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paper for desire short story of Paz Latorena

paper for desire short story of Paz Latorena



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Paper for desire
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Published by: Ma. Alyanna Mae Lazaro Capiral on Apr 17, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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CAPIRAL, Ma. Alyanna Mae L.Dr. Ma. Antoinette MontealegreIII-8 AB/BSE LiteratureLiterary CriticismDesire: A Feminist Literary Theory
Feminist criticism is a political act whose aim is not simply to interpret the world but tochange it by changing the consciousness of those who read and their relation to what they read.-Esther Lombardi, About.comShe wanted love, was starved for it. But she did not want the love that her body inspiredin men. She wanted something purer… cleaner.- Desire, Paz Latorena 1928.
I was amazed upon discovering that the short story Desire was written in 1928.The time was very repressive and judgmental for women or womyn for some feminist.Even up to know, with modernity, even with changing roles of the society for men andwomen, women are judged and have been the target of massive stereotyping. I remember when I was in high school; these thoughts lingered in my mind for a long time. Men arecalled “macho” when they have a lot of women while women are called “prostitutes”.Where is equality? , judgment of the society is really biased. It is acceptable for a manhaving many children of different mothers while women having many children of different fathers are immoral and unacceptable. Also beauty is just skin deep, more oftenthan not face value is more important than the inner side of a women. Most of men justdon’t care if women are dumb and gullible. Looks are more important. Also, withintelligent women, some of men are intimidated and do not like the idea that they areoutshined by women. I could cite many instances and ideas on how I view our societywith men being the superior and women are just decorations for them. Often, I am tagged by my friends as a feminist. I just don’t like the idea of being submerged into an existingorder where the only essence of a woman is to procreate. The problem is the existing
structure--- Patriarchal and Machismo (even feminist are already making their mark, and breaking the stereotypes), our culture has a big role on how women are viewed.Going back to the short story, it was truly a remarkable short story written by awoman during a period where not much respect and recognition are given to womenwriters in the Philippines. Most of the literature world is male dominated. Only at thislater part, women writers are put into their rightful places. The short story started with adetailed description of a woman (who is categorized now as a shrimp or hipon in gaylanguage). A homely women as referred by the writer Paz Latorena even with the use of the word homely makes me think that the writer some how implicitly hid the negativeconnotation of having a homely face. She could just straightly say ugly but she rather not.I think for the purpose of not being too harsh on women as to women should not be judged hastily. A language of a woman like Paz Latorena has the power to make thenegative seem to be not that negative. The longing for love like all human being do is present in the story the difference is that the woman is homely yet she has a gorgeous body not only that she diverts her frustrations and hurt into worthwhile things likewriting. I think what the writer wants to say is that women are not just mere figures or warm bodies in bed but also human not devoid of feelings. Racial discrimination issomehow present in the story too with the White man at first being judgmental of theFilipino race. Upon recognizing that the unnamed woman’s ideas are the same as his race,he took interest in meeting the lady. At first the white man took interest of getting toknow the woman but in the end upon discovering that she has the right curves in her  body(only hidden by the clothing she choose to wear), he said he loves the girl but not thetotal being of her but only her body.
In the end of Desire, uttered by the woman, “You have just been yourself…likeother men.” and with a weary smile the story ends. It is like a hanging ending for thereaders to create their own ending. Like if the woman will find love, or will the man prove that he is sincere to her or not. For me, the effect of this masterpiece of Latorena isthat women must learn to channel their energy into productive work like writing, also thatwomen does not need men even she needs love it is not the end of the world with men judging a female because of her physical characteristics. I think that the Latorena wantedto show that unlike in early Philippine Folklore women would always weep and feelhelpless of their situation with Paz Laterona’s Desire eventough the woman is not thatempowered yet I think she is in the process of being one .Also, we could look in an aspect that upon their meeting of the men, she camealone and stated that she could afford to break conventions. I assume that the woman inthe story is intellectual and educated woman. The stereotype of a weak woman is notshowed by her. The language of Latorena does not have any mark of derogatory languageor language that would make the readers feel pity on the character but the language usedis very descriptive and forms mental images and we could not find words that wouldmake the woman be in a stage of drama or self pity.I am wondering if the short story is autobiographical. Upon checking the internetfor her picture, my suspicions became stronger, that it was herself being describe in thetext.The title “Desire”,could be in two interpretations : the desire of men for her bodyand the desire of the woman for a purer and cleaner love. This proves how man andwoman differ in their perspective.

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