. Through the exploration of these journey we understand the Filipino immigrant experience in American. These journeys also show us how different categories and identities affect our understanding of family.
Jory and Belen come from opposite backgrounds. Jory grew up with no parents and lived a simple life while Belen comes from the Dubabang family, a well-known family in their province. Belen lived a comfortable life while Jory struggled all his life. Belen’s childhood is filled with materialism and fantasy while Jory lived a struggled life facing the realities of the world. Having completely different experience, Alumit creates different path of journeys for Jory and Belen. As each character travels their own path, they learn about the world around them. At times, Jory and Belen travel together yet they experience it differently for they have different views on life.
First, Jory is a character that Alumit utilized to provide a sense of reality that is viable. In the novel we see that Jory is always grounded, he is one who sees things for what they are and does not imagine what they could be or how they should be . Jory constantly travels physically and emotionally; Jory even travels realities where travels to his own world, something that is realistic yet a fantasy at times. Jory’s life is a journey of its own, through Alumit’s lens we are able to know Jory by traveling to his past. Jory has flash backs about his life in the Philippines as well as his life pre the death of Jun-jun as well as after. Alumit makes Jory’s shooting our point of reference when we begin reading the novel. Without knowing that he is a family man, the reader assumes that Jory being shot threatens the security of the Lalaban family. This assumption is concluded because of his identity such as immigrant, older man, and a mail carrier. The idea that the man brings home the bacon is assumed in this situation; since the life of the Jory was threatened, so is the financial security of the Lalaban. Gender roles...

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