Ilustrado Themes & Motifs

Miguel Syjuco
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Past and Present

Syjuco uses numerous parallels, including the parallel between Crispin and Miguel, to show the past repeating itself in the present. Crispin sees himself in Miguel, who he sees as a representative of the new generation of up-and-coming writers in the Philippine literary world. Crispin uses the younger author's story to "search for connections" between his life and Miguel's (303). Miguel's story thus becomes more and more autobiographical as Crispin inserts parallels to his own life into the novel. Thus, the distinction between Crispin's life and Miguel's starts to fade, resulting in a conflation of the past and present.

On a collective level, this is highlighted by the novel's structure, which juxtaposes historical fiction and autobiography with the main plot. The major historical transitional points of the late 19th century Philippine revolution, the American colonization of the Philippines, the Japanese occupation of WWII, and the Marcos...

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This section contains 1,661 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ilustrado Study Guide
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