Dichotomizing Narratives on Post-Colonial Filipina: Inference from Nick Joaquin and Estrella Alfon’s Fiction

Author Information

Joseph P. Casibual Jr.,
Western Mindanao State University, the Philippines

DOI: 10.47298/cala2022.7-1
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in Asia 2022


This paper examines texts written by two renowned Filipino post-colonial writers in the guise of motifs and forms of representations of post-colonial Filipina women. Dichotomizing styles of narrative, this textual exploration aims to frame how female characters were re/presented by two authors in terms of virtue, vices, passion, and struggles, to determine images that were used in underpinning societal roles of the female characters, and to identify the level of representation used by each author. I utilize three stories by the male writer Nick Joaquin – Mayday Eve, Summer Solstice, and Three Generations; and three stories by the female writer Estrella Alfon –Servant Girl, Magnificence, and Low Wall. Furthermore, the study compares representations of women by a male and female author, whether unintentionally or unwittingly, in conjunction with the period when women were faced with the problem of adapting to their identities as women brought about by colonization. Clearly, Joaquin’s narratives significantly lean on a less-feminist depiction, which contrasts with Alfon’s re/presentation. Images of being weak, frail, submissive, and dependent, are dominant in Juaquin’s characters, while Alfon possesses the opposite. There is an apparent dichotomy of representation between the authors, resulting in a regulated level of representation of Joaquin’s fiction concurrent with a respected representation of Alfon’s fiction.

Keywords: Dichotomy, stylistics, post-colonial, comparative analysis, linguistic anthropology


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