An Essay on Rizal's Juventud

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Homer Sajonia II
09-8833

This may seem like a blatant patronization of Rizal, but I like to say: I love this particular work of his. One can bask in the colorful language that he uses in this one. Also, this particular work presents a lot of allegories from which one can try to decipher and understand. And from these ideas we can see what Rizal is trying to say in the poem and in extention what is on his mind.

In the first stanza, the writer writes of the Philippine youth as a flower about to bloom yet still a bud. The writer exhorts the flower to "look up and shine". As one who has waited for long, the writer has determined that the flower is ready to bloom "on this day" as stated in the poem. Also the writer refers to the youth as the "fair hope of this land". While old people are more experienced, they may have manifested most of their potential and thus about to become a relic of the past. The writer exhorts the youth to fully realize their potential, "Manifesting the grace and gallantry of your [youth] line".

It is interesting that in the next stanza, the writer asks the "Spirit of grandeur" to fill them [the youth] with "noble meditation". I was half expecting Rizal to write "knowledge" instead of "meditation". Upon some thought, I saw the wisdom in these words. While we continue to shove knowledge into our brains, if we lack discernment what to do with this knowledge, it would be useless and may even be our undoing. The writer exhorts the reader to higher aspirations tempered with cautious meditation lest what we learn may be our own undoing. This in my opinion is very timely. I am about to leave the university. As I go out into the world I shall utilize my knowledge to earn a living and live life itself. However, a meditative attitude should always be present to assess our actions and what is the wisest thing to do as of the moment.

The next three stanzas reminds me of Plato's cave and the "chains that bind". In the cave, man...
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