Noli me tangere


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Noli me tangere

  1. 1. Having completed his studies in Europe, young Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin came back to the Philippines after a 7-year absence. In his honor, Don Santiago de los Santos, a family friend also known as Capitan Tiago, threw a get-together party, which was attended by friars and other prominent figures. One of the guests, former San Diego curate Father Dámaso Vardolagas belittled and slandered Ibarra. Ibarra brushed off the insults and took no offense; he instead politely excused himself and left the party because of an allegedly important task.<br />The next day, Ibarra visits María Clara, his betrothed, the beautiful daughter of Captain Tiago and affluent resident of Binondo, Manila. Their long-standing love was clearly manifested in this meeting, and María Clara cannot help but reread the letters her sweetheart had written her before he went to Europe. Before Ibarra left for San Diego, Lieutenant Guevara, a guardia civil, reveals to him the incidents preceding the death of his father, Don Rafael Ibarra, a rich hacendero of the town.<br />According to Guevara, Don Rafael was unjustly accused of being a heretic, in addition to being a filibuster — an allegation brought forth by Father Dámaso because of Don Rafael's non-participation in the Sacraments, such as Confession and Mass. Father Dámaso's animosity against Ibarra's father is aggravated by another incident when Don Rafael helped out on a fight between a tax collector and a child fighting, and the former's death was blamed on him, although it was not deliberate. Suddenly, all of those who thought ill of him surfaced with additional complaints. He was imprisoned, and just when the matter was almost settled, he got sick and died in jail. Still not content with what he had done, Dámaso arranged for Don Rafael's corpse to be dug up from the Catholic church and brought to a Chinese cemetery, because he thought it inappropriate to allow a heretic a Catholic burial ground. Unfortunately, it was raining and because of the bothersome weight of the cadaver, the undertakers decided to throw the corpse into a nearby lake.[1]<br />Revenge was not in Ibarra's plans; instead he carried through his father's plan of putting up a school, since he believed that education would pave the way to his country's progress (all over the novel the author refers to both Spain and the Philippines as two different countries, which form part of a same nation or family, being Spain the mother and the Philippines the daughter). During the inauguration of the school, Ibarra would have been killed in a sabotage had Elías — a mysterious man who had warned Ibarra earlier of a plot to assassinate him — not saved him. Instead the hired killer met an unfortunate incident and died. The sequence of events proved to be too traumatic for María Clara who got seriously ill but was luckily cured by the medicine Ibarra sent.<br />After the inauguration, Ibarra hosted a luncheon during which Father Dámaso, gate-crashing the luncheon, again insulted him. Ibarra ignored the priest's insolence, but when the latter slandered the memory of his dead father, he was no longer able to restrain himself and lunged at Dámaso, prepared to stab him for his impudence. As a consequence, Dámaso excommunicated Ibarra, taking this opportunity to persuade the already-hesitant father of María Clara to forbid his daughter from marrying Ibarra. The friar wished María Clara to marry a Peninsular named Linares who had just arrived from Spain.<br />With the help of the Captain-General, Ibarra's excommunication was nullified and the Archbishop decided to accept him as a member of the Church once again. But, as fate would have it, some incident of which Ibarra had known nothing about was blamed on him, and he is wrongly arrested and imprisoned. The accusation against him was then overruled because during the litigation that followed, nobody could testify that he was indeed involved. Unfortunately, his letter to María Clara somehow got into the hands of the jury and is manipulated such that it then became evidence against him by the parish priest, Father Salvi. While frail in appearance, Father Salvi was revealed to be the most cunning character in the novel. With Machiavellian precision, Father Salve framed Ibarra and ruined his life just so he could stop him from marrying Maria Clara and making the latter his concubine.