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The problem and its background Essay

The youth, which by legal definition includes those who are 15 to 30 years old, comprises almost one-third of the country’s population (NYC, 1998). As such, the Filipino youth increasingly play an important and vital role in the development of the Philippine society. Their attitudes, values, mind-set, and priorities will determine the progress of the country in the future.

Nowadays, the Filipino youth are experiencing a serious decline of discipline and morale. They have become disrespectful to their parents, teachers, elders, authorities, and the law. The lack of discipline among them is evident in the advent of crimes involving minors. This includes the high incidences of their involvement in illegal activities such as use of prohibited drugs, theft, petty crimes, and illicit sex.

However, these are just some of the disturbing facts about Filipino youth. The youth of today are susceptible hostages and targets of the fast changing world, of virtual reality, of the decadence of morality, and of the onset of spiritual decay. As technological advancements mushroom and sky-rocket, the Filipino youth is exposed to greater challenges most of which uproot the solid foundation of values and virtues (Subong, 2008). According to the Filipino youth study survey conducted by the Global Filipino Foundation in 2001, media and technology are the other big things in their life. They are usually more interested to play video games rather than to study when they have free time.

This is the reason why it is strongly agreed that games are affecting youth today as it will cause addiction and waste of time, money, and energy. Such things only show that they tend to misuse technologies. The understanding about youth have come a long way when Margaret Mead pioneered the earliest influential study of youth that examined what “coming of age” meant for Samoan girls (Mead, 1928). She believes that human life is given meaning through the relationship which the individual’s conscious goals have to the civilization, period, and country within which one lives. At times, the task may be to fence a wilderness, to bridge a river, or rear sons to perpetuate a young colony (2009).

Like Mead, other anthropologists also conceptualized youth as a liminal transitional life stage – that is no longer a child, but not yet an adult – and thus focused on the process of socialization (Evans-Pritchard, 1969; Malinowski, 1929; Turner, 1995). In the beginning of 1930s’s, sociologists were also interested in youth but mainly in how they deviated from societal norms (Becker, 1997; Cohen, 1955). While these early studies brought attention to youth as social actors, they were viewed as social actors situated in relation to dominant values and practices.

This created a blind spot that hindered us from seeing how youth are creative cultural masters of their own – a blind spot that was addressed in the 1970s and 1980s, most centrally in the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (or referred to as the “Birmingham School”) (Hall & Jefferson, 1990; Mungham & Pearson, 1976; Willis, 1981). In an attempt to elbow the societal values, youth in the form of rebellion, act and dress and form groups in protest. These dissident acts against the structure of existing society promotes the beginning of new small groups that reflect their own rules, structures, class gender, and ethnic ideologies. The continuous lost of the Filipino core values are brought by the clash between technology and globalization. As a result, the very foundation of our society is deliberately deteriorated as time goes by.

The youth concerns are very contemporary subject matters in the Philippine literature particularly in fiction. Literature, in its truest form becomes the interpretation and expression of the life of society, the record of significant human experiences, and the eyes of past. Pensive readers can always see reality in whatever is written since a literary work speaks for its time. This study is an attempt to depict the image of the Filipino youth reflected by the juvenile characters in selected short stories in English written by selected Filipino writers.

Background of the Study
“The rise of English to prominence, with its attendant factors, sharpened the fragmentation of the audience, relegated vernacular fiction to the lower rungs of the cultural ladder, hampered the growth of the vernaculars in artistry, and alienated to a significant extent English writers from the
popular culture.” -Mojares

The Filipino short story in English has had -by now- a long, eventful and glorious history. This victory is kindled by the strong influence of Americans during the post-war era. We have achieved, in this medium, a degree of performance and sophistication that can really be proud of, wherever our aesthetic, philosophical, or ideological preferences may incline. For a long period of time, it has actually exhibited a renewed and seemingly imperishable vitality, which was proven by our well-known Filipino writers of their times.

In 1965, the Ateneo-based Philippine Studies came out with a special issue devoted to new writing in English- a consensus that the Filipino short story in English is the most impressive in achievement as well as the prominence of prestigious writers such as Jose Garcia Villa, Nick Joaquin and Manuel Arguillia, who are included in this study. In fact, Leopoldo Yabes, who is a critic and a scholar, stated that “these writers are unashamedly Filipinos.” The western sphere of influence is undeniably true. A lot of Filipino short stories may be written in this foreign language, eventually became our second language − but then again, the Filipino culture will always be taken into account.

