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LIT 13 Penmanship

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Elizabeth Leilani Candano

on 14 February 2011

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Transcript of LIT 13 Penmanship

PENMANSHIP By: Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. PLOT “Penmanship” is 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. THEME CHANGE how people accept and cope with it POINT OF VIEW Characters THIRD person limited omniscient was used throughout the story. Limited to the main character "the penman" The pronouns used were all 'he' EXCEPT for the conversations. IRONY SYMBOLISM Penman "the main character" He is narrow-minded and old-fashioned, which can be shown in his preferring to use an antique pen instead of a typewriter or even a ballpoint pen to write letters. Just like his fountain pen, he is a contradiction to and lives a different world from the one around him. His is bias among women. Change, however, still manages to enter his life in the form of Nora. Butch Dalisay to readers of his "Penman" column in the Philippine STAR He lives in a boarding house and works as a senior clerk at a government institute in Pasay for blind and handicapped people. He 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. Born in Romblon, Philippines in 1954 He has won numerous awards and prizes for fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction and screenplay, including 16 Palanca Awards. According to the book cover of “Penmanship and other stories” Dalisay was described as “the most prolific Filipino writer of his generation” same as the narrator who loves to write a lot. It can be found there too that Dalisay is currently teaching “English and Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines, where he also serves as Associate for Fiction of the UP Creative Writing Center, like the penman who was once a teacher. There was also the mention of an old fountain pen, clerk, coffee, and cigarettes that can be verified to have an association with Dalisay in his book compilation of essays, “The Best of Barfly”. He was an enthusiastic collector of fountain pens that he uses and describes very much the same way as his protagonist in “Penmanship” does. The caffeine drank during coffee breaks is the author’s way as well of getting a recess from the land of imagination and be snapped back to reality. Like Nora, he had his cigarettes and is now already a reformed smoker who treats the occasional cravings as mere nightmares . The story “Penmanship” is a mirror of Jose Dalisay Jr. It may not be a complete reflection but at least it has tracks we can glimpse about himself thereby giving the story a bit more “personal touch” . SOURCES:
Dalisay Jr., Jose Y. Penmanship and Other Stories. Mandaluyong Metro Manila: Cacho Publishing House, c1995

The Best of Barfly. Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, c1997
He is in love with his pen and his penmanship and the art of writing. It is through entering the enchanting world of pen and paper that he is able to face the complexities of reality like fiery emotions (love) with strength and confidence. He could feel "a twinge of sorrow" every time he mails a letter because he had voluntarily given away a part of himself. Nora She is a FOIL of the Penman Besides being “young” in contrast to his being “old”, is blind, and is therefore, a whole different world from his own one of being able to see and appreciate the beauty of one’s handwriting. Also, Nora has learned to accept a major change in her life-becoming blind after a fatal accident. Nora is strong, even though the fact that she is blind, she can work like the normal person and she wants to be treated as normal worker by doing her work efficiently. The Penman Norah The Line “Never felt heavier in his hand, but he could not even tell if he could call her ‘dear’.” The penman’s love for the story “Araby” “He tried to impress upon them the nuances of Joyce’s play with light and shadow.” Main character’s Parker Vacumatic fountain pen Symbol of the main character's unwillingness to accept change Nora Symbol of change Nora's cigarettes Symbol of the present stealing from the future It made the old man kind of jealous (because the old man has special feeling towards Nora and Nora wrote a personal letter to another guy which gave the old man bitter feeling. “Nora’s” letter to Mark Symbol of Nora's independence.She demonstrates that she is no longer to be pitied, that she is better off than he. Confident that the ruse will work, she says, "I know he'll think it was mine." The derailed lives of the penman and Nora are once again set in motion, synthesis achieved. Nora sending money to Mark THE END
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