Noli Me Tangere
Chapter 1 Captain Tiago had arranged a grand dinner. Many guests come, most of them uninvited. Before the evening meal, people talk among themselves and discuss different issues of interest.
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In this chapter begins Friar Damaso’s frantic endeavors to prevent Maria Clara’s marriage to Crisostomo Ibarra. He tells Captain Tiago not to go through with the prearranged wedding. Here we find a more detailed and colorful description of Captain Tiago’s sycophancy to the church and its leaders. By means of the conversation between Friar Sibyla and the ill Dominican priest, Rizal further explains the enmity between Ibarra and Friar Damaso.
This chapter does not explain the reason for the gathering. Only in the succeeding pages are we told that the dinner was in fact offered in honor of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra’s return from Europe. This chapter serves to introduce most of Rizal’s main characters, those that play consequential roles throughout the book: Captain Tiago, Friar Damaso, Lt. Guevarra, and Dona Victorina. The gathering was held at the close of October, a few days before All Souls’ Day. Rizal exposed the true character of Friar Damaso early on, how he was vile and cruel and had no regard for the rights and feelings of others whenever he opened his mouth.
The comical character of Dona Victorina as portrayed in this chapter, was inspired by a close relative of Rizal, scholars say. Chapter 2 Captain Tiago introduces Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, whose clothes clearly depicted he was in grief. Ibarra is the main character in the story, who has just returned to the Philippines from Europe. Crisostomo warmly greets Friar Damaso who has a good friend of his father, Don Rafael, however the friar denies the existence of this close relationship. Lt. Guevarra approaches Ibarra and welcomes him, adding, “I hope your fate will be much better than your father’s. When Juan Crisostomo Ibarra arrives at the dinner with Captain Tiago, everyone is shocked. This clearly shows that none of the guests knew the reason for the gathering. In this chapter, Rizal begins the long and consequential battle between Crisostomo Ibarra and Friar Damaso. Ibarra had clearly not expected the friar to greet him so coldly. Crisostomo Ibarra had spent seven years in Europe. He had no idea of the many events that had transpired in his country while he was away. Chapter 3 The guests gather at the dining table. Friar Damaso and Friar Sibyla both rush for the seat at the head of the table.
The rest of the seats are occupied, and Crisostomo Ibarra notices Captain Tiago is not seated in any of them. Ibarra offers the Captain his seat, but the latter refuses. This is the time Ibarra realizes that the dinner was in fact arranged in his honor. Friar Damaso is enraged when Ibarra is served the meaty part of the chicken at dinner, while his was the skinny neck. Soon after, Ibarra leaves the scene without waiting for the arrival of his love interest, Maria Clara. Friar Damaso is no longer the parish priest of the town of San Diego, but is present at the dinner because he is the confessor of the Captain’s late wife. Chapter 4
Crisostomo Ibarra is out for a walk. He notices that there has been practically no change in his town since he left for Europe. Lt. Guevarra joins him shortly, and reminds him again to be careful. Only then does Ibarra find out about his father’s tragic death. In this chapter, Ibarra realizes the reason for Friar Damaso’s cold treatment of him back at the house of Captain Tiago. Then again, even Lt. Guevarra cannot find any reason why the friar would hold a grudge against Don Rafael. The first few paragraphs in this chapter vividly describe Ibarra’s disappointment on the town’s lack of progress while he was away in Europe.
Chapter 5 Crisostomo Ibarra settles in Fonda de Lala and appreciates from a distance the lively singing and noise around Captain Tiago’s house, which could be seen from the hotel window. His ruminates about his poor father’s death, and how life must have been extremely excruciating for him in prison. Meanwhile, at the Captain’s house, Maria Clara arrives. Friar Damaso shows great appreciation for the lady. Also introduced in this chapter is a new character, that of a young Franciscan friar by the name of Salvi, parish priest of the town of San Diego.
Most likely Friar Salvi arrived late and so was not able to join the rest of the guests for supper. In order to get a view of this friar’s consequential role in the story, put considerable attention on how Rizal describes his character in this chapter. Chapter 6 Captain Tiago and his wife, Dona Pia, have been childless for years. After consulting Friar Damaso of their predicament, the priest advised them to attend holy mass at the town of Ubando. Shortly after, Pia was with child. However, she had become sickly and troubled for the entire duration of her pregnancy. She died after giving birth to a daughter, Maria Clara.
The child was raised by Isabel, Tiago’s sister. Friar Damaso became her godfather when she was christened. Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra became childhood friends. In the long introduction of this chapter, Rizal addresses various superstitious beliefs in the church as well as several rotten methods in the government during that time. The name of Captain Tiago — Santiago de los Santos — connotes that Rizal intends to use his character to discuss matters of religion. The cause of Dona Pia’s death is intentionally not narrated by detail so as to provoke the readers’ thoughts.
Her sickly and tortured state during the pregnancy was actually on account of the guilt she bore of having a child out of adultery. Maria Clara’s biological father is not Captain Tiago, but Friar Damaso. Captain Tiago and Don Rafael had agreed that Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibarra would one day be married, and that the two men would engage in business together for the sake of both their children. Chapter 7 Crisostomo Ibarra finally finds time to have a private talk with Maria Clara at the azotea of Captain Tiago’s house. This is their first time to meet personally in seven years.
They exchange thoughts, and prove to each other that neither of then had forgotten their love. The long descriptions in this chapter should be given considerable importance. They are very clear and poetic. The most important element of this chapter is Ibarra’s letter to Maria Clara, which the latter had kept safely though the passing years. Rizal also depicts Maria Clara’s playful character. She is not like other Filipino women who are overly shy and refined. Chapter 8 From Captain Tiago’s house, after a heartwarming conversation with Maria Clara, Ibarra continues on his way to the town of San Diego.
