Narsing and Puring, a newlywed couple, come home to the village of Mulawin to live in the ancestral house of Narsing's father, Gusting, a land owner. Puring, his city-bred wife, resembles Narsing's dead mother who had committed suicide after having been publicly shamed and punished by her husband for her romantic liaison. Doray, Narsing's, sister, has also been a victim of her father's authoritarian rule as she has been forced to marry a man not of her choice.
Puring, feeling rejected by the townfolk, seeks companionship with a deaf-mute who, like her, has remained an outsider. She begins to develop a tender, emotional relationship with him. Narsing, who works in the Kapitolyo, asks his father for his share of the inheritance. But the father prevails upon him to stay. The couple make plans to go back to the city.
One night, Puring, having overstayed in the deaf-mute's hut, is hunted and dragged home by his father-in-law who 'present her to her husband for punish-ment. Narsing, however, reacts to the father's brutality, especially after his wife informs him of the old man's attempt to make advances on her. In the ensuing fight, the son slays his own father. In prison, Narsing commits suicide. Meanwhile, Puring buries alive her infant son believing it to be the devil's off-spring. At the end, Puring goes back to the city while Doray seeks out her old sweetheart, with whom she later bears a daughter who acts as the writer-narrator of the story and who pieces together the episodes of the life of her forebears.