Footnote to Youth Analysis


The story is set in a regular Filipina family with traditional value system and beliefs. The characters are representative of the culture of the place and the relationships stay honest to the authentic reality of the time and place.


The story symbolizes youth as overzealous and emotional. It is an age of rash decisions and unstoppable desires. On the other hand, marriage and middle age are symbolized with responsibilities, anxiety and regrets. The family structure is designed to alleviate such anxiety and build a platform for mutual understanding and care.


There is friction between two generations: the old traditions and young aspirations. This conflict is heightened because of lack of clear communication and understanding.

The story depicts the same between Dudong and his father and later between Dudong and his son. The obstinacy of youth and the resolution of the past generations are shown to confront each other at various points in the story.


The clear message of the story is the need for calm and patience before making life-altering decisions. It encourages the young to not let hormones and emotions get the better of them and then rue the consequences.

It calls attention to the longevity of life and not letting youthful mistakes become the burden of old age. It also speaks about the trials of marriage and that it demands sacrifices which one should be willing to offer if the marriage is based on trust and love.

Point of View

The main point of the old generation of Filipinos who adhere to the traditions and norms is explained both through Dudong’s father and later Dudong. It values the institution of marriage and accords it respect.

From the point of view of the young like Blas, marriage is all fun and play which can often turn out be superficial and unsatisfying. However, the story is faithful to the reasons why youth act that way and does not try to sermonize the same.

Further Reading

  1. Footnote to Youth Summary
  2. Footnote to Youth Characters
  3. Footnote to Youth Themes