In all of the places he passes through he notices no change in them since he left seven years ago. This is a chapter that describes the country’s lack of progress during those days. Rizal allows the reader to concretely visualize the scenes and looks of the native towns, and is actually one of his greatest contributions to the history and heritage of Manila. There are a lot of passages in this chapter, that abstractly define the principles to be lived by in the ancient day and age, as well as in today’s modern times. Chapter 9 Crisostomo Ibarra comes across the carriage carrying Friar Damaso.
Along the way the priest also bumps into Maria Clara and her Aunt Isabel, who were headed to the nunnery to fetch the maiden’s things. Friar Damaso tells Captain Tiago something of utmost importance. Meanwhile, in Intramuros, Friar Sibyla is deep in conversation with an old Dominican priest inflicted with a serious illness. In this chapter begins Friar Damaso’s frantic endeavors to prevent Maria Clara’s marriage to Crisostomo Ibarra. He tells Captain Tiago not to go through with the prearranged wedding. Here we find a more detailed and colorful description of Captain Tiago’s sycophancy to the church and its leaders.
By means of the conversation between Friar Sibyla and the ill Dominican priest, Rizal further explains the enmity between Ibarra and Friar Damaso. Chapter 10 This chapter describes in detail the town of San Diego. It also goes deeper into the roots of the main antagonist, Crisostomo Ibarra. San Diego is a fictional name. No town existed by that name in the Philippines the time the Noli was written. San Diego may be assumed to be a town situated beside Laguna Lake, since it was along this lake that Elias and Ibarra were chased by the civil guards after having narrowly escaped from prison.
We may note that there is always only one descendant in every generation of Ibarra’s clan. All the towns, when they are still developing and building their foundations, have Filipinos for priests. Once they reach maturity and achieve progress, Spanish friars take over. Chapter 11 This chapter describes the powerful people in the town of San Diego. Here are the characters that may be said to be in positions of power: (1) Don Rafael Ibarra (2) Captain Tiago (3) The town captain (4) Friar Salvi (5) The sacristan mayor (6) The alferez (7) Dona Consolacion Chapter 12
Burial practices and rituals in the town of San Diego are described in detail. There is also a very long conversation between a gravedigger and Tasyo the Philosopher. In this chapter Rizal introduces yet another consequential character — Tasyo the Philosopher. The reader is conditioned to detest the gruesome and cruel disrespect on the grave of Don Rafael through the exchange of ideas of the two men in the story. Chapter 13 Ibarra visits his late father’s grave. He finds out from the gravedigger that the parish priest had ordered to dig up his father’s remains, which were subsequently thrown into the river. Ibarra leaves, furious.
On his way he meets Friar Salvi, the head priest, at whom he shoots verbal attacks and forces to kneel before him for disrespecting Don Rafael’s grave. The priest eventually admits that it was not him but the parish priest before him, Friar Damaso, who was responsible for the shameful act. Chapter 14 Tasyo the Philosopher wandered aimlessly from the cemetery. He had had a talk with the town captain, whom he bombarded with superstitious teachings of religion. He had also met the two brothers, Basilio and Crispin, who could not go back home after the sacristan mayor denied them the freedom to leave the cathedral before eight in the evening.
On his way Tasyo passed by the home of Don Felipo, whom the latter shared with his wife Doray. Both men discussed the issue of purgatory. Tasyo the Philosopher is one of the most consequential and immortal characters created in the history of Philippine literature. Don Felipo is also one of the most-loved characters of the Noli. He had great respect and high regard for the old philosopher. That time there was an impending storm. Chapter 15 Despite the storm, the two sacristan brothers Basilio and Crispin had to go up the bell tower of the cathedral to ring the bells at eight in the evening.
Both boys talk about the parish priest’s lost silver. Crispin, the younger one, was blamed for having allegedly stolen the money. The boy was tortured by the priest and the sacristan mayor. Basilio luckily escaped. It is obvious in the way the two boys conversed in this chapter that they were thinking quite maturely for their age. Chapter 16 Sisa patiently waited for her two boys to come home. She had already prepared supper. But instead of Basilio and Crispin it was her husband, a drunkard and a gambler, who walked through the door. He ate all the food, leaving nothing for his sons.
He went on a rampage, and left telling his wife that if the boys ever brought home some money she should leave some for him. Minutes later Basilio arrived, out of breath and bleeding. This chapter is one of the most emotionally stirring in the entire book. Here Rizal clearly differentiates the poor from the rich characters presented in “All Souls. ” At this point in the story, we read about the friars practically hoarding for their own personal indulgence, money that could have benefited two poor boys whose father had left to fend for them. Sisa and her two sons live in a small hut outside town, close to where Tasyo the Philosopher lives.
Chapter 17 Basilio, drenched in blood, falls into his mother’s arms. He tells his mother that Crispin, his little brother, was left at the convent by order of the sacristan mayor. Neither of them had supper. Basilio dozed off and dreamed that the priest and the sacristan mayor had killed Crispin. Sisa is a loving mother, but Rizal describes her with a tone of pity for her lack of insight on her sons’ way of life. Basilio is roughly ten years old, and Crispin is seven. However, despite their young age, their characters are shown to have innate wisdom.
Basilio tells his mother that Crispin was accused of stealing the friar’s money, but left out the part about the torture. Basilio feels great disappointment, if not hate, for his drunkard father who had no sense of responsibility. Chapter 18 The day sparks up with rumors that Friar Salvi is ill. It is All Souls’ Day, and the streets are filled with people talking about plenary indulgence and all other religious practices and beliefs relating to the holiday. Sisa makes her way to the convent to fetch her son Crispin. She is told that the boy is not there; that the little thief had stolen even more from them, and then made a run for it.
