Essays on Literature Essay
Essays on Literature
1. How does societal condition affects in the past and present literary production? Literature is a mirror by which societal condition is reflected. This means that literary reproduction is often determined by the events that affect the lives of the people or the writer himself. For instance, if we are going to trace the evolution of Philippine Literature, we will be able to conjure up the ghost of the vanished centuries long before the coming of the Spaniards. During this period, literary production attained slow growth.
We can generally infer that oral lore is the starting point of our literary heritage. Though, Alibata – the old Filipino alphabet is already known during this era, the production is very limited to writings on dried leaves, bamboo, or bark of a tree which aside from the fact that they were burned by the Spanish colonizer, they are often said to be perishable which could not last the test of time. Thus during this era, literature flourished through word of mouth.
The slow growth of literary production prevailed not until the concerned literary geniuses are born and seriously compiled them as significant and immortal heritage. These, happened along with the introduction of papers and printing press where literary production gained stature and skyrocketed to a towering height. The industrialization of the society which was brought by the colonizers became an elixir of interest in writings. New types of Literature were produced such as, but not limited to, essays which commonly appeared in periodicals, novels such as Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo and other genre.
In short, economic condition of the society affects literary production. It is evident in transformation from oral tradition, then to writings on perishable materials and eventually the introduction of ink, papers and printing press. Consequently, political conditions of the society can also be a determining factor for literary production. In the past centuries the content of the literature is influence by the church, writings were religious in tone. It shifted into nationalism and patriotism spearheaded by the propagandist.
Then, with the coming of American colonizer, the idea of liberalism and democracy were introduced In the modern era, literary production attains even more awesome height with the establishment of factories of intellect – colleges and universities, where Filipino intellectual giants are continuously produced. They are the assets of Philippine literature. Thus, writings in different fields are unabatedly flourishing to portray the society. 2. What is the literary perspective in terms of time and subject of literary work?
Literary perspectives in terms of time and subject can be further define as the focus or theme of a certain writing with respect to when the piece was written and how its time frame or the historical background affected the main concern of the literature. These are actually one of the critical approaches in the study of literature. It is a general notion that historical backgrounds of the society or the biographical background of the author influence the subject of a piece.
It is essential to investigate and critically analyze the history for it will serve as the key to understand and evaluate the piece o literature. Much in the same way is the critical analysis of the traces of the life of the author for it has a significant effect on the theme structure and presentation of his writings. To clearly illustrate this notion let us consider the poem “When I see a Barong-Barong” by Maximo Ramos (1946). “When I see a Barong-Barong neighborhood In the heart of war-torn Manila” Here the word barong-barong significantly portrays the racial background of Ramos.
It is a common symbol of a Filipino who still proudly standing after the Filipino-American War which he expressed on the second line “war-torn Manila”. It is certain that Ramos was able to portray in his poem the situation of the Filipinos during the period where they gained freedom after nearly a half thousands years of slavery under the colonizers. We can notice here how the time frame is noteworthy in each piece of literature. The subject may vary depending on the events that captured the emotion and intellect of the writer.
This view of literary perspective is commonly known as Historical-Biographical Approach. 3. What make a writer in a certain literary period produce a literary piece As clearly stated by Kahayon and Zulueta, man’s thoughts and emotions that are coached in a beautiful language is literature. In other words, literature is a means of expressing the writer’s heart and mind. His feelings, aspirations, grieve, love, sentiments and others are best highlighted through literature. For instance, literary focus shifted from a religious tone toward patriotism and nationalism.
This is known as the period of enlightenment. Distinct writers during the period like Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Emilio Jacinto, Jose Palma and others express their sentiments and aspirations for freedom through writings which eventually enrich the nationalistic behavior of our Filipino comrades who bravely fought against the 300-year-slavery under foreign conquerors. The barbaric Spanish occupation intensifies the strong will of the propagandist and revolutionaries to revolt against the dynamic force.
Rizal’s “My Last Farewell” expresses his grief for his fatherland and his willingness to drench it with his own blood – his most admirable heroic deed – to revive its people and regain the freedom. Likewise Andress Bonifacio – the father of Filipino democracy wrote “Pag-Ibig Sa Tinubuang Lupa” which expresses his greatest love for our fatherland which paved the way for revolution. In short writers are able to write literary piece in a certain period as their response to his everyday efforts to live, to be happy in his environment and ultimately after laborious or bloody struggle for freedom and the happiness to reach his Devine Creator.
Just like what Rizal said: “For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends Where faith can never kill, and God reigns o’er on high” 4. How does a literary product helps shape society? Give specific example. Literature is powerful. It has the ability to touch one’s life, transform the society from one condition to another and eventually shape the entire society. It can redefine culture and traditions and polish political situations. It can amazingly revive the forgotten centuries and immortalize people, places and events. The Filipino people, before the coming of the Spaniards were believed to be the servant of nature.
They worship trees, stones, water, sun and anitos. Their religion is animalistic in nature. However, when the Spaniards set foot on the Philippine shore, the world’s sacred writings – the Holy Bible spread in the archipelago and educate our forefathers and consequently the modern generation. It redefines our belief, behavior, culture and traditions. It becomes a tool for the enlightenment of the society and brings order in every institution. Literature has the ability to polished political situation. Harriet Beecher Stowe of the US vividly convey the sad fate of slaves in his “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which became the basis of democracy.
He emphasized that black American should have equal rights with the whites. His masterpiece severely criticized the racial discrimination which in due course led to the recognition of the rights of the black American. In the Philippines, the writings of the propagandist and revolutionaries assuage the sufferings of the Filipinos. The Noli Me Tangere exposed the evils of the Spaniard and the fake and hungry-wolves-like Spanish friars. It heightens the nationalism. Finally, literature as a great ocean of thought that is piled from the vanished centuries immortalized the characters of Plato, Aristotle, St.
Thomas Aquinas and other great Philosopher who molded the morality, virtue and ethical standard of the society. 5. How does a piece of literary product help you mold you life? Literature is an indispensable aspect of my life as a student of Teacher Education Program. This is a viable tool in facing the complexities of the challenges of Teaching. Through reading different literary works from around the world such as English and American, Afro-Asian and other famous literature I was able to indulge in the richness of our second language.
It laid the foundation of strong human being which is vital as I enter the world of Teaching. It gives me a full grasp of why Teaching is the noblest profession. I appreciate my career to a great extent which more than words can express. Reading patiently from the works of famous writers of different generations enables me to experience life vicariously, thus widening the horizon in tracing the little rills of humankind which help me in my voyage to a great ocean of thought. I admire the writings of our Filipino comrade, for they instill great values of being a Filipino – a distinct race among the rest in the world.
It might be corny to say but I am proud to express that through the writings of Rizal, Bonifacio, Santos, Palma and other Filipino writers – I am a Filipino. Most of all – what I love among the world’s masterpieces which I am struggling to understand with the guidance of the Devine Providence – The Holy Bible. This is the sacred writings which I can turn to in any moment of my life. The kind of literature that we read defines our character. They say: “Tell me who your friends and I will tell you who you are. ” I say: “Tell me what you read and I will tell you who you are. ”