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Lesson 4: Short Story, Analysis

This lesson recognizes the use of fiction and of fictional techniques in appreciating regional literature.

1. Appreciate the contributions of the canonical Filipino writers to the development of national
2. Relate how plot and plot devices help create the reading experience in works of fiction.
3. Differentiate/compare and contrast the various 21st Century literary genres and the ones from earlier
genres/periods citing their elements, structures and traditions.
4. Respond critically to the story and articulate this response through a written blog, an audio-visual
presentation or a voice recording.

Read the short stories: VOICE TAPE by Ariel S. Tabag (Cagayan)
DEAD STARS by Paz Marquez-Benitez (Quezon Province)

1. Write the meaning of plot, exposition, complication, rising action, climax and denoument and fill
in the chart for each story.
Dead Stars Voice Tape
by Paz Marquez-Benitez by Ariel S. Tabag

Characters (classify) ● Alfredo Salazar - son of Don

Julian, more than 30 years old ● Dante – speaker of the story;
bachelor. He is engaged to Ato’s nephew
Esperanza but him still fleeting ● Angkel Ato (Renato) – Dante’s
to Julia Salas uncle who died from being hit
by a bus; owner of the voice
● Esperanza - wife of Alfredo ● Magdalena – Ato’s wife; was
Salazar. A homely woman, working abroad
literal minded and intensely ● Nanang – Dante’s mother
acquisitive. She is one of the ● Boying – Dante’s friend from
fortunate women who have the school
gift of uniform beauty. ● Uncle Mulong – third sibling
● Julia Salas - sister-in-law of
of Nanang
Judge Del Valle. She is the
other girl of Alfredo Salazar
that remains single in her ● Uncle Seferino – second
entire life. sibling of Nanang; was
● Don Julian - an old man, father abducted by the NPA
of Carmen and Alfredo ● Lilong Martin – the man who
Salazar. performs circumcisions
● Carmen - sister of Alfredo ● The Bald Man – the guy who
Salazar beat up Mulong
● Judge Del Valle - brother-in-
law of Julia Salas
● Donna Adella - sister of Julia
● Calixta - note-carrier of
Alfredo Salazar and Esperanza
● Dionisio - husband of Donna
● Vicente - husband of Carmand
● Brigida Samuy - She is the
illusive woman whose Alfredo
is looking for

Setting (time & place) ● Don Julian’s House Santa Teresita, Cagayan in the
● Judge Del Valle’s 1990s
● House Don Julian’s House in
Tanda where there are coconut
and a beach
● Calle Real
● Sta. Cruz
● Took place during lenten
Plot a. Exposition: Carmen asked Don
a. Exposition Julian about Alfredo and a. Exposition: Dante visited
b. Rising Action Esperanza at Don Julian 's his hometown in Cagayan.
c. Climax home. Alfredo is reminiscent of There, he looked for school
d. Falling Action how he met Julia Salas. awards and certificates in Math
e. Denouement b. Rising Action: He had gone to to help with his job promotion
Judge Del Valle 's house next as a teacher.
door to Don Julian. He met
Julia Salas. He's been calling b. Rising Action: While
her Mrs. Del Valle all the time, looking for the awards, Dante
which has taken him to and Nanang came across a voice
humiliation. Coming to the tape owned by his Angkel Ato.
house of the judge has been The voice tape then triggered
frequent. Then, amid his
memories of his uncle.
involvement with Esperanza,
he discovered that he was in c. Climax: It was revealed that
love with Julia.
Angkel Ato died after being hit
c. Climax: After the procession
by a bus near Dante’s school.
for The Lady of Sorrows,
Alfredo had caught up with
d. Falling Action: It was
Julia. It was when Julia found
unveiled that Angkel Ato
out about the wedding of
intentionally jumped in front of
Alfredo, so he congratulated
him. Alfredo is stuck in a very the incoming bus.
tough situation and thinks about
it. e. Denouement: When his
d. Falling Action: Julia didn’t mother let him hear the voice
want Alfredo not to honor his tape, Dante realized that his
understanding with Esperanza. uncle jumped in front of a bus
She said goodbye. He went because his wife who was
home to Esperanza. And there, working abroad was being
the last word has been said. maltreated, and he could not do
e. Denouement: Alfredo and anything about it.
Esperanza were married. After
eight years, he looked for a lady
named Brigid Samuy-a lady
essential to his safety in court-
in Sta. Cruz, the hometown of
Julia. He went to the house of
Julia, and he met her there.
She's still unmarried. And he
knew that his love of Julia was
like a Dead Star. It was non-
Conflict Man vs. Circumstances, Man vs. The death of Uncle Ato and the message
Society, Man vs. Himself. inside the voice tape under uncle’s
pillow run rampant in the story. They
In the story, Alfredo was struggling in
thought that Uncle’s death was just an
facing the problems in his life. He had a
accident but it was not. Uncle Ato’s
hard time choosing between the
death has something to do with the
difficult choices given to him. message in the voice tape. When they
heard the message, they knew that Uncle
Ato did suicide because he can’t do
anything while his wife was being
maltreated by her boss abroad.

