Thematic deconstruction of Bienvenido N. Santos' selected short stories

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Language and Literature Major in English

Subject Categories

Education | Language and Literacy Education


College of Liberal Arts


Literature, Department of

Thesis Adviser

Cirilo F. Bautista

Defense Panel Chair

Estrellita V. Gruenberg

Defense Panel Member

Buenaventura S. Medina
Teresita E. Erestain


This study is an attempt to read Bienvenido N. Santos prose works in a new light by deconstructing the manifest meanings set forth in his ten selected short stories. Using Paul de Man theory of deconstruction concerning the latent meanings of literary texts, it resolves the following questions concerning each story: a. What is the theme in each story? b. What is the metaphor in the theme? c. How can the metaphor be seen in another reading? d. What is its latent meaning? The researcher found out that deconstructive reading provides readers a greater chance to understand the text deeper and clearer. Deconstructive reading consisted of stages of reading by which two different interpretations were given to a text, the manifest meaning and the latent meaning. The first reading stage dealt with the identification of the story theme. By identifying it, the manifest meaning is explicated. After identifying the theme, the metaphor or the symbol in the theme was discussed in the manner by which it was touched or expounded in the story. The statement of the latent meaning is done after citing a contradicting point which opposes the first claim of the text. Through this method, the beauty of the language is revealed and its tendency toward ambiguity and contradiction is explained. Thus, new avenues of interpretation are discovered and the literary work achieves new dimensions of meaning and aesthetic experience for the readers.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

various leaves


Deconstruction; Santos; Bienvenido N -- Criticism and interpretation; Short stories; Philippine

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