“Penmanship” by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr., a story of love and change, tells about a man in his fifties who was “in love with” his antique pen and his penmanship and who exercised that love in letters to all kinds of people but soon found himself falling in love with a blind young woman and getting his heart trampled in the process. Taking place in the 20th century, the story opens with an introduction of the main character, who lives in a boarding house and works as a senior clerk at a government institute in Pasay for blind and handicapped people. The unnamed main character, whom, the story implied, had a Spanish-sounding name, owns a Parker Vacumatic fountain pen, “a brown-stripped, gold-nibbed model made in 1934”, that was a gift, an heirloom from his father upon his high school graduation and had been used both by his father and grandfather. Having only a few friends and no living relative, he keeps his pen, of which he took the utmost care, as his only companion and used this to write letters “with a vigor his recessive frame bellied”. He might have become a writer, but he never did and instead taught English in a downtown university. Twice he had fallen in love, one time with a 19 year old singer whom he, in his mid-twenties, never gone for because of his shyness, and the other time with an older and married co-teacher who did not return his affections and had complained to their superiors and gotten him kicked out of the university in the process. Moreover, he was a loner who preferred the solitude of his desk, paper, and pen instead of people as companions.
“Penmanship” tells a lot about change, about accepting it and coping with it. The main character’s Parker Vacumatic fountain pain is a representation of the main character himself and embodies his own character traits. Just like his fountain pen, the penman, besides being just plain old, is somewhat narrow-minded and old-fashioned, which can be shown in his preferring to use an antique pen... [continues]
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"Penmanship." StudyMode.com. 10, 2010. Accessed 10, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Penmanship-430319.html.