Summary and Review of "The Centipede," a short story by Rony V. Diaz

Summary and Review of “The Centipede,” a short story by Rony V. Diaz

Let me tell you first a story. There is a large age gap between me and my siblings. With a huge age gap come along misunderstandings which I think is inevitable among siblings.

Short Story Review: The Centipede by Rony V. Diaz

A relationship between siblings is what  “The Centipede” was all about.  It was written on 1953 by an award-winning Filipino short story writer named Rony V. Diaz.

It all started with Eddie seeing his sister Delia beating his dog Biryuk. He wanted to stop his sister but he could not do for the latter has a weak heart. It is truly heart twitching to just watch something happen to a pet that is very dear to you. Eddie does want to free the dog from the cruel hands of his sister, but he was powerless to do so.

A series of flashbacks followed in the story. Eddie and Delia had been very different from one another. It was obvious that they see each other as rivals.

Delia was 8 years old when Eddie was born and their mother died. It could be one reason why she has not feel the love for her brother.

In fact, she might be pointing her finger always to her brother being the cause of their mother’s death. In addition to that, what they only have was their father and she might be resentful to Eddie in thinking that her brother gets more attention. Jealousy. This must be the cause why Delia always get rid of those things that make her brother happy. Do you feel that Delia wants her brother to be miserable?

It tells the story that Eddie has a natural love for animals and insects. On the other hand, Delia loathes them. They were always trapped in trouble because they both have a different interest. Even though Eddie was the younger one, he always tried to open his mind and think of his sister’s health rather than his own happiness.

Delia, being the oldest has this dominating nature. She acted like a boss to Eddie and whatever she wanted must happen.  On the other hand, Eddie needed to let her do all her wants and whims for he was afraid something bad will happen to his sister once he contradicted her. He kept his patience after his sister destroyed everything he loves: his monkey, his pigeons and his butterflies. He tried hard to control himself even though the acts of his sister were already below the belt.

But then, everything has its own limits. When Eddie found out that Delia stabbed the eye of the dog, he felt so much hate that he could not keep his temper anymore. He was fed up. He was enraged. His hatred was like a venom on his own soul. He got the opportunity to revenge when Berto, a helper in their house, gave him a centipede. Eddie was trapped in his own wish to frighten his sister. After he wrapped the centipede in a handkerchief, he moved inside their house silently while his sister was embroidering a white cloth. Without a second thought, he threw the centipede on his sister’s lap.

Eddie came back to his senses when he saw the result of his action. His sister fell down and cried with pain. He regretted it and felt guilty but the damage had been done already.

I have been always looking forward to a happy ending but this short story ended in a tragic way. The “Centipede” portrays a sad reality in life that if we make hasty decisions, we might have ended up full of regrets. We cannot avoid making mistakes and that what makes us humans. We make mistakes because there is something we need to learn. Sadness exists. Mistakes happen. It is already a parcel of our life. It is a human nature, but the good thing about making mistakes is that we get lessons from it. Through those learnings, we become a better person.

How is your decision-making in life? Have you ever made one that you regretted?

Summary and Review of "The Centipede," a short story by Rony V. Diaz

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20 comments

  1. I been reviewin online more than 4 hours today for 1/2 Price Pro Calgary Painting & Summary and Review
    of “The Centipede,” a short story by Rony V.

    Diaz, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be
    a lot more useful than ever before.

  2. Can you help me for my assignment?
    The question is:
    Give 5 question that you want to know on the selections.
    Thanks ?

    1. Hi Marielle! You are the only one who can answer that since you know what is it that you would like to know about the selection. 🙂 Maybe you are working on your KWL Chart? 🙂

  3. I am moved by the story how the author enhances its plot. i think the story resembles much of how family are being developed with the interaction of the members (role of parents) since their mother died and i am pointing towards the father who has the capability to resolve the issue bet. siblings.

  4. He is sort of a hero if you ask me…..anyone who beats a defenseless animal today would kill a defenseless human being tomorrow. You would have thought the sister with her condition would have valued life and not to destroy or hurt it. She received what she gave others.