Point-of-View & The short story "Dead Stars" by Paz The short story “ Voice Tape” by Ariel
Theme Márquez Benitez is in third person S. Tabag conveys People’s life
point-of-view and conveys the theme of experiences and emotions is seen in the
forbidden love. It says that forbidden story. Uncle Ato suffered in deep
love is only evident, and its banes sadness after hearing the voice tape’s
torment the individual until he message that his wife was being
recognizes his flaws. The overarching aggrieved by his boss in Abu Dhabi. In
theme is responsibility, as the story of the story, it is seen that Pilipino’s
Alfredo 's marriage to Esperanza, and believe in superstitions though it was
people want him to marry her. uncertain. They don’t even know if it
was true but they said that there’s
nothing to happen if they follow. The
point of view used was first person- One
character in the story is narrating the
whole story with the use of pronouns; I,
me, mine, myself, we, ours, and

Symbols & meanings In the story, dead stars symbolize the In the short story, Voice tape Served as
dream of something that doesn't happen. an instrument to know the real reason
The guy loved the girl, Julia. It was his why Uncle Ato died. Dante and his
dream, his star. He felt that there was mother Nanang go back to their old
love there. But like a dead star that's too house to get his certificates for being
far out, and whose glow may simply be best in Math. Dante’s friend told him
the residue of light traveling from it, he that his uncle intentionally jumped
was far away from having the lady, and within the running bus. He thought
the love he felt was possible was never about the reason why his uncle would do
there. that. They saw a voice tape owned by his
Uncle Ato And he remembered
everything about his uncle. Since Dante
reached his right age, his mother let him
hear what’s in the voice tape. He had
knew that his uncle did suicide because
his wife was maltreated abroad and he
didn’t have anything to do about it.
Uncle Ato died after being hit by a bus
near Dante’s school.

Traditions in quotes & “Love—he seemed to have missed it. Or One culture that can be reflected from
meanings was the love that others told about a the story is the practice of wakes which
mere fabrication of perfervid are done by Filipinos. The corpse is put
imagination, an exaggeration of the inside a coffin where it will be displayed
commonplace, a glorification of insipid usually for three to seven days. Filipinos
monotonies such as made up of his love mourn for their loved ones and honor
life? Was love a combination of those who die for they believe that
circumstances, or sheer native capacity afterlife exists. Most Filipinos believe in
of soul? In those days love was, for him, superstitions especially during funerals.
still the eternal puzzle; for love, as he As stated by Dante, old women
knew it, was a stranger to love as he prohibited sweeping during funerals for
divined it might be.” anyone who disobeys would have a lot
of lice. Another superstition is that they
should cut the chicken’s head to avoid
deaths from their family. They also
practice moving the coffin with the feet
of the person at the front. These are just
some of many more superstitions about

2. Make a character sketch of any of the following:

f. Julia Salas e. Alfredo Salazar
3. Identify the prediction that they made in the story that eventually did not happen or that
In the short story, Dead Stars, the author seemed to play with the flow of the story - as the words
and happenings all favored the growing tension between Alfredo and Julia, it did, however, end up not as
predicted. The two might be fond of each other to a certain extent, nonetheless, the fate did not prolong the
impassioned “love” present, if not both, in either of them.
On the other hand, the author of the short story “Voice Tape” has provided an unexpected revelation
in regards to Angkel Ato’s death. Although the relatives thought it was by accident that Angkel Ato had
died, the voice tape that was hidden in Angkel Ato’s pillow, which was then perceived by Dante, contained
a message that had lead them about his suicide - he was helpless in the plight of his wife.

