The story “Magnificence” started when a man, particularly a bus driver, comes to a house of two children to tutor and help them with their school works. The family of the children thinks that the man is good and their children are in good hands. They also think that there is nothing to fear when he is around. But in the end, the man’s true intentions were revealed.
This story shows a man’s longing for pleasure at the same time it also shows the protective nature of parents toward their children.
The title “Magnificence” suggests that something or someone in the story would stand out. Based from what I’ve read, magnificence was seen in the mother of the children because she caught the man in the act of what he is about to do which is to take advantage of the innocence of the child. If not for the mother, the man Vicente would have taken advantage of the girl already during their time alone.
At the first paragraph, the lines “He would stand for a while just beyond the pool of light, his feet in the circle of illumination, the rest of him in shadow.” was said. I think in this line it suggests the hidden intention of the man towards the girl. “He would stad for a while just behind the pool of the light..” suggests the attitude that the man would want the parents of the girl to see which is kindness and good intention. “…the rest of him in shadow.” suggests the real intention of the man that he would not want the parents of the girl to see which is the longing for the pleasure of taking advantage of the girl.
In another paragraph, it was said that pencils were the latest trend during those times. Because the children wanted these pencils badly, Vicente used this for the girl to get close to him and be comfortable with him. Not only that, the pencils that she gave to the girl were extra special because of the color and size of the pencils that he gave. The pencils that she gave to the girl were the jumbo ones compared to the pencils that the boy got. They were also very colorful. Because of this, the girl became more attached to him because of the deed he has done. After Vicente gave the pencils to the children, she asked the girl to kiss him to show gratefulness to him. This suggests his longing for the pleasure. He also asks the girl to sit on his lap. On this part, they were all alone. He used this opportunity to satisfy his longing for pleasure. Because of the innocence of the girl, she did not know all of this but somehow she felt uncomfortable with Vicente so she went away from him.
After that, the mother saw what the man was about to do. In a paragraph, it was stated that she “advanced in to the light.” and “She had been in the shadows.” I think this line suggests that the mother did not trust Vicente fully and because of this, she kept a close eye on her children by being “in the shadows.” This shows how parents naturally protects their children and how parents don’t leave their children alone with someone they do not know that well.
At the end of the story, the mother asked the girl to take a bath and burn the pencils that the man gave to her. I think the reason why taking a bath was shown here is because the mother wanted to wash away whatever impurity that might ruin the innocence of the child to go away. Also, the reason why she asked the girl to burn the pencils is that the mother wanted his daughter to forget Vicente and everything about him.