Friday, October 16, 2009
The game of love in which the three characters of the Paz Marquez-Benitez' story "Dead Stars" figured in did not make any one win. Alfredo was a loser because he could not choose to marry Julia, the person he loved more than Esperanza. He had to follow what the society expected of him: to be a man and marry the woman he was engaged to. Julia was also a loser because she was not chosen by Alfredo although she was more loved by Alfredo than Esperanza was. Esperanza was the last loser because she was married only out of convenience. She was not married by Alfredo out of love. No one among the three win the game of love because they were all victims of a love in a wrong place and time.
This story was written during the American period, a time when Filipinos are struggling to create their own identity. As such, the setting appears as if entirely devoid of anything American (except of course the language). The setting, therefore, was Filipino. The space setting is in the Philippines, the time setting was the 1920's, a period of relative tranquility because it was in the middle of American Occupation. The best visualization of this is perhaps Alfredo's world, because this world seemed to give him everything--social respect, material wealth, among other things--except the one thing that will give him fulfillment: marrying the one he really loved, Julia.