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DEAD STARS

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Abegail Malubag

on 4 October 2013

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Transcript of DEAD STARS

DEAD STARS by Paz Marquez Benitez
Summary
Dead Star is a love story about a man named Alfredo Salazar,who has his fiance in the person of Esperanza and they have been engaged for quite some time. Society views them as an ideal couple. Their wedding is about to take place in the near future. Prior to the wedding however, he sees another girl, when he goes with his father to a judge's house. He tries to seek love in her, but she kind of declines. in that way, Alfredo became a little bit confused in his upcoming wedding where he is about to chose between two options; to do what he should do by marrying Esperanza as prescribed by his parents or to do what he wants to do by having Julia Salas
Analysis
Short Biography
Birthplace: Lucena, Quezon

Birthday: March 3, 1894

Death day: 1983 at the age of 89 years old

Education: University of the Philippines

Occupaton: Filipina Writer

Husband: Francisco Benitez

Other written works: A Night In The Hills
Born in 1894 in Lucena City, Quezon, Marquez - Benítez authored the first Filipino modern English-language short story, Dead Stars, published in the Philippine Herald in 1925. Born into the prominent Marquez family of Quezon province, she was among the first generation of Filipinos trained in the American education system which used English as the medium of instruction. She graduated high school in Tayabas High School (now, Quezon National High School) and college from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912. She was a member of the first freshman class of the University of the Philippines, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912.

Two years after graduation, she married UP College of Education Dean Francisco Benítez, with whom she had four children.
Márquez-Benítez later became a teacher at the University of the Philippines, who taught short-story writing and had become an influential figure to many Filipino writers in the English language, such as Loreto Paras-Sulit, Paz M. Latorena, Arturo Belleza Rotor, Bienvenido N. Santos and Francisco Arcellana. The annually held Paz Marquez-Benitez Lectures in the Philippines honors her memory by focusing on the contribution of Filipino women writers to Philippine Literature in the English language.

Though she only had one more published short story after “Dead Stars” entitled "A Night In The Hills", she made her mark in Philippine literature because her work is considered the first modern Philippine short story.
For Marquez-Benitez, writing was a lifelong occupation. In 1919 she founded "Woman's Home Journal", the first women's magazine in the country. Also in the same year, she and other six women who were prominent members of Manila's social elites, namely Clara Aragon, Concepcion Aragon, Francisca Tirona Benitez, Carolina Ocampo Palma, Mercedes Rivera, and Socorro Marquez Zaballero, founded the Philippine Women's College (now Philippine Women's University). "Filipino Love Stories", reportedly the first anthology of Philippine stories in English by Filipinos, was compiled in 1928 by Marquez-Benitez from the works of her students.

When her husband died in 1951, she took over as editor of the Philippine Journal of Education at UP. She held the editorial post for over two decades.

In 1995, her daughter, Virginia Benitez-Licuanan wrote her biography, "Paz Marquez-Benitez: One Woman's Life, Letters, and Writings."
Literary Works
A Night in the Hill
A Night in the Hills is a very moving story about the life of Gerado Luna, a salesmen in a jewelery store in the Intramuros area of Manila. It is also in a form of allegory in which the forest is defined by Gerardo as heaven, where he can find things he missed and so he wished to have.
The story is about a bachelor and his fiancee who's passion he has lost sight in, and another woman who he is attracted to.
Dead Stars
Setting
TIME: Lenten Season (they are celebrating the Holy Week since there is a procession made for ‘Our Lady of Sorrow’)

PLACE: Sta. Cruz particularly in Calle Luz, hometown of Julia Salas, Calle Real, Church of Our Lady of Sorrow, house of Don Julian and Judge Del Valle

Theme
How one can conquer his self by understanding, understanding that sometimes illusions can be very influential in our lives. And it is up to us, without the interference of society, to choose between two good choices, letting our own hands mold our own destiny
Conflict
The conflict is external because it shows man vs. circumference. Alfredo struggles to face his problems in choosing between difficult choices of his life (his engagement with Esperanza and his love for Julia Salas). The conflict was resolved by Alfredo’s decision to finally marry Esperanza and let go of Julia Salas.
Symbolism
A star symbolizes a person’s dream. It is what he/she yearns for. When we look up into the night sky, we see bright stars that we can’t seem to take our eyes off them. But if a star is dead, It begins to dim and slowly self-destruct, making it loose its glamour, the reason why we were attracted to it in the first place.
Interpretation
The story was entitle "Dead Stars" to symbolize the love Alfredo had for Julia. At night, we see the light of numerous stars but what we don't know is that some of the stars are already dead. When stars are die, their glow diminishes then eventually vanishes. But for us on earth, it would take a long time for that to happen (consider the light-years it take for the light of stars to reach our planet). In the context of the story, Julia was Alfredo first love, thus young love. All along, Alfredo thought that he loves Julia but at the moment when Alfredo stares at Julia and touches her hand (last paragraphs), he realizes that the feeling has gone. Yes, he fell in love with Julia but his love wasn't something really serious and as I've said earlier, it was young love. It took him a long time to realize that he had no more feelings for Julia
Tall and elegantly attired in full terno, she was a familiar figure on the campus of the pre-war University of the Philippines. She was Paz Marquez Benitez, beloved mentor to the first generation of Filipino writers in English. Inspiring many students who later became literary luminaries, she had an enduring influence on the emergence and development of Philippine literature in English.
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