Sisa breaks down in tears. In this chapter, Rizal points out yet again all of the many irrational and superstitious practices that consume as if devouring the event of All Souls. It can be sensed in the writing that the author keeps a tenuous thread of indignation while describing all of it in detail. That morning, almost everyone notices Friar Salvi’s bizarre behavior. Chapter 19 The teacher in the town of San Diego accompanies Ibarra to the place where Don Rafael’s body was found, and there Ibarra pays respects to the memory of his father. The schoolteacher mentions to Crisostomo the great help the late.
Don Rafael gave in enlivening children’s education in San Diego. The story moves Ibarra, and so he decides to build a school for the kids. This, he says, will do great honor and justice to the memory of his father. The school teacher is one of the six people who attended Don Rafael’s burial. Chapter 20 From the riverside, Ibarra makes his way to the town hall. There people are deciding on the type of celebrations that must be held and organized during the town feast. The older citizens are inclined to having a grand and cheerful celebration.
The youth, with the leadership of Don Felipo, are against it. This is one of the most beautiful chapters of the Noli, which discusses one very serious social problem, not only in the old days but also up to the present — feasts. It can be observed that the foul practice of writing on walls has not changed. (Refer to the first paragraph). The captain, before joining in the meeting, has a brief talk with Friar Salvi. It was eleven days before the feast, which was on the 12th of December. Captain Basilio was Don Rafael’s rival in terms of wealth and fortune. Chapter 21 Sisa runs all the way home.
She wants desperately to save and protect her sons from the danger that she feels is coming. She comes across the civil guards and finds out that Crispin was nowhere to be found, and that Basilio had escaped. The guards command Sisa to bring out the friar’s money which his sons had stolen. When she cannot produce it they arrest her. Sisa nearly dies of shame from the piercing stares of the people as she is dragged across town. The alferez eventually releases her, and she goes searching for her lost sons. Still no sign of them. Sisa becomes insane. It was not the alferez but the sergeant who ordered Sisa’s arrest.
The mother who loses her sanity looking for her lost sons was created by Rizal from a real-life character. Sisa’s husband was an upright man in the beginning. He started to become vile and cruel when he became cabeza. Chapter 22 The following days are spent preparing for the town feast. News spreads fast that Maria Clara will grace the celebration with her presence, and everyone is excited to catch a glimpse of the beautiful young maiden. Even Friar Salvi, withdrawn as he is, has changed noticeably since her arrival. Crisostomo Ibarra is away for the last few days visiting the capital.
Rumor has it that he is held in prison for attacking the Friar Salvi on All Souls. When Crisostomo and Maria Clara finally have a moment to talk, they agree to have a picnic in the forest owned by the Ibarras. The maiden does not want to invite Friar Salvi, but Crisostomo insists that they could not avoid the priest’s attendance. To be rid of whatever animosity there is between them, Ibarra and Friar Salvi even have a brief talk. On his way home, Crisostomo is approached by Sisa and her husband who are seeking his help. Remember that unlike Crisostomo Ibarra, Maria Clara did not grow up in San Diego.
She is only spending some days there on vacation, but lives with Captain Tiago in Binondo. It was November. Chapter 23 It was the day of the picnic. Early in the morning they go on a boat ride across the lake, headed for the forest. Everyone is enjoying the fun and excitement; only the boat driver, Elias, remains silent. As requested, Maria Clara sings a patriotic melody. This stirs the emotions of everyone there, but most especially kindles sadness in the hearts of Elias and Ibarra. The lake is not a good place for fishing; the crocodile had frightened all the fish away.
Elias tries to get rid of the beast but when it nearly kills him, Crisostomo leaps off the boat and takes on the monster, saving Elias’s life. The forest (the intended campsite) is located beside the lake. The playful nature of the young men during that time is clearly described in this chapter. It is most helpful to remember the young men who join in this picnic to more easily understand the coming revolt in response to the charges against Ibarra. Chapter 24 Friar Salvi goes through the mass hurriedly in order to join in the picnic, as Ibarra had invited him.
When he arrives he secretly follows the ladies around as they look for a certain bird’s nest. He then proceeds to the picnic area where the fun is. In the middle of all the colorful amusement, the civil guards arrive in search of Elias. Although they are unable to capture the man, the commotion they brought with them ends the picnic prematurely. Rizal’s knowledge and interest in botany and zoology are evident in this chapter. Almost all the highly respected and “honorable” people of San Diego are invited in the picnic, including the alferez and coadjutor. Elias is not from the town of San Diego. He only arrived a few days before.
Chapter 25 The day after the picnic Ibarra visits the home Tasyo the Philosopher. They talk about a variety of things — language, history, geography, and nature. They also talk about Elias and how the picnic went the day before. Ibarra learns that it was Dona Consolacion, the “muse of the civil guards,” who ordered Elias’s arrest. Crisostomo tells the old man the reason for his visit — to ask for advice regarding his plans of building a schoolhouse. Tasyo responds by telling Ibarra that he had come to the wrong person; that he should rather consult Friar Salvi, the captain, and all the other men in office.
Asking for their advice, Tasyo says, does not necessarily mean that Ibarra has to follow them, only that the latter must make it seem like he has high regard for their opinion on the matter. Tasyo further advises him to keep his head down among the friars. Tasyo’s house looks almost like a library with all his many books. This chapter has great substance. In contrast to others, where Rizal humorously describes and points out the foolishness of the characters, this one has wisdom as its dominant theme. Here we read about Rizal’s hope of educating his race in the days to come. Chapter 26 Everyone is getting ready for the town fiesta.
