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Rice and Bullets

by Hernando R. Ocampo

Summary

 Tura is a father that belongs to a very poor family. He has three children and a
housewife.
 One day, Mr. Remulla, a rich guy that came from US told them that they should
go to the plaza, so that they could get some kilos of rice.
 They should bring with them three pieces of big rocks that Mr. Remulla said
represents the three major islands of the Philippines. (LuzViMinda)
 Tura along with the other guys went straight to the plaza mayor. After reaching
the crowd of people in central grandstand, Tura felt something’s wrong to his
stomach, he is hungry.
 He wanted to get some kilos of rice so he can go home early to feed his young’s.
On his hurry, the policemen blocked the entrance to the rice warehouse owned
by the rich Chinese.
 People start the riot as well the police fight back to it and series of gunshots burst
outside. While the group of Tura, overpowered the warehouse, he filled his sack
as fast as he can, but the police officers start to fiercely enter the place.
 Tura, with his half full sack run quickly outside the warehouse but he felt
something hot to his body. He still hold the sack with his weakening hands until
he run out of consciousness, he was shot.

Theme

The theme of the story “Rice and Bullets” is that people will certainly do
anything for survival.

Analysis

The point of this piece, “Rice and Bullets”, is poverty and the experiences of
those who are in or below poverty-line. If you’ll give a better comprehension on this
story, you will realize that there’s more to it. Poverty is the parent of crime and revolution
and by that, we can say that poverty is the worst form of all violence.

Symbolism

The author uses symbols such as the big three rocks that represents the 3 main
islands of the country, and like how they carry the sacks, it shows how the people lift
heavy problems in their back such as poverty, and food shortage.
Another symbols in “Rice and Bullets” is “Rice” and it present a reality of how
poor Filipinos could sacrifice and submit themselves to oppression just to live and how
willing they are to struggle for the love of family. The story also show that poor
Filipinos get tired too and that their weakness can also trigger the evil in them. When
poor Filipinos had had enough miseries, they could defy the moral law and could also
subvert their values to stay in the race of survival.

Elements of the Story

A. Characters
o Tura – Round character, he is the protagonist, a father for 3, poor guy.
o Policemen officers – Flat character – who guarded the warehouse.
o Mr. Remulla- Round Character- first he is kind, but in the end he let
his officer to shoot the crowd.
B. Plot Liner
o Introduction - The author introduced the main character and describes
their situation.
o Rising Action – When the crowd started to fire riot.
o Climax – When the police officers start to shoot the people who started
the riot.
o Falling Action- when the police overtook the place from the group of
Tura
o Denouement- Tura, as he try to go home, he was shot and lost his
consciousness.
C. Settings
o Place: One of the poor province in Luzon, Plaza mayor, Chinese Rice
Warehouse
o Time: Long time ago.
o Social conditions – Lower –Class / below poverty line
o Mood or Atmosphere: Tense, action
D. Conflict
The poor family lives in salabat as the source of food. Tura, the father,
seek to find rice for food. So he went to the plaza to be blessed to be spare
some kilos of rice. As his hunger strikes to bad, he wanted to get rice fast so
he bump other and run first the line, the riot start. The police start to fire
some shot alarm so the crowd would stop. But it is useless the raging crowd
start to fight back.