A Summary and Review/Reflection of Noli Me Tangere


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This is a summary + review/reflection of the story of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra in Noli Me Tangere

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A Summary and Review/Reflection of Noli Me Tangere

  1. 1. Noli Me Tangere Summary: Noli Me Tangere, by Dr. Jose Rizal, starts off at the house of the wealthy man Capitan Tiago. Here we find Padre Damaso speaking ill-y of Filipinos. A few moments later, the story‟s protagonist makes his first appearance. He is Crisostomo Ibarra, a rich young man who has just returned from Europe after 7 years of studying there. He is the son of the late Don Rafael Ibarra, whose death is later revealed to be because of him protecting a young Filipino boy from a Spanish tax collector. Padre Damaso, being an adversary of Don Ibarra, starts to both indirectly and directly insult Crisostomo. Ibarra, instead of retorting, excuses himself and says that he has business matters to attend to. In the following days, Ibarra talks to his sweetheart Maria Clara--daughter of Capitan Tiago, and tries to visit his father‟s grave. And to Ibarra‟s shock, the place where his father‟s body should be seems to have been recently dug up. He talks to a gravedigger to find out that a fat friar asked that the body be transferred to a Chinese cemetery. Who could this friar be? Yes, you‟ve got it right, Padre Damaso. But only to add insult to the injury, Ibarra finds out the corpse was thrown in to the lake because there was a storm on the supposed day of transfer. On the other hand, a whole other story was taking place. The story of Sisa, Basilio and Crispin. The two were accused of being thieves. Basilio was locked up in the church by the Sacristan-Mayor for his “crimes”. Basilio escapes from the church and runs away. Sisa, not knowing this, goes to church to get him only to find out that he is gone. She runs home to be arrested and Crispin nowhere to be found. After being released from jail, she tries to find her children only to find a bloody garment of Basilio. Due to the horrifying sight, she loses her mind. Going back to Senor Ibarra, he tried to put up a school wherein he was almost killed when during the laying of the cornerstone. It was a planned attempt. At a party, Padre Damaso insults Ibarra‟s father which causes the Crisostomo to leap to his feet and pose a knife at the priest‟s neck. He did not go on with act because of Maria Clara‟s persuasion. Due to the event, Ibarra was excommunicated. Because of this, he cannot be with Maria Clara and she is set up with another man. Ibarra finds out about this and is deeply saddened. Elias, Ibarra‟s supporter/friend, breaks Ibarra out of jail, gets him on a „banca‟, and they plan to go abroad first. Before this, Ibarra talks to Maria Clara to find that she does not want to marry her new suitor and that her true father is not Capitan Tiago but Padre Damaso. He leaves her with a hug. While rowing in the river, Ibarra and Elias realize that a few Spaniards saw them from a far. Elias tells Ibarra to hide under the „zacate‟ and Elias jumps off the banca, pretending to be Ibarra, and gets shot. On the other side of the river, Basilio
  2. 2. is grieving the death of his mother, Elias comes to him, shot and bloody, and tells him that he is going to die and that the young Basilio should burn the bodies. He tells the boy that there is gold under the land that they are standing on. Young Basilio does so. Ibarra is left alone to escape. And the story ends Review/Reflection: Rizal wrote the novel to open the eyes of our countrymen, to let them truly see all the oppression our country was going through and that it was time to fight back. And he did such act fantastically. The novel was not heavy or dreading nor was it sugar coated. It was raw and real. It showcased abuse of power, sorrow and greed. It showcased the truth. It showed us how the Spaniards twisted and turned the truth into something that would benefit them. It showed the inner clockworks of their selfishness and abuse. But despite the dark themes, it described love, not entirely romantic love, but more importantly love of country and family. Despite all the hardships and pain Ibarra went through, he kept on knocking down doors, he kept on trying to help. And in the sense of family love, we can all point to the commonly parodied Sisa. She did everything in her power to find her children, and despite the fact that she did not live to see the day where she finds her boys, she loved them until the last inch of her heart. Senor Ibarra also had a deep love for his father. This is supported by the fact that he let Padre Damaso‟s insults pass but when the priest tried to pick on his father, it took less than a beat for Ibarra to rise to his father‟s defense. The story also presented forgiveness. Ibarra was a very forgiving man. He forgave the man who tried to kill him at the placing of the cornerstone of the school he wanted to build. And since the man who attempted to murder him died in the placing of the cornerstone, Ibarra even offered to pay for the burial of the man. Sacrifice also was an important theme in the novel. If Elias did not sacrifice himself, then Ibarra would not have lived and the uprisings in the sequel of Noli Me Tangere would most likely not take place. For me there are 2 overall themes (themes that are carried on in to El Filibusterismo) is that war does not necessarily have to end through means of violence, it could always be ended peacefully, through words and maybe even forgiveness. And the second being that there will always be evil people in this world, but there will always be good people as well. And that when you think all the world is left to is violence and hatred, you are very much wrong because 1) Words are far stronger than any gun and 2) Good will always prevail.