The streets are bedazzled with colorful buntings, the band is playing the grandest music, and all the kitchens are busy. Crisostomo Ibarra is busy working out the plans for the new schoolhouse. His architect, Nol Juan, observes the unique rafter that will be used to put down the cornerstone. A man with yellowish skin is in charge of building the contraption. Many women and children help out in the project. Even those that are formerly considered “enemies of the town” extended a hand. Crisostomo Ibarra becomes the role model of the children — the person they would want to become when they grow up.
Ibarra reports to Tasyo the Philosopher the obvious success of his new project. The sage in return responds, “If you are greeted with smiles, be more watchful of enemies hiding in the shadows…” Philippine fiestas are for everyone’s enjoyment, friend and foe, rich and poor. This chapter describes in detail how the fiesta is a great opportunity to showcase art, sculptures, tapestries, and many more. Rizal also exhibits in this chapter the Filipinos’ inherent love for music. The rafter holding the cornerstone, and the yellowish man who is building it, are vital to the story. Their purpose in the story can be read in the succeeding chapters.
Chapter 27 Word spreads fast across Manila about Ibarra’s noble work. Inspired by this, Captain Tiago decides that he wants to put up a convent, financed by him personally. Maria Clara asks permission to go out with her girlfriends and Ibarra. Captain Tiago reminds her to come home early because Friar Damaso will be joining them for supper. Along the way they meet an old leper. Out of pity, Maria Clara gives to the leper her scapular as a gift. The scapular and the leper are one of the elements of the Noli that connect it to the El Fili. Leprosy before was believed to be an incurable disease.
Rizal refutes this in his second book, El Filibusterismo, when Basilio cures the leper who, as payment, gives the young doctor Maria Clara’s scapular. Developments in science and medicine today prove that Rizal is indeed correct. Chapter 28 A news reporter describes in the papers how the feast in San Diego was grand, fanciful, and unparalleled. Maria Clara writes to Ibarra, worried because she didn’t see him all afternoon. The rumors of him being sick leaves her extremely troubled. She asks that he visit her the following day. This chapter narrates events through the use of letters exchanged by the characters.
It can be observed from the reporter’s writing that he injects his own opinions into the news. Chapter 29 The day of the fiesta starts with the sound of gongs and fireworks. Everyone is dressed at his or her best, with all the ornaments, trimmings, and frills — everyone, that is, except Tasyo the Philosopher. All the people are excited to hear mass, curious to know what Friar Damaso’s sermon will be about. In this chapter Rizal discusses the reason for the christening of the Chinese. This is somewhat related to their endeavors at acquiring Filipino citizenship: It’s all about business.
Rizal further describes many more observations regarding religious celebrations in the Philippines, especially in the point of view of the church. Chapter 30 The cathedral is fully-packed with churchgoers. Tasyo the Philosopher argues with the maestro regarding the generous amount of money that Friar Damaso receives for delivering his sermon. The mayor is late, and the mass does not start until after he arrives. Meanwhile, Maria Clara is seated near the altar; there isn’t much people around where she sits because this has been arranged for her by the sacristans as ordered by Friar Salvi.
Ibarra situates himself in one corner. The sermon finally starts, and Friar Damaso takes his place in the pulpit. He signals to another priest within his line of sight; this priest dictates the friar’s sermon to him. In this chapter Rizal points out a number of things about the church: (a) the holy water, (b) the huge attendance, (c) monetary compensation for the priest in charge of the sermon, (d) the joining in of children too young to understand the service, (e) the late arrival of some people whose attendance is being waited on, and (f) self-infliction of pain as a form of penitence in order to acquire indulgences.
Chapter 31 Friar Damaso starts the sermon in Spanish. When the priest makes a certain gesture in the middle his speech, the sacristan thinks that like Friar Salvi, Damaso wants to go on with the sermon in closed doors. After the sacristan shuts the church entrance, it becomes so much hotter inside. As Friar Damaso proceeds with the sermon he goes on to make insinuations about Ibarra, whom he sees seated in one corner. The priest’s dictator becomes lost in his reading, since there are no notes written there regarding such vile accusations against the youth.
When time comes to start the second part of the sermon, which is in Tagalog, Damaso does not conduct it very well, thinking that none of the natives understand proper rhetoric. The friar overhears a student in the crowd remark that the priest is probably speaking Greek, and Damaso becomes furious. This ends in a heated argument after the mass. Elias approaches Ibarra right after the sermon ends and whispers, “During the blessing, do not depart from where the parish priest (Friar Salvi) stands; do not descend down the excavation; do not approach the cornerstone — it is a matter of life and death. This is one of the chapters that contain a number of edited and deleted scenes and lines in other translations of the Noli. The sermon is commonly not given due attention and interest. When this part of the mass starts most of the men head for the exit. However in this chapter, Rizal describes Friar Damaso’s sermon in a rather amusing way. It is obvious that the priest makes no sense whatsoever, ending a statement without making a point, connecting sentences and phrases that have no relation to each other, and the entirety of the sermon lacking focus on the theme at hand.
The sermon has two parts: the first one is in Spanish, and the second in Tagalog. Friar Damaso only prepares for the first part, which unfortunately also turns into a disaster when he inserts insinuating comments about Ibarra. Chapter 32 Nol Juan commends the great workmanship done by the yellowish man on the pulley. When asked where he learned such skills, the youth replies that he was taught by his father who learned it from a Don Saturnino. He then smiles meaningfully. Elias, disguised as a local farmer, observes that the yellowish man is seemingly restless and apprehensive as he holds onto the rope of the pulley bearing the cornerstone.