This is just a matter of widening the horizons of Filipino experiences. Short stories, being one of the most prominent forms of the Philippine literature have been the medium of giving way to stories about human hardships, problems of society and other important aspects of the Philippine culture. Thus, different issues about important aspects of our culture such as political condition, feminism, gender roles and the like, have been taken up into studies as reflected by literature. However, one important aspect of our culture which is the youth empowerment has not always been recognized. Consequently, their ideological dimension is often glossed over, ignored or reduce to insignificance.

Youth as part of a story who may be either minor or major characters have surely had their important role. Hence, this important role may lead to youth empowerment which is often addressed as a gateway to intergenerational equity, civic engagement and democracy building. Each and every character in a story (pets, garbages or even the smallest one) will not be included if it has not something significance to be given emphasis and importance.

Theoretical Framework
Like any other discourse, literature as a language can be theorized. Hence, this study anchored on the following theories about literature and social reality: Post-colonialism In its use as a critical approach, it refers to “a collection of theoretical and critical strategies used to examine the culture of former colonies.” Among the many challenges facing postcolonial writers are attempt to both resurrect their culture and to combat pre-conceptions about their culture. Edward Said for example, uses the word “orientalism” to describe the discourse about the East constructed by the West, which then pioneered the existence of Philippine Literature in English. Marxist Theory

Marxist literary criticism’s concern is that economic forces, controlled by the dominant class, shape the literature of a society. This theory posits that the text reveals oppression and class conflict and promotes socialism.

This approach declares that it is not with what the text says but what it hides. As Terry Eagleton, a leading Marxist critic, writes, the task of Marxist literary criticism “is to show the text as it cannot know itself, to manifest those conditions of its making (inscribed in its very letter) about which is necessarily silent.”

This can also be viewed as a type of cultural criticism which seeks to analyze a discourse (of power) that makes up one of the discourses that determine a text’s historical meaning. Sociological Criticism

Works of art and literature is a manifestation of society. It speaks for the social conditions of the existing society at the time of its creation. According to Kenneth Barke, works of literature, “are strategic naming of situations” that allow the readers to better understand, and “gain a sort of control” over societal happenings.

This complicates the basic trend of new criticism which simply calls for a close textual reading without considering affective response or the author’s
intentions. While Burk also avoids affective response and authorial intention, he specifically considers pieces of literature as systematic reflections of society and “societal behavior” within a specific social context. Anomie Theory or Structural Stress Theory

The social structure plays a significant influence in the sense that it prompts people to engage in deviant behavior. Durkheim introduced the concept of “anomie” as a condition within society in which individuals find that the prevailing social norms are ill-defined, weak, or conflicting. Psychological Theory

Deviant behavior is brought about by deviant impulses toward sexuality and aggression. Failure to structure one’s behavior in an acceptable way, way, worries, tensions, frustrations, traumatic experiences, exposure to models of violent behavior; reinforcement for aggressive acts; and early commission of deviant acts are psychological causes that precipitate deviant behavior. Psychological Approach

Psychological critics view works through the lens of psychology. They look either at the psychological motivations of the characters or of the authors themselves.
Freudian Approach includes pinpointing the influences of a character’s ID (the instinctual pleasure seeking part of the mind), SUPEREGO (the part of the mind that controls but does not repress the id’s impulses) and the EGO (the part of the mind that controls but not repress the id’s impulses, releasing them in a healthy way). Freudian critics like to point out the implications of symbols and imagery of the character’s behavior motivated by the psychological implies.

John Lye’s theory of representation or refection of reality, states that literature is “mimetic”. It represents reality, nature, or the way things are.
To Roger Fowler, language has the power to construct the meanings and the themes of the text in its social and cultural contexts.
To Ferdinand de Saussure, “language is a social fact.” It expresses the
discriminations which culture makes. It does not provide the words for already existing concepts; it crystallizes and stabilizes them.

Conceptual Framework

Selected Short Stories Characters Plot

Character Analysis and Interpretation

The Image of the Filipino Youth as Portrayed by the Juvenile Characters in Selected Short Stories in English


Figure 1. Conceptual Paradigm
The input part presents the variables that the researchers used to find out the image of the Filipino youth as portrayed by the juvenile characters in selected short stories in English written by selected Filipino writers. It includes the selected short stories, characters, and plot.

