What is the summary of "Footnote to Youth" by José García Villa?
Dudong,17, is impatiently waiting for his father to return home so that he can tell him of his love for Teang and his desire to marry her. He feels that at 17 he is a grown man and is ready for the next important step in his life. When he tells his father that he has asked Teang to marry him and wants his blessing, there is a long and cruel silence. His father asks if he must marry her because Dudong is very young. Dudong resents his father's question, and finally his father gives his consent.
Nine months later, Dudong is waiting outside while Teang gives birth to their first son, Blas. He feels young and inexperienced, a contrast to how he felt nine months ago. Dudong did not want any more children, but they came anyway. For the next six years, Teang gave birth. Seven children in all.
Teang did not complain. However her body was now shapeless and thin from bearing so many children and from the hard work of caring for them and the household. Even though she loved Dudong, she cried and wished that she had not married so young. There had been another suitor, Lucio, who was nine years older than Dudong. She chose Dudong because he was so much younger. Lucio had married after she married Dudong, however, he was childless. She wonders if she had married Lucio, would she be childless? She feels that would have been a better lot in life. But she loves Dudong, even though life has made him old and ugly.
One night Dudong goes outside and thinks about his life. He wants to have the wisdom to know why life does not fulfill Youth's dreams. Why did life forsake you after love? He never finds the answer.
When Blas turns 18, he comes home and tells Dudong that he wants to marry Tena. Dudong at this time is only 36 years old, but he is portrayed as a much older man. Dudong does not want Blas to marry so young. He asks the same question his father asked him. Does Blas have to marry Tena? He does not want him to make the same mistake he did. Blas also reacts with resentment. Dudong realizes that he is dealing with Youth and Love, and they will triumph over this situation. After that, comes real life. He gives his consent, feeling sad and sorry for his son.
He called this "Footnote to Youth" because a footnote is an additional comment or reference on the content of the text. He is telling youth to pay attention to the lesson of this story.