<br />Meanwhile, in Capitan Tiago's residence, a party was being held to announce the upcoming wedding of María Clara and Linares. Ibarra, with the help of Elías, took this opportunity to escape from prison. Before leaving, Ibarra spoke to María Clara and accused her of betraying him, thinking that she gave the letter he wrote her to the jury. María Clara explained that she would never conspire against him, but that she was forced to surrender Ibarra's letter to Father Salvi, in exchange for the letters written by her mother even before she, María Clara, was born. The letters were from her mother, Pía Alba, to Dámaso alluding to their unborn child; and that María Clara was therefore not Captain Tiago's biological daughter, but Dámaso's.<br />Afterwards, Ibarra and Elías boarded a boat and fled the place. Elías instructed Ibarra to lie down and the former covered the latter with grass to conceal his presence. As luck would have it, they were spotted by their enemies. Elías, thinking he could outsmart them, jumped into the water. The guards rained shots on him, all the while not knowing that they were aiming at the wrong man.<br />María Clara, thinking that Ibarra had been killed in the shooting incident, was greatly overcome with grief. Robbed of hope and severely disillusioned, she asked Father Dámaso to confine her into a nunnery. Dámaso reluctantly agreed when she threatened to take her own life, demanding, "the nunnery or death!"[2] Unbeknownst to her, Ibarra was still alive and able to escape. It was Elías who had taken the shots.<br />It was Christmas Eve when Elias woke up in the forest fatally wounded, as it is here where he instructed Ibarra to meet him. Instead, Elias found the altaryboy Basilio cradling his already-dead mother, Sisa. The latter lost her mind when she learned that her two sons, Crispin and Basilio, were chased out of the convent by the sacristan mayor on suspicions of stealing sacred objects. (The truth is that, it was the sacristan mayor who stole the objects and only pinned the blame on the two boys. The said sacristan mayor actually killed Crispin while interrogating him on the supposed location of the sacred objects. It was implied that the body was never found and the incident was covered-up by the parish priest, Father Salvi).<br />Elias helped Basilio bury his mother and while he lay dying, he instructed Basilio to continue dreaming about freedom for his motherland with the words: "I shall die without seeing the dawn break upon my homeland. You, who shall see it, salute it! Do not forget those who have fallen during the night." He died thereafter.<br />In the epilogue, it was explained that Kapitan Tiago became addicted to opium and was seen to frequent the opium house in Binondo to satiate his addiction. Maria Clara became a nun where Father Salvi, who has lusted over Ma. Clara from the beginning of the novel, regularly used her to fulfill his lust. One stormy evening, a beautiful crazy woman was seen at the top of the convent crying and cursing the heavens for the fate it has handed her. While the woman was never identified, it is is suggested that the said woman was Ma. Clara.<br />[edit] Publication history<br />Rizal finished the novel on December 1886. At first, according to one of Rizal's biographers, Rizal feared the novel might not be printed, and that it would remain unread. He had been struggling financial constraints that time and thought it would be hard to pursue printing the novel. A financial aid came from a friend named Máximo Viola. Rizal at first, however, hesitated but Viola insisted and ended up lending Rizal P300 for 2,000 copies; Noli was eventually printed in Berlin, Germany. The printing was finished earlier than the estimated five months. Viola arrived in Berlin in December 1886, and by March 21, 1887, Rizal had sent a copy of the novel to his friend Blumentritt.[3]<br />On August 21, 2007, a 480-page then-latest English version of Noli Me Tangere was released to major Australian book stores. The Australian edition of the novel was published by Penguin Books Classics, to represent the publication's "commitment to publish the major literary classics of the world".[4] American writer Harold Augenbraum, who first read the Noli in 1992, translated the novel. A writer well-acquainted with translating other Latin literary works, Augenbraum proposed to translate the novel after being asked for his next assignment in the publishing company. Intrigued by the novel and having been known more about it, Penguin nixed their plan of adapting existing English versions of the novel, and instead translate on their own.