Elias positions himself beside the man in anticipation, and winks at Ibarra to remind the youth of the warning the former gave to him earlier during the mass. Later when Ibarra descends to the excavation, the beam of the pulley suddenly breaks, letting loose the cornerstone which crushes the yellowish man to death, but leaves Ibarra unharmed. “An unfortunate beginning…” Tasyo the Philosopher remarks. The yellowish man is most likely suffering from malaria, which was a common disease during those days, or a disorder of the liver. Chapter 33 Ibarra heads home to change. Elias arrives. You saved my life before, and now I have returned the favor. There is no need for you to thank me, Sir,” the man says to Ibarra. He goes on to remind him not to hint to those people in power the warning that Elias gave him earlier in the church. Elias explains that it would be better for Ibarra if his enemies thought he wasn’t ready. Ibarra is stunned; he had no idea he had enemies. “We all have enemies,” says Elias. “Disagreement is a part of life. ” Elias then confesses to have jumped the yellowish man into the excavation the moment the latter tried to make a run for it.
The character of Elias reveals more depth in this chapter. It can be said that he is no ordinary man, but a philosopher. Chapter 34 Ibarra returns to the schoolhouse. He and the mayor are seated on either side of the long table at dinner. Also in attendance are Captain Tiago, the alferez, and the town captain. Captain Tiago receives a telegram, informing him that the captain general will be visiting his house. Tiago excuses himself right away. The guests observe that Friar Damaso is not in attendance. Talk eventually centers on the priest’s sermon during the mass.
Only Friar Salvi remains silent and motionless in his seat. When Damaso finally arrives, the dinner is just about finished. The priest starts declaring insults with the intention of enraging and provoking Ibarra, but the youth remains prudent the entire time. However, when Damaso starts mocking the name of Don Rafael, Ibarra loses his composure and lunges at the priest, holding a knife to his throat. Maria Clara stops Ibarra before he could do further harm to the friar, causing the youth to drop the knife and leave the room in haste.
The captain general is liberal, and based on the way Rizal introduces him in this chapter, it can be said that he is an honorable man. Chapter 35 News spreads about Ibarra and Friar Damaso’s eventful encounter. There are even rumors claiming that the friar is already dead. There are those who praise Ibarra, like Don Felipo, and those who find fault in the youth’s lack of prudence, like the town captain. Most of the mothers talk among themselves, assured that Ibarra’s soul is surely condemned to burn in hell after what he did to a man of God. There are other women, too, who are on his side.
Most of the townspeople think that not only will Ibarra be excommunicated, he is also bound to be labeled a filibuster. Rizal makes use of the characters’ comments on the incident that happened the night before in order to clearly and creatively discuss the focus of this chapter. Chapter 36 Ibarra is excommunicated, as punishment for his cruel and shameful treatment of Friar Damaso. Maria Clara breaks down in tears, and Captain Tiago visits her in the convent. There, Damaso makes clear to Tiago that the planned marriage between Ibarra and Maria Clara is to be nullified. The captain general arrives.
He calls for Maria Clara, who stays in solitude insider her room. When a man is excommunicated, he is not to be talked to or given notice by all who practice the Catholic faith. Friar Damaso is staying in the convent, which is the reason why he opts to meet with Tiago there. The captain general is staying at Captain Tiago’s house. Chapter 37 The first person the captain general wishes to see is Ibarra. However, since the youth is still to be called upon, his Excellency instead addresses the matter of the youth who had gone into a fistfight with Friar Damaso the day before, after he had insulted the sermon.
When the general asks where Damaso is, he is told that the friar is bedridden in the convent. His Excellency then speaks with Maria Clara. He thanks her for having stopped Ibarra from killing the damned priest, and asks her to name the reward she would wish to receive for such a noble act. Ibarra arrives shortly, and confers with the captain general. They exchange opinions and ideas, and the general grows very fond of the youth. His Excellency promises to talk with the Archbishop regarding Ibarra’s case so that the latter’s state of excommunication may be lifted.
When the general speaks with Captain Tiago he inquires about Ibarra’s marriage with Maria Clara, and offers to be godfather during the wedding ceremony. Lieutenant Guevarra and the captain general are two of the Spaniards that Rizal speaks of highly in his Noli, proof that the novel is not a biased endeavor to attack Spain. Chapter 38 The captain walks together with the mayor, Captain Tiago, and Crisostomo Ibarra. They watch the procession from the captain’s terrace. When the statue of the Virgin Mary passes by Tiago’s house, Maria Clara sings “Ave Maria” in a melody so sad that would cause one to ponder upon the cause of such melancholy.
In this chapter Rizal lists down his observations regarding the religious practices surrounding Catholic processions during that time, some of which are still presently observed in the Philippines. Chapter 39 In the house of the alferez, all the windows are closed. Inside, servants and workers alike get the ominous feeling that the Dona Consolacion is again conjuring up an evil plan of some sort. Sisa, who was taken into custody for creating social unrest, has been in the barracks for two days now. She hears Maria Clara’s mournful song, and sings a sad ballad herself. The civil guards stay silent, listening.
Dona Consolacion hears the woman, and forces the latter to sing and dance for her own amusement. The alferez arrives shortly, and commands his servant to clothe Sisa, feed her, give her a suitable bed for the night, and then bring her to Ibarra the following day. Dona Consolacion is one of the most hideous and unpleasant characters created by Rizal. Chapter 40 All the people head towards the town plaza to witness the play. When the show starts the friars are already in their designated seats. Friar Salvi, however, does not see what is happening on stage; his full attention is focused on Maria Clara.
After the first half of the play Ibarra arrives. Friar Salvi orders Don Felipo to prohibit Ibarra from watching the play, since the youth has been excommunicated, and his presence would corrupt the celebration. When Don Felipo refuses to follow the priest’s orders, Salvi motions to his companions and leaves. Rizal describes in vibrant detail the indigenous colors, customs, and traditions that surround the night of the fiesta. Chapter 41 While Ibarra passes time in his laboratory, Elias arrives with the news of Maria Clara’s illness. The lady had apparently caught fever.
