Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Literature

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts


Literature, Department of

Thesis Adviser

Genevieve L. Asenjo

Defense Panel Chair

Shirley O. Lua

Defense Panel Member

John Iremil E. Teodoro
Cristina P. Hidalgo


State of Happiness is a political novel that seeks to locate itself in the body of postcolonial literatures. It is postcolonial not in the sense of novels written in the tradition of national/ist projects. It is postcolonial in that it is oriented towards socialpolitical themes and contemporary issues even as it also attempts to speak to and challenge power. It is political because it also touches on the ethical, in the broadest sense of these concepts. Its politics not only comes from the issues or themes embedded in the plot, but because of the stories of its individual characters: of how they would challenge, condone, or surrender to their world order; of the dialectics between their private lives—their morals, ethics, beliefs as well economic interests—and the public; of the tension between being inclusive and exclusive; of resisting or conspiring with the belief systems that enable the powerful to continually marginalize and oppress.

It is a three-part novel that is not realist, but neither does it do away with the realist techniques in storytelling. It is not dystopian, either. Whatever is in the real world becomes magnified in the world in State of Happiness so that truth can become larger than its realities. The novel as the medium through which reality passes deflects this reality and creates prisms so that what we do not see or that we refuse to see in our own world, we hopefully see in another light. Time/space is refracted in the pages of the novel so that other courses or alternate ‘realities’ are created, different in material form but may share similar psychic manifestations as those in our current lives

Abstract Format






Physical Description

305 leaves


Fiction; Political fiction

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