[4]<br />[edit] Reaction and legacy<br />Noli Me Tangere was Rizal's first novel. He was 26 years old at the time of its publication. The work was has been historically significant and was instrumental in the establishing of the Filipino sense of national identity. The book indirectly influenced a revolution although the author actually advocated direct representation to the Spanish government and larger role of the Philippines within Spain's political affairs. The novel was written in Spanish, the official language of the colony that was understood by just about everyone thanks to the free public education system established by the Spanish government more than two decades before.<br />The novel created so much controversy that only a few days after his arrival, Governor-General Emilio Terrero summoned Rizal to the Malacañang Palace and told him of the charges saying that Noli Me Tangere contained subversive statements. After a discussion, the liberal[ HYPERLINK "" o "Wikipedia:Citation needed" citation needed] Governor General was appeased, but mentioned that he was unable to offer resistance against the pressure of the Church to take action against the book. The persecution can be discerned from Rizal's letter to Leitmeritz: "My book made a lot of noise; everywhere, I am asked about it. They wanted to anathematize me ['to excommunicate me'] because of it ... I am considered a German spy, an agent of Bismarck, they say I am a Protestant, a freemason, a sorcerer, a damned soul and evil. It is whispered that I want to draw plans, that I have a foreign passport and that I wander through the streets by night ..."<br />Rizal depiction of nationality by emphasizing the qualities of Filipinos: devotion of a Filipina and her influence to a man's life, the deep sense of gratitude, and the solid common sense of the Filipinos under the Spanish regime.<br />This novel and its sequel, El Filibusterismo (nicknamed El Fili), were banned in some parts of the Philippines because of their portrayal of corruption and abuse by the country's Spanish government and clergy. A character which has become a classic in the Philippines is Maria Clara who has become a personification of the ideal Filipina woman, loving and unwavering in her loyalty to her spouse. Another classic character is the priest "Father Dámaso" which reflects the covert fathering of illegitimate children by members of the Spanish clergy. In the story, Father Dámaso impregnates a woman. Copies were smuggled in nevertheless, and when Rizal returned to the Philippines after completing medical studies, he quickly ran afoul of the local government. First exiled to Dapitan, he was later arrested for "inciting rebellion" based largely on his writings. Rizal was executed in Manila on December 30, 1896 at the age of thirty-five.<br />The book was instrumental in creating a unified Filipino national identity and consciousness, as many Filipinos previously identified with their respective regions to the advantage of the Spanish authorities. It lampooned, caricatured and exposed various elements in colonial society.<br />In the 21st century, Noli me Tangere and its sequel, El Filibusterismo, is studied by Third Year and Fourth Year secondary school students in the Philippines as part of the curriculum, usually as part of their Filipino subject. The novel is also often among the topics of the required course on the study of Rizal's life in tertiary education in the country. Textbooks designed for students were made by various publishers, and the text itself is often condensed or abridged for student use...<br />[edit] Major characters in Noli Me Tangere<br />[edit] Ibarra<br />Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin, commonly referred to the novel as Ibarra or Crisóstomo, is the protagonist in the story. Son of a Filipino business man, Don Rafael Ibarra, he studied in Europe for seven years.[5] Ibarra is also María Clara's fiancé. Several sources claim that Ibarra is also Rizal's reflection: both studied for Europe and both person invest the same idea. Upon his return, Ibarra requested the local government of San Diego to construct a public school to promote education in the town.[6]<br />In the sequel of Noli, El filibusterismo, Ibarra returned with different character and name: he called himself as Simoun, the English mestizo.<br />[edit] María Clara<br />A crayon sketch of Leonor Rivera–Kipping by Rizal.<br />María Clara de los Santos y Alba, commonly referred to as María Clara, is Ibarra's fiancée. He was raised by Capitán Tiago, San Diego's cabeza de barangay and is the most beautiful and widely celebrated girl in San Diego.[7] In the later parts of the novel, María Clara's identity was revealed as an illegitimate daughter of Father Dámaso, former parish curate of the town, and Doña Pía Alba, wife of Capitán Tiago.[8] In the end she entered local covenant for nuns Beaterio de Santa Clara. In the epilogue dealing with the fate of the characters, Rizal stated that it is unknown if María Clara is still living within the walls of the covenant or she is already dead.