4. Write the instances when the author built up tension in the story.

In the voice tape, the author built up the tension when the death of Uncle Ato and the message
inside the voice tape under uncle’s pillow run rampant in the story. They thought that Uncle’s death was
just an accident but it was not. Uncle Ato’s death has something to do with the message in the voice tape.
When they heard the message, they knew that Uncle Ato did suicide because he can’t do anything while
his wife was being maltreated by her boss abroad.
However for the dead stars, the writer built up the tension when Alfredo struggles against his fate
and the circumstances of life and love facing him. In the story he needs to face problems in choosing
between difficult choices of his life. Everyone takes it for granted that Alfredo will eventually marry
Esperanza. But although he is ashamed to admit it, the intensity of his passion for Esperanza has faded and
he is attracted to Julia, whom he meets at a dinner party. But he is aware that all his loved ones including
Julia would disapprove of his failure to honor his understanding with Esperanza. So he and Esperanza get
married and have a family. Then after Alfredo and Esperanza got married. After eight years, he was
searching for a lady named BrigidaSamuy-a lady important for his defense in the court-in Sta. Cruz, Julia’s
hometown. He went to Julia’s house and he found her there. Still unmarried. And he realized that his love
for Julia was like a Dead Star. It was non-existent.
5. Respond critically to the story and articulate this response either through a written blog, an
audio-visual presentation or a voice recording.

Written blog:
Dead Stars is a short story written by Paz Marquez Benitez in 1925. Basically, the story is a
collection of the difficult conditions that every human has to go through in life. Both doing what is right
and what is in his heart, Alfredo was torn. Alfredo Salazar is a prosecutor and the story's main character.
He is the joy of Esperanza’s life. They were together for four years, and they were scheduled to get
married in May. Their partnership at the beginning was full of enthusiasm, full of affection and pleasure,
but their emotions for each other change as time progresses, like other long-term marriages. While as time
goes by, there are shifts in emotions, she still loves Alfredo so much and trusts him with all her heart.
Alfredo dreamed about finding his true interests after their four years of marriage. As Alfredo tried to do
some neighbourhood work with his dad, Don Julian, he met Julia Salas, the sister-in - law of their
neighbour. She was only a tourist to the area and had only been there for six weeks. They found good
company within themselves and, as they knew it, after every Sunday's mass, it became a weekly routine
for Alfredo to visit her. As their new relationship grew, Alfredo found new happiness and started falling
for her.
A day, Alfredo’s family welcomed Julia’s family to their beach-side coconut plantation. It's an
opportunity for them to spend some quality time together, but now is the time to say farewell, too. Julia
plans to abandon the town and return home. This hurts Alfredo’s heart and leaves him more confused than
ever. He's worried about preferring Julia over his fiancée, Esperanza, but what people are going to suggest
is what he feels is most important. After Julia left the area, he married Esperanza, was not sad and
realized that all has fallen back into place. Alfredo also can't get over Julia's memories after eight years of
marriage. His idea of Julia is hunting him, and the question of what-ifs. Alfredo heads to the town where
Julia was staying on a business trip. Alfredo comes into Julia when he is there. He never lost his feelings
for her, but he came to embrace his marriage to Esperanza over time. Alfredo learns that the love that he
had for Julia is gone. "He is satisfied with his life, and all those years the perceived love he had felt for
Julia was like the" shine of dead stars, long extinguished, but still seemingly in their designated places in
the heavens.
Dead Stars is a short story about a forbidden passion, written with such a heart-warming tale in rich prose
and signifying past memories. The story deals with the vulnerability of human beings, particularly when a
person falls in love with someone and it requires decision-making. The tale symbolized a hope for that
which is non-existent. A guy fell in love with a girl just like in the film, except she was his fantasy, his
star. He thought he was in love, but he thought he was like a dying star too far out, and whose brightness
might be tmaining flying light from it, and he got the girl a long way, and he found he was no longer
drawn to her. The guy's passion for the girl is like a dead star whose light can still be seen from the planet
for years after it's gone.

12 - Mario Antonio Jiz

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