History of Nolie Me tangere

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Noli Me tangere and its history .

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History of Nolie Me tangere

  1. 1. HISTORICAL INVESTIGATION To what extent did Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere portray the struggle of the Filipino people during the Spanish Invasion, as well as contribute to the impending national revolution? Maria Lacambra Candidate Number: 02751-008 Word Count: 1965 1
  2. 2. Contents A. Plan of the Investigation . . . . . . . 3 B. Summary of Evidence . . . . . . . . 3 C. Evaluation of Sources . . . . . . . . 5 D. Analysis . . . . . . . . . . 6 E. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . 7 F. List of Sources . . . . . . . . . 8 2
  3. 3. A. Plan of Investigation Four years after the breakout of the 1896 revolution, Dr. Jose Rizal said, “Filipinos don’t realize that victory is the child of struggle… and redemption is a product of sacrifice.” Rizal was a nationalistic revolutionary who inspired the fight against Spanish oppression through his literary works, such as ‘Noli Me Tangere.’ An examination of this literary piece is essential in understanding the significance of the book in connection to the roots of the revolution. Furthermore, a study of articles pinpointing the significance of the novel is useful in understanding the contribution of the novel to the 1896 revolution through symbolic representation. This investigation will cover the historical significance of Rizal’s work and the extent of its contribution to the revolution. In order to complete this investigation, a variety of sources have been used, concentrating on the novel’s historical impact and an interpretation of Rizal’s work, such as the book and magazine/newspaper articles. In addition, this investigation will assess the novel itself, and a biography on Jose Rizal in its origins, purpose, value and limitations. B. Summary of Evidence Spanish Influence and the Philippines The colonization of the Philippines as a nation was a result of the Spanish inquisition in 1542, ruled and influenced by Spain’s religious and political ideologies. In the midst of a power struggle within Europe and the political development of the Spanish constitution, the Philippines remained under Spanish representation, oppressed and ruled by the powers of the church and colonial administration1. Although proven to be a nation developing, the system was upheld through force and deception through the oppressive nature of Spanish influenced figures, most primarily demonstrated through the positions in the church. Most especially, this oppression was visible in the presence and authority given by the Spanish government and military to the friars. Guerrero makes reference to Andrés de Urdaneta, assistant and friar to a conquistador on the Legazpi expedition, one that began the Spanish inquisition of the Philippines2. In such a manner, Rizal’s biographer hints to the impact of the friar and most especially the church, on Filipino society. With increases in wealth and influence, came the power struggle involving corruption, as the Philippines became patrolled through the Spanish administration via the parish and local central governments 3. In a struggle to liberate the country, the locals were fighting a battle to protect not only their motherland, but also that of their culture and heritage. Within the novel, the struggles of the protagonist Ibarra, Elias, and Maria Clara 1 Morris, J. D. (2003). José rizal and the challenge of philippines independence . Retrieved from http://www.schillerinstitute.org/educ/hist/rizal.html 2 Guerrero, L. M. (2010). The first filipino. Manila: Guerrero Publishing Inc. 3 Rizal, J. (2006). Noli me tangere. (2006 ed.). Makati City: The Bookmark Inc,. 3
  4. 4. against Padre Damaso, represent the battle for power between church, state, and the oppression of Philippine society. The Philippine Revolution The revolution fought for liberalism in all aspects of Philippine society. Influenced and conquered by a country now infiltrated by ideas of the French Enlightenment movement, Spaniards in the Philippines and Filipinos alike sought for equal political and social rights to those living in Spain. Simultaneously, a seesawing power struggle in peninsular Spain contributed to the mounting tension that would arise in the Philippines. The revolution would demonstrate a violent rejection of the oppression forced by the Spaniards onto those living in the archipelagic colony. In the novel, the oppression of Philippine society is illustrated through the abusive relationship that Sisa, symbolic of the motherland, undergoes in order to protect her sons, reflective of the Filipinos. Jose Rizal and Noli Me Tangere Released in 1886, Noli Me Tangere (The Social Cancer) was Rizal’s first published novel. Rizal’s pursuit to write Noli Me Tangere was inspired by Harriet Beacher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin4. Noli Me Tangere stood to represent Rizal’s first nationalistic ideals that were against the Spanish administration and religious orders in the Philippines5. The novel stood in order to openly present to the people the negative impacts of Spanish colonial influence and the role of the church in Filipino society. Rizal’s intentions were to awaken the Filipino people to act against the injustice that was stripping their country from the prestige of nationalism. In personal letters to Blumentritt and Ponce, Rizal had said, “I wanted to awaken my countrymen from their profound lethargy, and whoever wants to awaken does not do so with soft