HomeIDEYA: Journal of Humanitiesvol. 9 no. 1 (2007)

Bakas, Tanda, at Lagda.Sintomas Ng Katawang Politika: Isang Sintomatikong Komentaryo sa Dalawang Nobelang Klasiko nina A. C. Fabian (Ang Timawa) at Teofilo Sauco (Ang Magmamani)

E. San Juan Jr.

Discipline: Humanities, Philippine Literature



The relationship between literature and reality is complex. However, a materialist approach to reading is not impossible at all. The reason lies in the mediation of language. Its function in different kinds of discourse gives meaning to our sensibilities, to what we see and what we feel. Therefore, what we call realism in literature is merely a style of describing events; it does not mirror reality. Reality or truth will not be perceived without a sign or a symbol formulated by society. With the help of a symptomatic reading of two novels that are labeled realist, one discovers that Teofilo Sauco’s romanticist model is a kind of ideology, just like a psychological analysis of the narrative of A.C. Fabian - two kinds of realism with unique political content. Thus, the critic must face the challenge of explaining the political motives and ethical-moral objectives of each text in order to thoroughly analyze and determine their general effects on society in every chapter of national history. Otherwise, critical analysis and the teaching of literature or any work of art will only retain its current position as merely a weapon of the status quo.