[9]<br />The character of María Clara was patterned after Leonor Rivera née Kipping, Rizal's first cousin and childhood sweetheart.[10]<br />[edit] Capitán Tiago<br />Don Santiago de los Santos, known by his nickname Tiago and political title Capitán Tiago is a Filipino businessman and the cabeza de barangay or head of barangay of the town of San Diego. He is also the known father of María Clara.[7]<br />In the novel, it is said that Capitán Tiago is the richest man in the region of Binondo and he possessed real properties in Pampanga and Laguna de Bay. He is also said to be a good Catholic, friend of the Spanish government and was considered as a Spanish by colonialists. Capitán Tiago never attended school, so he became a domestic helper of a Dominican friar who taught him informal education. He married Pía Alba from Santa Cruz.[7]<br />[edit] Padre Dámaso<br />Dámaso Verdolagas, or Padre Dámaso is a Franciscan friar and former parish curate of San Diego. He is best known as a notorious character that speaks with harsh words and has been a cruel priest during his stay in the town.[11] He is the real father of María Clara and an enemy of Crisóstomo's father, Rafael Ibarra.[8] Later on, he and María Clara had bitter arguments whether she marry Alfonso Linares or go to covenant.[12] At the end of the novel, he again re-assigned into a distant town and was found dead one day.[9]<br />In popular culture, when a priest was said to be like Padre Dámaso, it means that he is a cruel but respectable individual. When one says a child is "anak ni Padre Damaso" (child of Padre Dámaso), it means that the child's father's identity is unknown.<br />[edit] Filosofo Tacio<br />Filosofo Tacio, known by his Filipinized name Pilosopong Tasyo is another major character in the story. Seeking for reforms from the government, he expresses his ideals in paper written in a cryptographic alphabet similar from hieroglyphs and Coptic figures[13] hoping "that the future generations may be able to decipher it" and realized the abuse and oppression done by the conquerors. [14]<br />His full name is only known as Don Anastacio. The educated inhabitants of San Diego labeled him as Filosofo Tacio (Tacio the Philosopher) while others called him as Tacio el Loco (Insane Tacio) due to his exceptional talent for reasoning.<br />[edit] Elías<br />Elías, is an important character in the story and was once Ibarra's mysterious friend. Elías made his first appearance as a pilot during a picnic of Ibarra and María Clara and her friends.[15] He wants to revolutionize the country and to be freed from Spanish oppression.[16]<br />The 50th chapter of the novel explores the past of Elías and history of his family. In the past, Ibarra's grandfather condemned Elías' grandfather of burning a warehouse which leads into misfortune of Elías' family. His father was refused to be married by his mother because his father's past and family lineage was discovered by his mother's family. In the long run, Elías and his twin sister was raised by their maternal grandfather. When they were teenagers, their distant relatives called them hijo de bastardo or illegitimate children. One day, his sister disappeared which made him to look after her. His search led him into different places, and finally, he became a fugitive and anti-government.[17]<br />[edit] Doña Victorina<br />Doña Victorina de Espadaña, commonly known as Doña Victorina, is an ambitious Filipino woman who classifies herself as a Spanish and mimicking Spanish ladies by putting on heavy make-ups.[11] The novel narrates Doña Victorina's younger days: she had lots of admirers but she never choose one of them because nobody was a Spaniard. Later on, she met Don Tiburcio de Espadaña, an official to the customs bureau, which is about ten years junior than her.[18] Even though she got married, they never had a child.<br />Her husband assumes the title as medical doctor even though Tiburcio never attended medical school. Using fake documents and certificates, Tiburcio is practicing illegal medicine. The usage of Tiburcio of the title Dr. also made Victorina to assume the title Dra. (doctora, female doctor).[18] Apparently, she uses the whole name Doña Victorina de los Reyes de de Espadaña, with double de to emphasize her marriage surname.[18]<br />[edit] Other characters<br />There are a number of secondary and minor characters in Noli Me Tangere. Items indicated inside the parenthesis are the standard Filipinization of the Spanish names in the novel.