  5. It’s part of life to have some regrets. You can’t do everything right and say the right things all the time. Part of growing up as a child is to experience life to the fullest. It is all part of the journey and that’s what we’re here for.

  6. Rivalry or jealousy is common between siblings. But it would be wonderful if the children would outgrow these tendencies or feelings as they grow older. Instead of finding ways to outdo or outshine each other, it would be nice to see siblings growing in their relationship with each other. That’s what I pray would happen to my kids as they grow older. 🙂

  7. That’s how life is as a human. We make decisions that end up bad decisions and we might regret. But I believe that no decisions should be regretted as everything we live is an experience. And from those experiences, as terrible as they can be sometimes, we learn, evolve and get better. But we can’t get better without making bad decisions, failing and learning

  8. Very nice i sights you got here. When it comes to decision making i sucks! There have been a lot of things that needed wise decision but because i am stubborn and sometimes stupid my decisions fail.but it is in those failures that i learned a lot and it gives me reasons to push again and make things right..

  9. I have 3 younger brothers, two of which are relatively close to my age while the last one is 11 years younger. I grew up fighting A LOT with my two younger brothers which sometimes arrived to serious extent. One time, we were arguing about something probably childish and one thing lead to another, my second brother hit me with a broomstick and instantly I lost consciousness. When I opened my eyes, my head was bleeding and I had a cut in my right eye brow. It was terrifying! My third brother on the other hand is like my BFF, he idolizes me and have so much respect for me.

  10. Interesting story. Lots to think about. I hadn’t heard of this story before. It’s terrible how she treated the dog. Hard to read that. Luckily I haven;t made any big decisions that I really regret. Nothing that will haunt me or makes me think about it again and again.

  11. Oh I have made decisions that I regret. But as you said in the last part. We all learn from our mistakes. I believe mistakes are one of the greatest teachers for us.

  12. I first thought that this centipede film was the horror story one. Apparently, it has a different title which was the human centipede. Anyway, I love the life lesson and insights you imparted here. I never regretted a decision because of deciding hastily. What I may have regretted though was the fear of doing something I should have done a long time ago which was blogging. However, it still turn out for the best though with God’s timing. Blogging is more fun when doing it with the person you love.

    – Me-An Clemente of http://yogoandcream.com

  13. It was a sad one to begin with. The video is really nice and left me with a lot of curiosity. I would really like to know more 🙂 I think it teaches many of us some serious teaching 🙂

  14. I’m all sad as I read through the story because I am the eldest child of my parents. I feel for Delia on the part that her younger brother receives more attention and care than her. Children really tend to get jealous when they feel that they’re not being given the same treatment as their other siblings. It’s a challenge to the parents as well.

    Anyway, as the story ended, it also made me reflect about the decisions I’ve made in life. Of course, there were a lot of decisions I’ve regretted later on, but I tried focusing on the lessons it brought me. Bad decisions taught me a lot of things. At least, the next time I’ll be put into the same situation, I would already know what to do.

  15. The first sentence of the story is heartbreaking! I can only imagine when the lead character of your story is beating up the dog. Too extreme for me. I don’t know what the moral of the story is because I feel that it was abruptly cut. I’m puzzled as to why Delia cried when Eddie threw the centipede. Thought-provoking indeed!

  16. Hmmm Im curious what happened to the sister after she saw the centipede. Was she bitten and she died after? If she just fell down and cried in pain, that’s just a little lesson for the girl. Stabbing the dog in the eye is sooooooo much worse. So enough with the story and moving on to the lesson, I agree with Robert that it’s a good thing this is just a story. Both characters learned a lesson. There will always be payback time.

    1. The centipede was already dead when Eddie threw it to her sister’s lap. This is one of the great stories being taught to students in Philippine Literature. Reading short stories teaches us significant lessons in life that we need to comprehend for us to have a deeper understanding of our own culture, traditions and the people that surround us.

  17. You know, after reading this story, I thought it’s a good thing this was a story. First of all, the brutality shown by the sister towards animals should have been stopped early on. It is also unlikely that the father would not know. What does a kid do when something he loves was taken from him? He would have been crying and the father would have known.

    Having said that, the story is meant to impart a lesson, and what a valuable lesson it was.

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