The theme that will be explored in this essay will be the dominant culture, prevailing cultural attitudes, and the mental environment/state. The two short stories that will be discussed in this essay are Marianne Villanueva's Siko and Silence. In both short stories the leading characters show signs of breaking down because of physical, but also their mental stress. Marian Villanueva's Short stories Siko, and Silance can relate in many ways. For instance the main characters of both stories seem to face relatively similar struggle, but in different context. In this essay the struggle the main characters comprehend such dominant culture surrounding them, the prevailing cultural attitudes they encounter daily bases and their mental state will be compared to get a better understanding of type of themes and characterization the author Marianne Villanueva aspires to base her stories on.
Culture: The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that the members of society use to cope with their world and with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning.( www.umanitoba.ca)
The cultural environment Marian Villanueva writes about in her short stories and novels are dominantly centered on Filipino culture and Americanized Filipino culture. These are two cultures the author is familiar with through experience of living and being part of the cultural environment she writes about. In her short stories Siko, and Silence cultural environment author writes about are different, because the stories take place in different environments. But that said the culture the author is writing about in these short stories is the Filipino culture in different environments. In Siko you immediately get sense of feeling for the culture in the beginning of the story when the author is describing how villagers felt about the disappearance of the main character Aling Saturnina and her daughter Ana. How the villagers avoided to talk to journalist or even avoided discussing among themselves about the disappearance of a neighbor. In line 16 "The villagers don't like to talk about the events that led to Aling Saturnina's disappearance" (Siko,Geri&Mei, Stories about us, P.483). This quote indicates to me that the culture this short is betraying is closed culture, in that the people in that culture don't interfere with affairs other than their own. The culture, also seem to indicate to me culture of fear from authority. Although the main character Therese in the short story Silence is Filipino.