Ibarra asks Elias how the latter was able to stop the riot the night before. Shortly after Elias leaves, Ibarra heads toward Captain Tiago’s house to visit Maria Clara. Along the way he comes across Lucas, the brother of the yellowish man who had attempted to kill Ibarra, who asks him for money for his grieving family. Ibarra, aggravated, tells the man to return in the afternoon. Elias becomes like a slave who bids farewell to his master, Ibarra, by disguising his intentions behind questions asking whether Crisostomo had other things he wanted him to do because Elias was actually taking a trip to Batangas.
From the day Ibarra saved him from the crocodile, Elias had dedicated his life in service fully to the youth. Chapter 42 Maria Clara is ill. Dona Victorina and her husband arrive at Capitan Tiago’s house. Don Tiburcio de Espadana is there on account of the girl, whom he had agreed to treat after Tiago requested for his services (Tiburcio is a Spaniard, who pretends to be a doctor). Together with the couple is a young Spanish gentleman, Linares. This chapter recounts how Victorina came to marry her husband, how the latter got into the pretense of being a man of medicine, and a brief and amusing account of his woes.
Here Rizal clearly depicts the true character of Dona Victorina. Captain Tiago’s sycophancy is also shown in this chapter when he nearly kisses the hand of Linares, a man considered to be merely dust in Spain that has been cast away into the Philippine islands. Chapter 43 After Don Tiburcio de Espadana checks on Maria Clara and gives her a prescription, Friar Damaso arrives and talks with her. The priest is introduced to Linares, and conjures up a plan to arrange the youth’s marriage to Maria Clara. Meanwhile, Lucas is formulating a plan to harm Ibarra. Friar Salvi also has plans of his own.
The scene where Friar Damaso tears up after seeing Maria Clara in such poor condition shows that still, he has a heart — a father’s heart. Chapter 44 Friar Salvi is alone with Maria Clara for the latter’s confession. The girl begins to feel well after a few hours, and according to Dona Victorina, it was all because of Don Tiburcio’s skill and expertise. Friar Salvi, on the other hand, says that it was because of her confession. When the friar leaves Maria Clara’s room, he appears rather pale and is covered in perspiration. Maria Clara did not have the chance to know her mother because the latter died right after giving birth to her.
Despite the many guesses as to what truly accounted for Maria Clara’s fast recovery, it was in fact the medicine that Ibarra sent her through Sinang that did the trick. Rizal describes a number of Catholic traditions in this chapter. Chapter 45 Just like Elias had told Ibarra, he leaves for Batangas in search of Captain Pablo. He finds the man weak and wounded in the middle of a forest. Elias persuades Pablo to go with him and live a free life but the latter refuses, saying that he cannot turn his back from the life he has made for himself, that of a man hunted but still fighting for his principles and his honor.
The allusion “Pablo” among the rebels in the mountains is coined from the name of Captain Pablo. Elias and Captain Pablo share the same methods of rebellion — spare the innocent. Chapter 46 It is Sunday, and virtually everyone is in the cockpit. Two brothers, Tarsilo and Bruno, are among the audience. They wish to place their bets and join the fun, but they have no money with them. Lucas approaches the two boys and offers them cash, reminding them of the vengeance they have to exact upon those who caused the death of their beloved father and inviting them to join him in a rebellion he is planning to start.
The boys refuse. Later on, the brothers see Lucas talking to Pedro, the father of Basilio and Crispin. Eventually Tarsilo and his brother decide to join Lucas in his undertaking. According to Lucas, the rebellion is Ibarra’s idea. The boys leave after each getting thirty pesos from the man, agreeing to meet at the cemetery at eight in the evening. The character Captain Pablo in Batangas is different from the Captain Pablo in the cockpit. Pedro is Sisa’s husband. In this chapter Rizal scrutinizes cockfighting. Chapter 47 While walking with her husband, Dona Victorina flashes her eccentric clothes about town.
The de Espadanas pass by the house of the alferez. Dona Consolacion, the alferez’s wife, mocks Victorina, and this ends in a heated argument. To defend her honor, Victorina prods Linares to challenge the alferez to a duel. When it comes to character development, this chapter is at the top of the list. Dona Victorina, Dona Consolacion, Don Tiburcio de Espadana, and Captain Tiago are undying caricatures created by Rizal that have made an eternal mark in Philippine literature. The character featured in this chapter is Dona Victorina. The quarrel between the two women (Victorina and Consolacion) is described in classic satire. Chapter 48
The archbishop grants pardon to Ibarra and removes the penalty of excommunication. Crisostomo feels a pang of jealousy when he sees Maria Clara with Linares. He proceeds to visit his schoolhouse, which is still under construction. The architect updates him on the recent progress of the building. Ibarra spots Elias helping out in the construction, and requests to see the full list of workers. The architect leaves, and Ibarra approaches Elias. Elias asks if he could speak with him later in the afternoon by the river, and Ibarra agrees. Elias walks away, and Nol Juan approaches Ibarra, handing over to him the list of workers.
Elias’s name is not there. The term “taguling” refers to a narrow canal where water flows through land. Chapter 49 Ibarra goes to the seaside where he had agreed to meet with Elias. Elias tells him of the purpose of the meeting — to address the concerns and needs of those who are hunted and persecuted. He asks Ibarra to find a way to diminish the power of the friars and the civil guards. Ibarra refuses. According to him, the friars and the civil guards are “necessary evils. ” In this chapter Rizal explains what it means to love one’s country. It is here that the character of Elias finds more color and depth. Chapter 50
Elias narrates his story and the unfortunate lives of his ancestors, upon Ibarra’s request. Sixty years had passed. Elias’s great-grandfather worked as a bookkeeper for a Spanish businessman. When a fire broke out in the workhouse, he was accused of arson and was sentenced to be flogged in the streets. This left him crippled. In order to provide for the family his wife, still with child, was forced to enter into prostitution. One of their sons turned to thievery and lived the life of a bandit. Their other son eventually married a rich woman, and together they had two children — twins — Elias and his sister, who were both educated in Manila.
