Phases of Filipino Proletarianism in the 20th Century Dagling Tagalog: A Critique Using Pierre Macherey’s Theory of Gaps and Silences


post-structural Marxism
Philippine literature

How to Cite

Paglinawan, R. I., & Hussin, H. (2024). Phases of Filipino Proletarianism in the 20th Century Dagling Tagalog: A Critique Using Pierre Macherey’s Theory of Gaps and Silences. Southeastern Philippines Journal of Research and Development, 29(1), 1-18.


Self-image is deeply rooted in one’s place in society, as manifested in one’s involvement in its facets and realities which are spoken of in literature, and yet it is the “unspoken” or the “unsaid”– the gaps and silences in the texts– that exposes the ‘unconscious’ of the work where lies a text’s repressed historical narrative and discourse. Accordingly, this study was targeted toward the deep understanding of how Filipinos see themselves and each other as Filipinos (self-image and self-identity) during the American colonization in the Philippines in the 20th century, specifically as proletarians, through the examination of the textual gaps and silences in dagling Tagalog texts written and published in the early 20th century. Using the post-structuralist Marxist theory of gaps and silences by Pierre Macherey, this paper discusses the subject formation of Filipino characters into the image of a proletarian and the phases of Filipino proletarianism. The results indicate that there are three phases to which Filipino proletarians are subjected: from False Consciousness to Recognition of Oppression, and finally to Revolution or Self-emancipation through carrying the “duty.” The study concludes that the texts are propagandist literature, with anti-government, anti-capitalist, and anti-colonial sentiments hiding behind the mask of fiction and satire, emerging through the gaps and silences. Additionally, the portrayal of the Filipino proletariat in the texts is shaped by Marxist ideals of revolution, hence the inclination of the literary production of the texts towards the communist ideology.


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