The process part shows the methodology or approach used. It contains the character analysis and interpretation of the selected short stories.
The output part indicates the expected outcome, which is the reflected image of the Filipino youth as portrayed by the juvenile characters in the short stories analyzed. Statement of the Problem
The purpose of this study is to reveal the image of the Filipino youth as portrayed by juvenile characters in selected short stories (19-20) in English of selected Filipino writers. Specifically, the study attempts to
answer the following questions: 1. What roles do these juvenile characters play in the short stories? 2. What is the significance of their role in the story?

3. What roles do these juvenile characters play in the Philippine society? 4. What are the youth concerns and issues brought out in the selected short stories?

1. The Filipino youth has both positive and negative characteristics. 2. The Filipino youth is a product of time.
3. The characteristics of the Filipino youth are greatly influenced by the social, economic, and political conditions of a country at a certain period of time. 4. The Filipino youth in nature upholds unique core values that shape our society. 5. The Filipino youth is a very important catalyst of change.

Scope and Limitations
The study attempts to identify the image of the Filipino youth as reflected by the juvenile characters in selected short stories in English by selected Filipino writers. The researchers chose to analyze short stories to depict the image of the Filipino youth. A close analysis of the different juvenile characters in the short stories under consideration surely reflected the image as well as the reality of the Filipino youth.

The following short stories mostly chosen from The Likhaan Anthology of Philippine Literature in English from 1900 to the Present by Gemino H. Abad were used in the study: 1. Footnote to Youth – Jose Garcia Villa

2. Pages – Said Sadain, Jr.
3. How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife – Manuel E. Arguilla 4. May Day Eve – Nick Joaquin
5. Bread of Salt – N.V.M Gonzales
6. A Wilderness of Sweets – Gilda Cordero-Fernando

Significance of the Study
This study was anticipated to contribute additional information to serve the following individuals and organization. College of Languages and Linguistics. This study will be beneficial as it captures the factors that affect the Filipino youth’s deviant learning and studying behavior. Hence, this will make an impression on the quality of the standards implemented as compared with other educational institutions. Administrators of the College/Department. This study will serve as a tool for evaluation of the standards they implemented administering the AB English program.

This will enable them to stress out the strengths and weaknesses of the said standards, the findings will make them aware of whatever problems, possible solutions, and recommendations to further enhance the factors that contribute to achieving quality education standards. CLL Faculty. This will enlighten their awareness on how to handle their students, majority is youth; will also enable them to give a satisfactory teaching ambiance. Furthermore, this will also serve as an evaluating instrument to promote teacher-student rapport and professional growth of an individual. Government.

This will help our government officials to further understand and to better serve the youth. Moreover, this will enable them to draft and implement appropriate programs which will help to preserve and uphold the Filipino core values of respect, integrity, and nationalism; and to promote youth as the ambassadors of change. Youth/Students. This will help students and out of school youth to understand the status quo and to further respond to their role in the society. Parents. This will be able to contribute to parents/guardians’ awareness and knowledge on how to raise and deal with their children.

This will also help them to acknowledge the role that they portray in molding the youth. Researchers. This study served in the great part for the completion of the researchers’ course requirement. This has given them a lot of challenge in meeting new faces and acquaintances and being aware of what’s happening in the environment regarding their study. This developed their self-esteem and leadership in interacting with others; it increased their vocabulary and kept their determination to finish what they have already started. This also led them to discover new knowledge and broaden their horizon. Other researchers. This study will also be an effective tool reference for the researchers who would intend to make any further relevant study particularly the standards under lying the AB English program.

Definition of Terms
For purposes of clarity in the meanings of terms used, the following definitions are presented: Character/s – In the study, it refers to the juvenile characters represented in the short story. Marxist criticism – It is the study of literature in the light of Karl Marx’s view that economic forces, controlled by the dominant class, shape the literature of a society. This theory posits that the text reveals oppression and class conflict and promotes socialism. Settings – it is the locale or period in which the action of the short story takes place. Short Story – It is fictionally narrative, usually in prose, rarely longer than thirty (30) pages and often much briefer, having few characters and aiming at unity of effect. Theme – It tells what the work is about: an underlying idea of a work; a conception of human experience suggested by concrete details.

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