<br />Padre Hernando de la Sibyla (Padre Sibyla) – a Dominican friar. He is described as short and has fair skin. He is instructed by an old priest in his order to watch Crisóstomo Ibarra. <br />Padre Bernardo Salví (Padre Salvi) – the present curate of San Diego,a secret admirer of María Clara. He is described to be very thin and sickly. <br />Narcisa (Sisa) – the mother of the two sacristans Basilio and Crispín, who went insane after losing them. <br />The Alférez – chief of the Guardia Civil. Mortal enemy of the priests for power in San Diego and husband of Dona Consalacion. <br />Basilio – Sisa's 10-year-old son. A belfry boy, he faced the dread of losing his younger brother and falling of his mother into insanity. At the end of the novel, Elías wished Basilio to bury him by burning in exchange of chest of gold located on his death ground. <br />Crispín (Crispin) – Sisa's 7-year-old son. An altar boy, he was unjustly accused of stealing money from the church. After failing to force Crispín to return the money he allegedly stole, Father Salví and the head sacristan kill him. <br />Doña Consolacíon (Donya Consolacion) – wife of the alférez, a former laundrywoman who passes herself as a Peninsular; best remembered for her abusive treatment of Sisa. <br />Don Tiburcio de Espadaña (Don Tiburcio) – Spanish husband of Doña Victorina who is limp and submissive to his wife; he also pretends to be a doctor. <br />Teniente Guevara (Sp. - lieutenant, Tinyente Guevara) - a close friend of Don Rafael Ibarra. He reveals to Crisóstomo how Don Rafael Ibarra's death came about. <br />Alfonso Linares (Linares) – A distant nephew of Tiburcio de Espanada, the would-be fiancé of María Clara. <br />Tía Isabel (Tiya Isabel) - Capitán Tiago's cousin, who raised Maria Clara. <br />Gobernador General (Gobernador Heneral) – Unnamed person in the novel, he is the most powerful official in the Philippines, a hater of secular priests and corrupt officials, and Ibarra's sympathizer. <br />Don Filipo Lino (Don Filipo) – vice mayor of the town of San Diego, who is the leader of the liberals. <br />Padre Manuel Martín (Padre Martin) - he is the linguistic curate of a nearby town, who says the sermon during San Diego's fiesta. <br />Don Rafael Ibarra (Don Rafael) - father of Crisóstomo Ibarra. Though he is the richest man in San Diego, he is also the most virtuous and generous. <br />Dona Pía Alba (Donya Pia) - wife of Capitan Tiago and mother of María Clara. She died giving birth to her. In reality, she was raped by Dámaso so she could bear a child. <br />Non-recurring characters:<br />Don Pedro Ibarramendia - the great-grandfather of Crisóstomo Ibarra who came from the Basque area of Spain. <br />Don Saturnino Ibarra - the son of Don Pedro, father of Don Rafael and grandfather of Crisóstomo Ibarra. He was the one who developed the town of San Diego, and also the very person who caused the misfortunes of Elias' family. <br />Salomé - Elías' sweetheart. She lives in a little house by the lake, and though Elías would like to marry her, he tells her that it would do her or their children no good to be related to a fugitive like himself. In the original publication of Noli, the chapter that explores the identity of Elías and Salomé was omitted, classifying her as a total non-existing character. This chapter, entitled Elías y Salomé was probably the 25th chapter of the novel. However, recent editions and translations of Noli provides the inclusion of this chapter, either on the appendix or renamed as Chapter X (Ex). <br />Sinang - Maria Clara's friend. Because Crisóstomo Ibarra offered half of the school he was building to Sinang, he gained Capitan Basilio's support. <br />Iday, Andeng and Victoria - Maria Clara's other friends. <br />Capitán Basilio - Sinang's father, leader of the conservatives. <br />Pedro – the abusive husband of Sisa who loves cockfighting. <br />Tandang Pablo – The leader of the tulisanes (bandits), whose family was destroyed because of the Spaniards. <br />El hombre amarillo (apparently means "yellowish person", named as Taong Madilaw) - One of those who tried to kill Crisostomo Ibarra. <br />Lucas - the brother of the taong madilaw who tried to kill Crisostomo Ibarra. <br />Bruno and Tarsilo – a pair of brothers whose father was killed by the Spaniards. <br />Ñor Juan (Nyol Juan) - appointed to govern the school to be built by Ibarra <br />Capitana Tika - Sinang's mother and wife of Capitan Basilio. <br />Albino - was a former seminar taker of being a friar, a young man who joined the picnic with Ibarra and María Clara. <br />Capitana Maria Elena - a nationalist woman who defends Ibarra of the memory of his father. <br />Capitán Tinong and Capitán Valentín - other known people from the town of San Diego. <br />Sacristán Mayor - The one who governs the altar boys and killed Crispin for his accusation. <br />