Friday, October 29, 2010
A New Look at PIPAY (by Ms. Caroll Jane Perez)
Note: Literary Criticism, is not really criticizing a piece of literary work and judging it whether it is good or not, it is merely applying some tried and tested approaches to understanding a literary work, in this case, PIPAY better. I'm also not an expert on this but I hope this helps... I have include some definitions of the approaches to help you understand them better. ~ Caroll Jane Perez
This approach states that a literary work cannot be separated from its author. There will always be pieces and parts of the author in his/her written work. It also states that to better understand the literary piece, it is also better to look at the life of the author.
Well, this one is easy enough. Due to the abundance of similarities between the lives and preferences of Kikay to Sir Anthony, for me, it is a safe conclusion that deny it as he may, HE (as in Sir Anthony) is PIPAY... There are of course, some differences to distract from that fact. However, the fear of snakes, the disgust of bullies, and the utter dislike for boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, these are some of the evidences that PIPAY is a REFLECTION of its writer.
This approach states that a literary work is written with a more serious purpose than just to entertain. A literary piece is written, first and foremost to teach a lesson.
Some people might frown at the first approach I've used, but I know for a fact that all of you will agree with this approach. Being a teacher, I guess our first motivation and If I can say, instinct, is to teach. No matter what we do, or whatever we produce, as teachers, we should always impart knowledge to students. If we look at this approach, this states that the author's initial motivation is to teach the readers a lesson through PIPAY's adventures and misadventures.
The readers might laugh out loud from what they read, but they will never forget the epiphanies PIPAY have in the end of each episode. One of the most recurring lessons, in the series is do not judge other people so easily as seen in PIPAY's victory as class president where she chose students with shadow teachers as opponents only to be surprised at their proficiency in English.
Also, at PIPAY's accident at her student teacher attempt where a girl choked on her bubble gum but she thought that she was just acting.There is also the PIPAY and McCoy's relationship which came into a very sad ending, and the epiphany there was really one of the author's advocacy.
The feminist approach has three stages, but for the purpose of this criticism, I will narrow it down to the feminist stage. This stage involves the author's or characters' attempt to protest against existing social standards and to protest against the oppression of minorities...
Well, because PIPAY is a girl who originated from a public school and transferred to a private school, her start in class is a rocky one. Her very first attempts at fitting in were very rocky and she didn't really get along with her classmates until the fourth episode.
There are many instances in the series where she really experienced the language barrier especially in her English and Chinese classes. Her attempt to break the barriers of the existing social standards of the school started when she really studied, or in her case, slept on her dictionary to learn more about English. Being the fighter that she is, she even nominated herself as president to make sure that in one way or another, she will matter in her class.
In a negative note, there is her disobedience in Sir Leo's policy which caused her a major heartbreak. Whether the readers like it or not, PIPAY's unconventional ways force them to look at themselves and see some of their practices and standards that were slowly but surely exposed to others.
This approach states that for us to really appreciate and understand a literary work, the reader must look at the social context of which the literary piece is written.
In the case of PIPAY, the series is best understood by the students, teachers, and the parents of the students who clearly know the practices and tradition of the setting of the story which is Philadelphia High School.
This is also the reason why some of the readers outside Philadelphia will probably have more trouble understanding some of the happenings in the story such as the presence of shadow teachers, the Chinese classes, and the student teaching program. Also, to understand PIPAY better, it is also very advantageous to take a closer look at the life of the Grade 6 students and teachers where the series is currently happening.
There are more approaches available where one can use it to understand a literary piece better. But for the sake of not over-criticizing this piece, I have limited it to four approaches... Hope it helps you to understand PIPAY and her world better.