However, the family’s dark past surfaced eventually, and Elias and his sister lost all that they had. The girl killed herself, and Elias was left alone to wander the streets as a hunted man. Elias’s Family Tree: Chapter 51 Dona Victorina writes to Linares, who is currently still living in Captain Tiago’s house. She tells him that it is imperative that the lad will have already dueled with the alferez after three days. If this plan does not push through, she says, she will tell Tiago of the youth’s lies and pretenses. Ibarra arrives. He secretly asks Sinang to find a way for him to talk with Maria Clara privately.
Dona Victorina’s letter is a clear picture of the present condition — the deliberate use of a foreign language in which one is not well versed. Dona Victorina repeatedly speaks and writes in Spanish although her grammar and use of the language is rather pitiful. At present many locals deliberately speak English when they know their skill in its use requires much improvement. Linares regrets agreeing to Dona Victorina’s demands of pretending to be an honorable Spaniard and secretary to the minister just to gain Captain Tiago’s favor. Now the woman is threatening to reveal all his rotten lies.
Chapter 52 The road to the cemetery is narrow; the moon is hiding behind dark clouds. Three men are talking. “Have you spoken to Elias? ” says one. No, comes the reply. But Elias is included because he saved Ibarra’s life. “He brought my wife to a doctor…” says the first speaker, “so I consented. ” A few minutes later, Lucas arrives and instructs them to attack the barracks and the church. Elias, after spying on Lucas, finds out about the plan that will implicate Ibarra. Chapter 53 News spreads about the flickering lights and the moving shadows in the cemetery.
Tasyo the Philosopher, bedridden at that time, converses with Captain Felipo who has recently resigned from office. Tasyo wishes the mayor to continue in his fight. They also talk about the issue concerning the trouble with the civil guards, the friars, and the youth. The philosopher predicts his death, which he says will come in a few days. The people presume that it was the souls in purgatory mourning over their dead that lighted the candles in the cemetery. There was only one light that night, from the match that Elias used to see his companions.
Tasyo the Philosopher is already weakened by his condition. The original title of this chapter is “Il Buon Di Si Conosce Da Mattina,” meaning that if the morning is beautiful, the rest of the day will be also. The circumstances of the present will reflect what becomes of the future. It was Tasyo who advised Don Felipo to resign from office when the latter lost against the friars in defending his plans for the town fiesta. Chapter 54 The angelus plays, and people pause to pray. But Friar Salvi continues to walk toward the house of the alferez. The two enemies talk.
Salvi tells the alferez that he had learned through a confession that there was a plan of rebellion ensuing, and that the latter should ready his men. Friar Salvi requests from him soldiers to guard the church. Meanwhile, Elias rushes to Ibarra’s house and explains that the plot had already been discovered, and Ibarra was accused of leading the rebellion. Elias immediately tells him to run and escape, but not before burning all the documents, letters, and any evidence that would implicate him. In one of these letters, Elias discovers that it was Ibarra’s great grandfather who had accused his great grandfather of arson.
Elias lives for only one purpose: To find and exact vengeance on the descendants of that cruel Spaniard who accused his great grandfather of a crime without any proof, which had then been the cause of his family’s disgrace. He now discovers that the man he was searching for was Crisostomo Ibarra. Chapter 55 Tiago, Isabel, Linares, and the others, are having dinner at Captain Tiago’s house. Sinang whispers to Maria Clara, who is seated by the piano and had refused to eat. Friar Salvi is pacing back and forth across the living room. Ibarra hears shots fired near the convent. He rushes toward Captain Tiago’s house.
When Ibarra returns to his house, the civil guards arrest him. Elias then enters the empty quarters and burns all the evidence that could implicated Ibarra in the failed rebellion. Sinang and Maria Clara’s other friends are aware of Friar Salvi’s affections for the young maiden. The moon does not shine too brightly that night. Chapter 56 A child looks out the window to assess the condition outside, and his mother scolds him. Manang Puti opens her windows, and so does Manang Rufa. The two women talk. They suspect that the rebellion was headed by Captain Pablo. Rumor has it that Don Felipo was arrested.
Some say that the civil guards had revolted in the barracks, and that Friar Salvi had attacked the alferez. Word spreads that Ibarra had burned his entire house down. They had surveyed Ibarra’s house. They say that the youth was plotting to kill Friar Salvi. Word has it around town that Ibarra is a criminal, and that this was because of his liberal education in Spain. In the characters’ conversations Rizal shows clearly to the readers why rumors always spread fast and grow. It is because every single person who hears the news inserts his own opinions and thoughts and adds it to the original story.
Opinions and guesses are quickly taken as facts. Chapter 56 Tarsilo and Andong are persecuted. Of all the men who attacked the barracks, they were the only ones who made it alive. Tarsilo declares that he had not once spoken to Crisostomo Ibarra. The only reason he joined the attack was to avenge his father’s death. Tarsilo is tortured. After Tarsilo dies without confessing anything of use, Andong is questioned. Andong is terrified of his companion’s fate, and says that he will speak. The reason, he admits, why he was there by the barracks was because his in-laws gave him only rotten food and nothing decent to eat.