and light sounds but with explosions, blows, etc.”6 The Significance of the Novel The novel is significant, not only in providing a social critique during a period of time where revolution seemed imminent or necessary, but also gives insight to the struggle of the Filipino people. The novel is said to transcend simply an attack against the Spanish administration and the power of the Church, exposing the faults of Filipino society such as the religious fanaticism and abuse of one’s own countrymen 7. Noli Me 4 Zaide, G. F., & Zaide, S. M. (2011). Jose rizal: Life, works, and writings of a genius, writer, scientist, and national hero. (2 ed.). Quezon City: All-Nations Publishing Co., Inc. 5 Jose rizal. In (2009). (6th ed.). New York: Colombia University Press. Retrieved from http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=117042469 6 Mojares, R. B. (1998). Origins and rise of the filipino novel. (1998 ed.). Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. 7 'noli' and 'fili'. (2009, August 21). Manila Bulletin, Retrieved from http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5031869461 4
  5. 5. Tangere proved to be instrumental in the creation of a unified racial Filipino identity, as well as developing a consciousness for the motherland8. Noli Me Tangere and the Revolution Rizal’s novel was considered to have influenced the impending revolution, despite his advocation for “nonviolent means and only direct representation to the Spanish government.”9 It was through his writings that Rizal promoted nationalistic ideas that influenced the Filipino people to “stand up against colonial abuses”, and awakening “nation from a long, deep slumber, highlighting the need for significant reforms and an end to Spanish abuses.”10 He, as a figure, remains to be a symbol of heroic inspiration, allowing for the necessary revolution to free the Filipino people11. C. Evaluation of Sources Rizal, J. (1912). Noli me tangere. Manila: Philippine Education C o m p a n y. This novel is a primary source written by the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal, ten years before the Philippine revolution in 1896. It provides a social critique concentrating on the oppression of the Spanish clergy and the church, creating an ‘illness’ within the Philippine society. To the historian analyzing the impact of Rizal’s literary works and their contribution to the Philippine revolution of 1896, Noli Me Tangere proves to be a crucial and necessary source to the investigation, serving to be of high value. As a primary source written by a notable figure in not only Philippine history, but also during the revolutionary era that molded the nation’s identity, the novel is of high value due to its historical account of the events that unfolded during the era and a portrayal of Filipino society based on ‘actual people’. The limitation of this source lies in translation. Because an analysis of the novel requires great interpretation, one’s understanding will always differ thus reinforcing the weakness of bias in literature and even in translation. A misunderstanding of ideas can be detrimental to the investigation. Guerrero, L. M. (2010). The first filipino. Manila: Guerrero Publishing Inc. This secondary source is a biography on Jose Rizal, the author of Noli Me Tangere, published in 2010, assessing the rise and significance of Rizal not only as a contributor to Philippine literature, but as a hero to 8 Noli me tangere (novel) . (2010). Retrieved from http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/189311 Ibid 10 Notes: The philippine revolution . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://opmanong.ssc.hawaii.edu/filipino/revlinks.html 11 Noli me tangere an eye opener. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nhi.gov.ph/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=11 9 5
  6. 6. the country. It provides an analysis and puts into context not only the role of the novel, but also the role of Rizal during the period of the Philippine revolution. To the historian analyzing the impact of Rizal’s literary works and their contributions to the revolution of 1896, this biography serves to be of high value. As a secondary source that concentrates not only on the life of the author of Noli Me Tangere, but also the upbringing that influenced his ideas, the biography proves to be useful in order to demonstrate the role and origins of the text that might have sparked the Philippine revolution. Simultaneously, published as the centennial edition, this particular source may have more insight that may not have been available to historians in years previous. Written by a historian well associated with the life and works of Rizal also supports its credibility and value in terms of a research source for the subject at hand. However, because the biography is not a source that concentrates solely on Noli Me Tangere and extends itself to the life of Rizal, it is limited when analyzing the impact of the novel on the revolution. D. Analysis By utilizing Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere as both a literary work and historical account, the impact of the novel is assessed in considering its contribution to the Philippine revolution of 1896. An important aspect in investigating the extent of the novel’s contribution and the portrayal of the Philippine struggle lies within the symbolism of Rizal’s characters and their varying representations of different aspects within Filipino society. Serving as a social critique, along with Rizal’s nationalistic and revolutionary ideas, a primary element in the portrayal of the Philippine