Story Review of The Peril in the Lagoon by Loreto Paras Sulit
Staying at home most of the time for more than a year now, makes me linger for those days I could have gone out with no fear of getting infected with the the dreaded virus. However, as what the authorities and older people have cautioned that if there were no urgent matters to do, it was better to stay home and be safe. While many have been obedient to instructions, some others have been stubborn and mindlessly put themselves and others in danger.
Today’s blog is about the short story entitled “The Peril in the Lagoon” written by Loreto Paras Sulit. She is one of the best Filipino writers known for her English short stories and the first woman to be the Secretary General of the Philippine National Red Cross which has changed its official name to Philippine Red Cross at present.
The exposition of the story describes and narrates the lagoon where the setting of the story was, the characters and the country’s season. Here, the writer used visual imagery to develop the picture of the lagoon in the reader’s mind. The characters were three boys namely Tony who was sixteen, David fourteen and the youngest Berting who was twelve, their uncle whom they called “Uncle, Sidro” was the other . The story was set up to be during the summer season when children usually enjoyed their time off school.
Uncle Sidro was described as the man who in the past was always the first to push the three boys into adventure, hunting, fishing, swimming, and treasure hunting. When he bought a house near the lagoon, the boys thought that for the next summer their uncle would invite them. The boys turned out to be right on in their conclusions. With full of excitement, they gathered their camping materials looking forward to enjoy the waters of the lagoon.
The excitement in their hearts was spoiled when their uncle told them that they could not swim in the lagoon because of a shark, which Uncle Sidro described as the most vicious and murderous man-killer. This part was like you are presented with the foods that you crave for but you are not allowed to eat. It was very frustrating for them.
Upon hearing the must and must nots from their uncle regarding their vacation in the lagoon, Berting, who was the youngest of the boys was instantly got upset. On the other hand, David, who was a silent type, thought carefully and analyzed the situation. Killing the shark was the best way for them to enjoy the lagoon but the thought of it was not easy. The boys have to do something to solve the problem despite their Uncle’s instructions.
Since Uncle Sidro only forbid the boys to swim or wet their feet on the lagoon, the boys decided that the only way they could kill the shark was through a fishing tackle. The boys are ready for an adventure which is really perilous, but cowardice should not have a space on their heart. . Although their hearts beat rapidly with nervousness, they sailed in the quiet, shining lagoon using the sturdy sailboat that their uncle gave them. Uncle Sidro taught the boys various fishing methods and tips on fishing every summer so the boys were already well-versed on it.
As the story progressed, it narrated how bravely the three boys fought with the shark. David was the one who plunged into the water and wrestled with the beast using his knives and strength. It was a matter of life and death but in the end, David successfully killed the shark and then dragged it onto the shore with the help of his two brothers. There, their uncle was waiting for them and they already expected that they would receive some scolding. But it was the other way around that made the boys sigh with relief. Finally, they got rid of the problem and could finally enjoy the lagoon with no worries.
The part that I loved the most in this story was when the boys were faced with the challenge. It gave more excitement as the story clearly revealed how they used their logical thinking rather than letting their emotions ruin their summer vacation. The boys did not give up, instead devised a plan of action so they could do what they wanted considering also what their uncle had told them. Their adventurous spirit still won at the end. This story teaches us that we must try out to explore and find possible ways to solve problems and work for our dreams. For sure, fear will always be there inside our mind. Fears can cripple us if we keep on accepting it.
In a deeper perspective, the story “Peril in the Lagoon,” is also an allegorical story. The lagoon can symbolize our life and the shark that the three brothers planned to kill may depict the different problems that we face. It can symbolize debt, illness, death of a loved one, accidents, and even this pandemic. These are some of the problems that we may encounter in our lives. Just like what Tony, David, and Berting did, going into some kind of action was better than doing nothing. Their situation at the start of the story was very frustrating for people at their age but they ceased complaining about it. Instead, they made the best of what they had and used it to beat the unwanted challenge. This story also reminds me of the Parable of Talents. It clearly taught us that if we misuse, neglect, or degrade what we possess, no matter how petty or insignificant it is, even that little will be taken from us, for by our conduct we show that we are unworthy of it.
Have you ever encountered a similar experience? I would love to see your thoughts on the comment section below.