Essays on Literature

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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...
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