What is the resolution of the story "Scent of Apples" by Bienvenidos Santos?

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andrewnightingale eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The resolution, known also as the denouement, is seen as the conclusion of a story's plot. The resolution indicates that all issues in the plot have been resolved and is also where the reader is left with the feeling that there are no loose ends and that all the questions have been answered. A complete ending means that the story has a strong resolution. 

In this story there was more than one issue which needed resolution. The first occurred when the speaker was asked a question about Filipino women back in the home country. The question was directed at him by another expat Filipino, Celestino Fabia, during a speaking engagement. The speaker did not want to, as he says:

...tell a lie yet I did not want to say anything that would seem platitudinous, insincere. But more important than these considerations, it seemed to me that moment as I looked towards my countryman, I must give him an answer that would not make him so unhappy. Surely, all these years, he must have held on to certain ideals, certain beliefs, even illusions peculiar to the exile.

This request by Celestino obviously created some tension and can be seen as somewhat climactic. The speaker had to find a way to resolve the issue and decided to say that Filipino women had definitely changed but only outwardly. He told the audience that they had retained all the old values of being "God-fearing, faithful, modest and nice." His reply pleased Celestino and the tension decreased. The issue about his reply had been resolved and the speaker says that:

After this, everything that was said and done in that hall that night seemed like an anti-climax,... 

Another matter which had to be resolved was the speaker's uncertainty about whether Celestino wanted him to go to his (Celestino's) home town and probably make contact with his family and acquaintances when he went back home. He probably felt that he owed Celestino a favour for his kindness and generosity for having invited him to his home. When he told him about it, Celestino responded:

"No," he said softly, sounding very much defeated but brave, "Thanks a lot. But, you see, nobody would remember me now." 

We know that this is the final resolution in the story because Celestino then drove off and the speaker hurried inside thinking about the train he had to take the next morning. The story ends without any unresolved issues or loose ends.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The conflict in the story "Scent of Apples" is that the author feels a great sense of nostalgia for his native country, the Philippines. When he is giving a talk in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Santos meets a Filipino farmer named Celestino Fabia. When Fabia and the author are speaking, Fabia begins to think of home. The author observes many parts of Fabia's life in America, including his life on a farm with his pleasant wife, Ruth, and his son, Roger. In the end, Santos seems to wonder if Fabia also misses home and if homesickness is a conflict for him. When Santos bids farewell to Fabia, the author offers to visit Fabia's hometown in the Philippines and pass along greetings from Fabia. Fabia says he does not know anyone in his hometown anymore. This resolves the conflict, as it's clear Fabia's life is in the United States now, even if he at times feels nostalgic for the country of his birth.

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