Friday, April 9, 2010

Dead Star Themes

on Dead Stars by Paz Marquez Benitez

Finally, here they come

from Rombawa
The short story “Dead Stars” by Paz Marquez Benitez is conveying the theme that pertains to forbidden love. It says that forbidden love is only apparent, and its banes haunt the person until such time that he realizes his faults. It is clear in this story, where Alfredo and Julia’s forbidden love has caused Alfredo such remorse for eight years in his marriage with Esperanza. It all seemed so good for him at the beginning, but it brought conflict later on, when Esperanza notices the placidity of Alfredo’s affection for her. This led to an argument that nearly separated the engaged couple. When Julia left, it left Alfredo with the thought of what could have been. Even after eight years in his marriage, he still wanted to know what could have happened if Julia were his wife. When the time came that they met, Alfredo felt hopeful that Julia still feels the same way that he does. Alas, the love is gone, and all that he felt in the last eight years, that feeling that he always tried to suppress, is just illusionary. Their illicit love was like a dead star, extinguished in the abyss of the universe, but still in sight for man to be fooled.

from Raf
Reading Paz Marquez Benitez’s Dead Stars for the first time made me think that the theme of the short story is just about love. This was my initial idea because I saw that the plot revolved around a love story. Aside from this, the main conflict was caused by love. However, after re-reading the text many times, I was wrong in my early conclusion. Actually aside from love, the short story also reflects the painful consequences of making the wrong decisions in life. It tells us that hasty and wrong decisions can lead to regrets and disappointments. The first reason for this is that the story began and ended with Alfredo regretting his actions. The second is that throughout the story, Alfredo kept on identifying his rash decisions as the cause of his disappointments.

and from JP
The theme of the story ‘Dead Stars’ is that, temporal happiness or pleasure is not authentic. In the long run, it could even result to pain, suffering and loneliness. In the story, Alfredo Salazar experienced happiness in a wrong way that’s why this happiness is deemed as pleasure. Despite the fact that he was engaged with Esperanza, the woman he shall marry, he still enjoyed the company of another woman named Julia Salas. This was proven many times in the story when Alfredo was with Julia, they tell each other things which did not suit their relationship. There was even an instance that Alfredo said, “I will not go, of course, until you are there.” The happiness they felt with each other was romantic. Unfortunately, this happiness was not long-lasting because it was forbidden. They did not end up being with each other. In the end, Alfredo’s hopes were torn apart as he proved that Julia was not really destined for him. This spells the theme of the story as Alfredo eventually felt immense sadness which is considered his suffering.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Stars not yet Dead

What's a possible theme for "Dead Stars" by Paz Marquez Benitez?

Here's one who bothered to send me his response to the writing exercise.

Thanks Dene. Hope the others will follow suit even if they are looking forward to other endeavors.

Life waits for no one; we must not go unhurried. We are sometimes given choices which we must grab at once; for if these are lost, it may be too late and we may be unable to choose. Alfredo was always unhurried, too unhurried, and because of this he was unable to choose between his heart and his mind. Life waits for no one; even youth will blemish and vanish with all its radiance if we make delays. We can live life to the fullest but we must not forget that there will come a time when we shall move on. Life has different phases which will progress and will not wait for us, especially if we move at a slow pace. There is no place in this world where faded gardens bloom again, and where live on in unchanging freshness, the clear, dead loves of vanished youth. For in this world, even the brightest stars in heaven do not last forever, for there will be a time when even these stars will lose their luster and cease to shine.