In this chapter Rizal shows the heroic acts of one Tarsilo, a man who knows how to fight and die with honor. It is helpful to remember what Friar Salvi says: “I do not wish to face them yet… I am not well” in trial when he stands opposite the men arrested. Friar Salvi is included in the trial because during that time, the church and the state were linked. Chapter 57 Tarsilo and Andong are persecuted. Of all the men who attacked the barracks, they were the only ones who made it alive. Tarsilo declares that he had not once spoken to Crisostomo Ibarra. The only reason he joined the attack was to avenge his father’s death. Tarsilo is tortured.
After Tarsilo dies without confessing anything of use, Andong is questioned. Andong is terrified of his companion’s fate, and says that he will speak. The reason, he admits, why he was there by the barracks was because his in-laws gave him only rotten food and nothing decent to eat. In this chapter Rizal shows the heroic acts of one Tarsilo, a man who knows how to fight and die with honor. It is helpful to remember what Friar Salvi says: “I do not wish to face them yet… I am not well” in trial when he stands opposite the men arrested. Friar Salvi is included in the trial because during that time, the church and the state were linked.
Chapter 58 The relatives of those caught during the rebellion break down in tears. Aling Doray, with her child, sobs waiting for Don Felipo. Capt. Tinay and the others weep for their sons and husbands. Andong’s mother-in-law speaks out in anger. When the twenty prisoners are taken outside at two in the afternoon, all of them are tied up except for Ibarra. All the people blame him for the dark fate of their loved ones in captivity. Ibarra does not have a single friend in the crowd. Not even Nol Juan, the schoolteacher, or Captain Basilio is in sight.
From a hilltop, Tasyo the Philosopher watch the prisoners leave. He couldn’t go to them because of his ill health. The following day Tasyo is found dead. Chapter 59 The many corporations celebrate Friar Salvi’s triumphant discovery of the rebellion. The people in the government and the church hope for a big promotion of their offices because of the successful efforts to put a stop to the uprising. The friars blame it all on the Jesuits, who they claim had messed with the minds of the youth. Captain Tinong is restless and worried that he might also be arrested simply for being Ibarra’s acquaintance.
Word spreads around Manila that all the praises about Ibarra’s schoolhouse are false; it is actually a place for the rebels, a tower of rebellion. Don Primitivo is a caricature created by Rizal, similar to Captain Basilio and Dona Victorina: He always speaks in Latin, but people do not understand a word he says. The friars hold a great celebration in honor of Friar Salvi and his discovery of an uprising — through Holy Confession. Chapter 60 Captain Tiago is the only wealthy man who isn’t in jail. Captain Tinong is freed, but is terribly ill and does not want to go out of the house.
Dona Victorina, Don Tiburcio, and Linares arrive at Captain Tiago’s house. Victorina and Tiago agree that Linares and Maria Clara wed the soonest time possible, and Tiago immediately attends to the wedding preparations the following day. Maria Clara goes to the azotea and sees Ibarra leap out from a rowboat nearby. Ibarra climbs up the azotea and tells the maiden how he feels she has betrayed her but has nonetheless already forgiven her. Maria Clara stops him, and explains her present circumstances. She swears to Ibarra that she had fallen and will fall in love only once and with him.
For a girl, just like Maria Clara, the love of a mother is of vital importance. Maria Clara knows that it was not confession but the medicine that Ibarra gave her through Sinang that cured her illness. Chapter 61 Civil guards to after Ibarra and Elias on the lake in hot pursuit. Elias jumps off the boat to mislead the men, saving Ibarra’s life. In spite of Elias’s sad fate — no love, no happiness — he still wishes to stay and suffer and die in his motherland. In this chapter is born Simoun of El Filibusterismo, a man poisoned by misfortune and repays it with violence and cruelty to his countrymen.
Chapter 62 Many gifts are offered for Maria Clara’s wedding to Linares. Friar Damaso arrives, cheerful. He notices, however, that the maiden is rather pale and distraught. Maria Clara cries on his shoulders and asks him to tell Captain Tiago to call off the wedding. She tells him of her last encounter with Ibarra on the azotea, but leaves out the part about knowing the true story of her birth. She tells Damaso that as long as Ibarra was alive she was willing to suffer, content with hearing the occasional mention of his name.
But now that he is gone — she had learned that Ibarra was killed as he tried to escape the guards — she no longer has any reason to suffer. She asks Friar Damaso to grant her permission to enter the nunnery, and, after much hesitation, the priest consents. News has already spread that Ibarra was killed in the lake. Even if a man is of pure Spanish descent, if he is born in the Philippines, he is regarded as lower than those who are born in Spain. Chapter 63 Basilio returns to San Diego to look for his mother, Sisa. This search ends in the forest of the Ibarras, where Sisa dies shortly after recognizing her son.
Minutes later, a weak and wounded Elias arrives and orders Basilio to cremate the two bodies (Elias’s and Sisa’s). In this chapter the readers catch a glimpse of the characters that will be leading the El Filibusterismo, sequel to Rizal’s Noli. The town of San Diego now has a new parish priest and a new alferez. This is one of the saddest chapters in the entire novel. Basilio reunites with his mother but the two of them do not even get a chance to speak with each other. And it was Christmas Eve. Chapter 64 This chapter narrates what happened to the characters following the preceding events.
Friar Damaso is assigned to another town. The following day he is found dead. It is suspected that he suffered a heart attack. Friar Salvi frequently delivers sermons at the convent of Sta. Clara where Maria Clara is staying. Captain Tiago drowns himself in gambling, cockfighting, and opium. He lost his will to attend mass the moment Maria Clara entered the convent. Dona Victorina is enjoying the Spanish life even more. Don Tiburcio is frequently found without his dentures. Linares dies of dysentery. The alferez returns to Spain, leaving his wife. Maria Clara is miserable at the convent.