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Dead Stars Essay Sample

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Dead Stars Essay Sample

I. Setting

The whole story seems to take place between the late 18th and early 19th century in a baryo or a rural place in the Philippines where there is a trail of the Spanish era. The use of the Spanish language, the azotea, the rocking chair and the vine-covered porches are some of the evidences of the aged ambiance of the story. And also the rich Filipino culture and customs, specifically the long engagement of Alfredo and Ezperanza, which were more dominant and exercised in the past are proof that the events in the story took place during those times. In those times, Filipinos are greatly influenced by the Spaniards that they even speak their language and follow their customs. Also, Filipino women in those times, as how Benitez exhibited them in her story, are way more modest and formal than the ones in the younger generation. And the people’s way of socialization in the story through neighboring and attending soirees is an affirmation of the traditional ways of doing so.

II. Characters
* Alfredo Salazar – Don Julian’s son, Carmen’s brother and a bachelor over thirty. He is Ezperanza’s fiancé for about four years but has feelings for another woman, Julia Salas.

* Esperanza – Fiancée of Alfredo Salazar. She is a homely woman, literal minded and intensely acquisitive. She is one of those fortunate women who have the gift of uniformly beauty.

* Julia Salas- Judge Del Valle’s sister-in-law. She is the other girl Alfredo Salazar has feelings for. She remains single in her entire life.

* Don Julian – Father of Alfredo Salazar and Carmen

* Carmen – Sister of Alfredo Salas and wife of Vicente

* Judge Del Valle – Julia Salas’ brother-in-law and Doña Adela’s husband

* Doña Adela – Julia Salas’ sister and Judge Del Valle’s wife. She is small and plump, a pretty woman with a complexion of a baby with an expression of a likeable cow.

* Calixta – The note-carrier of Alfredo Salazar and Esperanza

* Vicente – The husband of Carmen

* Brigida Samuy – She is the illusive woman whom Alfredo is looking for.

III. Plot
The plot used was the most common one, the linear plot. The story started off with the engagement of Alfredo and Ezperanza with the involvement of their families and everything else followed. The happenings in the entire story flowed the usual way, without flashbacks and detours. And it ended with Alfredo finally married to his long-time fiancée Ezperanza which left Julia Salas a spinster her entire life.

IV. Point of view
The point of view in Dead Stars is in first person since the writer, Paz Marquez-Benitez is the one telling the story.

V. Theme
The theme of Paz Marqeuz-Benitez’ “Dead Stars” is that we must weigh the consequences and the perks of a decision, of a pursuit or retreat of a dream or feeling. Like what Alfredo Salazar did. He had strong feelings for Julia Salas but he held onto his decision before Julia came into his life, which is to be engaged to Ezperanza. He fought his feelings for Julia and disregarded it though it’s too compelling just so he could man up and not break what he first signed up for because he knew very well that it would create a scandal and would disappoint a lot of people especially Ezperanza who waited for almost 4 years.

Another subtle theme I have thought of is about forbidden love and the feeling and the consequences that it brings specifically the temporary happiness and pleasure which is not genuine. Alfredo shared moments and times with Julia which put him to bliss but it only lasted for a short period of time because he had to face and stand up for his engagement to Ezperanza. Dead Stars for me represents Alfredo’s unrequited love for Julia and all the things that followed- his disappointment, his sadness. Julia was Alfredo’s star, his dream. He dreamed of having Julia as his wife but it was too late. His dream is comparable to a dead star, still existent but only to remind us that it was once there shining and giving us joy through its sparkle once but not anymore, just like what Alfredo’s desire for Julia is- still existent but can never be attained because Julia wouldn’t return the love and he is now married to Ezperanza.

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