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Yamada, Marwen

BSHM – 2

1. Relationship between Literature and Society

That literature is a reflection of the society is a fact that has been widely acknowledged. Literature
indeed reflects the society, its good values and its ills. In its corrective function, literature mirrors the ills
of the society with a view to making the society realize its mistakes and make amends. It also projects
the virtues or good values in the society for people to emulate. Literature, as an imitation of human
action, often presents a picture of what people think, say and do in the society. In literature, we find
stories designed to portray human life and action through some characters who, by their words, action
and reaction, convey certain messages for the purpose of education, information and entertainment. It
is impossible to find a work of literature that excludes the attitudes, morale and values of the society,
since no writer has been brought up completely unexposed to the world around him. What writers of
literature do is to transport the real-life events in their society into fiction and present it to the society
as a mirror with which people can look at themselves and make amends where necessary. Thus,
literature is not only a reflection of the society but also serves as a corrective mirror in which members
of the society can look at themselves and find the need for positive change. It is necessary to take a
close look at some works of literature, in order to understand how literature actually reflects the
society.

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2. Patriotism and Nationalism (How does one learn?) -In relation to literature

we define patriotism as “love for or devotion to one’s country” and nationalism in part as “loyalty and
devotion to a nation.” But the definition of nationalism also includes “exalting one nation above all
others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of
other nations or supranational groups.” This exclusionary aspect is not shared by patriotism.

3. Given the characteristic of literature and hazard translation is rep act 1425 realistic? Why or why
not?

In the wake of the controversy over a bill seeking to integrate a course on the life of Andres Bonifacio in
the college curriculum, a reassessment of the Rizal law and its effect on our educational system is called
for.

The Rizal law has come a long way. After Republic Act No. 1425 aimed at including a study of the life and
works of Jose Rizal in the curricula of public and private schools was approved by President Ramon
Magsaysay on June 12, 1956, teaching Rizal has been mandatory in our school system.
Fifty-five years have passed. Now we live in a world dominated by cyber technology and scientific
breakthroughs, revolution, terrorism, environmental crisis and natural catastrophes, a world of Lady
Gaga and Justin Bieber, the X Factor and MTVs. Do we really still know Rizal?

Do we understand what he wanted for the country? Do we still remember why he was a hero?

Rizal’s death anniversary today was declared a national holiday to give Filipinos time to recall his
achievements and contributions to the nation. Commemorative rites take place at his monument in
Rizal Park and other parts of the country, even abroad.

Law ineffective

The Rizal law was made so that the Filipinos, especially the youth, will not forget him. But the question
remains, why should we not forget him?

The teaching of the Rizal course in the classroom is intended to awaken the sense of patriotism and
nationalism in every Filipino youth and push them to apply the principles bequeathed by Rizal as
solutions to present day problems.

Sadly, the years have shown that the Rizal law has not been effective.

Nowadays, when a Filipino is asked what she/he knows about Rizal, chances are she/he would say that
Rizal is the image on the one-peso coin, or that he was the one shot in Luneta.

Knowledge of Rizal has been limited to knowing the streets named after him, or to the characters in his
novel.

Deeper understanding of Rizal has been blocked by our interest in such things as the Internet. Some of
us know Rizal only by name. And not knowing him, we have become what Rizal fought against all his life.
We have become indifferent.

Scratching the surface

How have we come to this?

In school we only get the basic information about him. We get to read his novels and poems and learn of
the places he visited and even the women who became part of his life. But we have ended up not
knowing what he really stood for. We even wear shirts bearing his image but we do not go deeper in
understanding him.

Some college students who take up technical courses, such as engineering or medicine, even question
the relevance of the Rizal subject to their careers; they insist that the subject is just a waste of time and
money.

Jose Rizal and the Rizal law are part of our history. Rizal the Filipino and Rizal the course both have a
reason and purpose for us.
Rizal stood as one of the great men produced by the Malay race. His peaceful means of reform made
him Asia’s first modern nonviolent proponent of political reforms. The Rizal law is an avenue for the
youth to understand Rizal’s vision. The law aims to put Rizal closer to our hearts.

Why heroes exist

Strengthening not only the Rizal course but the subject of Philippine history is important. We will not
only be inspired by Rizal but also by other heroes like Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Emilio Jacinto
and Marcelo H. del Pilar who, like Rizal, exemplified the virtues of honesty, integrity, peace based on
justice and patriotism.

Filipinos are capable of achieving great things in life and, like our heroes, we can excel in our ways.

But the most important thing is to know the reason why heroes exist, why there is a need for them.
Studying Heroism 101 is to look beyond heroes’ lives, far into the social circumstances or problems that
created them and which heroes are supposed to solve.

If the problems still exist today, then it is our turn to become heroes, too.