Evil and connections in Edith Tiempo: A phenomenological reading of one, tilting leaves and the builder

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Language and Literature Major in Literature


College of Liberal Arts


Literature, Department of

Thesis Adviser

David Jonathan Bayot

Defense Panel Chair

Genevieve Asenjo

Defense Panel Member

Paz Verdades Santos
Dinah Roma Sianturi


Reading is an experiential act that is as much a process. It is an interaction between the reader and the text. This is advanced in Isers Reader Response Criticism which was employed by the researcher in studying the novels, One, Tilting Leaves and The Builder by Edith Tiempo. The researcher underwent the process of reader-text interaction in order to discover the gaps in these texts, fill these gaps by employing different devices, and with the help of the stock of experience, interpret these texts.

Reading was done in three general stages. The first stage involves writing marginal notes that concern mostly with questions, initial reactions, language associations, identification of familiar literary patterns, expectations, anticipations, and even recount of personal observations and experiences. The second stage involves close reading or critical analysis which requires focusing on the text and the situations presented. This is done by looking closely at the sentence correlatives from which implied meanings are given. In the process of analysis, the researcher tries to interpret, see the reality in the text, and relate it to the present life. Finally, the third stage involves synthesizing where ideas such as recurring images, events, and themes in both of the novels are clustered and examined. This stage singles out the messages of the two novels and spells how these novels affect me as a woman, an educator, and a mother.

One of the novels, One, Tilting Leaves shows the tension between good and evil while the other, The Builder foregrounds a character who, despite succumbing to evil act, is able to build the foundation and the essence of true love and family.

Both novels talk of evil in the following forms: crime, pride/selfishness, betrayal, abuse, and prejudice. They focus on men whose tendency to do and to be evil is fed by self-gratification since both of their egos have been slighted. The two characters, Primo and Gimod, are embodiments of the snake that deceived the first woman. They are manifestations of how evil has been perpetuated since it began in the story of creation. Both novels incidentally reveal that evil is everywhere and it is present not only among but even in every human being as well. Timelessness of evil is proven by its presence in the ills of the society, as observed, even up to the present time.

In addition, both novels translate the idea of connections among all the world entities as exemplified in the following: thoughts dictating our actions emotions influencing our deeds memory affecting our behavior and the present choices dictating our future. An individual who sees evil in the society or in the family may have his/her own share of ill will and gives back to the society the evil that is in him/her leading to pain inflicted to others or to oneself -- to our own selves. Indeed, everything is connected. Humanity keeps on affecting one another. We are an integral part of the macrocosm of this world that is life.

Thus, the novels reinforce the truth that every small decision made daily builds our character. This is manifested in the choices we make whether good or evil. This choice eventually affects all the forces around us. For this reason, families who plant seeds of virtues are seen as significant in character building.

The researcher sees the beauty in the novels by discovering not only Tiempos way of weaving the plot but also by discovering Tiempos moral profoundness. This discovery leads the researcher to recommend further studies on the following: other novels of Tiempo using the same approach, the same novels studied by the researcher employing a different critical theory and a phenomenological study on Tiempos fictive universe.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

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

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.

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