struggle is the symbolic representation created to illustrate oppression of Filipinos through Spanish political and religious forces, as well as the breeding of the ‘Social Cancer’. This symbolic representation for oppression is found within the characters of Padre Damaso and Capitan Tiago. As portrayed in the novel: “Fray Damaso is not so mysterious as they were. He is full of merriment, and if the tone of his voice is rough like a man who has never had occasion to correct himself and who believes that whatever he says is holy and above improvement…”12 As a representation of the church and clergy officials, Padre Damaso’s portrayal exemplifies the resentment of Rizal and the oppression of the Filipino people as a result of the Spanish colonization. It is through the female protagonists, that Rizal is capable of depicting the country as self-sacrificing, dedicated, and of purity. Through Rizal’s nationalistic glorification of the Philippines, the historian understands how the Spanish clergy and church become targets for the ‘social illness’ present at the time of revolution, thus simultaneously acting as national objective for the Filipino people. 12 Rizal, J. (2006). Noli me tangere. (2006 ed.). Makati City: The Bookmark Inc,.. 6
  7. 7. The extent of the novel’s contribution to the revolution through symbolism is most exemplified through the representation of the ‘hero’ – Ibarra and Elias. These characters served as Rizal’s ‘mouthpiece’, citing the solutions for social reform, and emphasizing the necessity of revolution13. Representing the conflicting ideas of Rizal’s beliefs and ideologies, although desiring to create a symbol to obtain such freedom, Ibarra even admits, “I was not brought up among the people, and perhaps I do not know what they need.” 14 However, in context, with the spreading influence of liberalism and ideals of ‘Enlightenment from the French’, revolution was already imminent. The growing opposition would inevitably have challenged the repression of society and Filipino culture as the Spanish conquistadors became increasingly unpopular. The purpose and significance of the novel is in that Rizal’s literary works became almost like a manifesto that the Filipino revolutionaries would follow. ‘Noli Me Tangere’ served as appropriate propaganda for a movement that was inevitable to occur. Rizal’s call for a unified nationalistic revolt would begin the liberation of the Philippine country. As Rizal had said, “The Spaniards did us a lot of good. But we too gave them a lot…best gift of humankind.”15 E. Conclusion The investigation of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere’s portrayal of the Filipino struggle and the extent of its contribution to the roots of the Philippine revolution in 1896 assesses the importance of this literary work and its impact on the Filipino society. Its portrayal relies on the symbolism of elements within Filipino society illustrated by Rizal’s characters. However, although the inspiration for the 1896 revolution seemingly connects with Rizal’s literary work, there is no ‘hard-evidence’ that correlates the revolution with the novel. The extent of its contribution lies within perspective and interpretation, just as with the portrayal of the Filipino struggle through symbolic representation within the novel’s characters. Instead, Rizal’s ‘Noli Me Tangere’ serves to be a tool of propaganda marking an uprising that was bound to happen under the unstable conditions of the political government in peninsular Spain and her colonies, as well as the widespread influences of the ideas bred from the period of ‘Enlightenment’. 13 Noli me tangere an eye opener. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nhi.gov.ph/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=11 14 Rizal, J. (2006). Noli me tangere. (2006 ed.). Makati City: The Bookmark Inc,. 15 Mojares, R. B. (1998). Origins and rise of the filipino novel. (1998 ed.). Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. 7
  8. 8. F. List of Sources Print Guerrero, L. M. (2010). The first filipino. Manila: Guerrero Publishing Inc. Mojares, R. B. (1998). Origins and rise of the filipino novel. (1998 ed.). Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. Rizal, J. (2006). Noli me tangere. (2006 ed.). Makati City: The Bookmark Inc,. Zaide, G. F., & Zaide, S. M. (2011). Jose rizal: Life, works, and writings of a genius, writer, scientist, and national hero. (2 ed.). Quezon City: All-Nations Publishing Co., Inc. Digital Bethge, W. (2009). Frater damaso in josé rizal's novel “noli me tangere" . Retrieved from http://www.focus-philippines.de/damaso.htm Jose rizal. In (2009). (6th ed.). New York: Colombia University Press. Retrieved from http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=117042469 Morris, J. D. (2003). José rizal and the challenge of philippines independence . Retrieved from http://www.schillerinstitute.org/educ/hist/rizal.html Noli me tangere an eye opener. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nhi.gov.ph/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=11 'noli' and 'fili'. (2009, August 21). Manila Bulletin, Retrieved from http://www.questiaschool.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5031869461 Noli me tangere: Mga tauhan . (2004). Retrieved from http://www.joserizal.ph/no02.html Noli me tangere (novel). (2010). Retrieved from http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/189311 Notes: The philippine revolution . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://opmanong.ssc.hawaii.edu/filipino/revlinks.html 8

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