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Noli Me Tangerere and Questions

Noli Me Tangerere and Questions

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Published by: Aileen Grace Delima on Feb 21, 2008
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NOLI ME TANGEREREBY JOSE RIZALhttp://www.webmanila.com/nolimetangere.html
Synopsis of Noli Me Tangere
Crisostomo Ibarra is the heir of a wealthy clan. He returns to the Philippines after studying for sevenyears abroad. He hears news/gossip about the death of his father, Don Rafael Ibarra. Don Rafael wassent to prison in connection with the death of a tax collector. Since Don Rafael stopped receiving holycommunion for a long time, he was refused a Catholic/Christian burial by Padre Damaso, the parishpriest of their town.Crisostomo (let's just call him Ibarra from hereon) sees the lack of progress in his town and decides tobuild a school to teach and prepare his townspeople. Tandang Tacio (the old philosopher) notes thatthere have been many attempts to build a school in the past, but all these had failed. Padre Salviopposes the plan because he is secretly worried that the school project will threaten the power hewields over their town.Ibarra almost gets killed while he is laying the cornerstone of the school, but Elias saved him. Elias isthe mysterious fellow who also saved Ibarra previously.With so many powerful enemies, Ibarra eventually gets implicated in a staged revolution, and ishunted down by the guardia civil. Maria Clara, Ibarra's sweetheart, unwittingly adds to Ibarra's woeswhen she switches Ibarra's letter with another letter that reveals her true nature.The guardia civil catch up with Ibarra, and drizzle him and Elias with bullets near the lake. Ibarrasurvives and buries Elias in the forest owned by the clan of Ibarra. The guardia civil think Ibarradrowned and died in the lake and promptly leave the scene.
Maria Clara thinks Ibarra really died, gets depressed, and enters the nunnery. She does notfollow the advice of Padre Damaso to marry Linares.
Chapter 1: A Gathering
In late October, Don Santiago de los Santos (otherwise known as Capitan Tiago), hosteda dinner at his house on Anloague Street. The descriptions of the house could be likenedto the status of Philippine society under Spanish rule.Among the characters we meet are a Teniente Guevara, Padre Sibyla (Dominican) andPadre Damaso (Franciscan). Padre Damaso spent 20 years as parish priest in San Diego.The angry conversation between Padre Damaso and the soldier reveals that a good man,whose son was in Europe, died. His body was exhumed by the San Diego parish priestand ordered buried elsewhere.
Some notes
It is not yet clear why Capitan Tiago is hosting a dinner. It will be learned only inlater chapters that the dinner is in honor of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, the novel'slead character, who is returning to the Philippines from Europe.
It is almost All Souls' Day.
 
Introduced in this chapter is Doña Victorina, a memorable and insufferablecharacter of the Noli.
Questions and Answers
1.
What undesirable traits of Filipinos were mentioned in this chapter?
Attending parties even if not invited, extravagant parties (because no one knewhow many people were coming), the host does not get to eat dinner.
2.
How did Rizal liken the Philippines to Capitan Tiago's house?
The country,like the house, is open to all (Philippine hospitality). But Filipinos are notinterested in business or entrepreneurship, and have a hard time embracing newideas (because of conservatism). Any new endeavor is met with doubts frommany sectors, but once success is achieved, everyone wants to share in the glory.
3.
What is the significance of the argument between Padre Damaso andTeniente Guevara?
This exemplifies the difficulty of uniting Church and State.Take note of the assassination of Capitan Heneral Bustamante. History also tellsof the bloody struggle for the Spanish throne between the liberal supporters of Queen Cristina and the friar-supported Carlist movement.
4.
What was the effect of this on Philippine government?
Frequent changes inthe Spanish monarchy translated to a high turnover of Capitan Henerales in thePhilippines. Given their short stint, these men in government took eitheradvantage of their position by engaging in corruption, or did not bother to governwell.
5.
What was Padre Damaso mad about?
He was upset about his being sentaway from San Diego, where he served as parish priest for 20 years. He gotangry at someone and branded him a heretic. When the "heretic" died, he wasburied in the church (because Padre Damaso was not around). When PadreDamaso returned, he ordered the body exhumed and buried in the Chinesecemetery. This unjust act was reported to the Capitan Heneral by TenienteGuevara, and Padre Damaso was transferred out of San Diego.Padre Damaso started to say something about letters being lost during his transfer, buthe did not finish his sentence. Actually, these are letters written to Padre Damaso bysome...woman.
Chapter 2: Crisostomo Ibarra
We meet Juan Crisostomo Ibarra y Magsalin, the son of the late Don Rafael Ibarra (theman whose body was exhumed). Crisostomo gets confused when Padre Damaso, thefriar whom Crisostomo thought was a close friend of his deceased father, said that DonRafael was never a close friend of his.Fortunately, the soldier had kinder words to say about Don Rafael. Another good friendof Don Rafael, Capitan Tinong of Tondo, invited Crisostomo for tomorrow's lunch.Crisostomo declined, saying he was leaving for San Diego the following day.An attendant announced that dinner was served.
Some Notes
Padre Sibyla, Padre Damaso, and Teniente Guevara were surprisedto see Crisostomo Ibarra accompanied by Capitan Tiago. Thismeans they did not know the purpose of the dinner.
Ibarra spent seven years in Europe.
Ibarra's name shows that his mother is a Filipina (Magsalin).
 
Questions and Answers
1.
Why did Ibarra think that his father was a close friend of Padre Damaso?
When Ibarra was a child until he left for Europe,Padre Damaso would often join the Ibarras for lunch and dinner.Ibarra often heard his father, Don Rafael, conversing amiably withPadre Damaso.
Why did Padre Damaso deny that Don Rafael was his friend?
It turns out that theheretic who died in jail, and whose body was ordered exhumed by Padre Damaso is DonRafael. What happened to the relationship between Padre Damaso and Don Rafael duringthe seven years that Crisostomo Ibarra was away will be revealed in later chapters.
Chapter 03: The Dinner
Capitan Tiago ordered tinola served. It was a dish which Ibarra had not eaten in a longtime because of his extended stay in Europe. Tinola contains chicken, white squash andbroth.Table conversation covered where Ibarra went (Northern Europe, Germany and RussianPoland), as well as newsworthy items learned by Ibarra: "...the prosperity or the miseryof a people is in direct proportion to its liberties or concerns, and consequently to thesacrifices or selfishness of its ancestors."Padre Damaso belittled Ibarra's trips abroad saying that these were useless becausewhat Ibarra learned could be also known without having to travel extensively.Instead of arguing with the friar, Ibarra left after graciously excusing himself from thecrowd. Capitan Tiago tried to stop him, saying that Maria Clara was coming soon, butIbarra still left. Teniente Guevara followed him.One of the guests (a red-haired writer named Laruja) present will later write an articleabout how tinola can ruin a feast and why indios should not be allowed to read or traveloutside the Philippines.
Some Notes
Padre Damaso is no longer the parish priest of San Diego (town of Capitan Tiagoin their province). However, he was still invited to the dinner because he was theconfessor of the late wife of Capitan Tiago.
Maria Clara is the sweetheart of Crisostomo Ibarra.
Questions and Answers
1.
Why did Ibarra say that his country has forgotten him?
 For one year, he did not receive any news from the Philippines while he was inEurope. None of his acquaintances let him know that his father had died.
2.
How did Rizal show appreciation for the heritage of every country that hevisited?
 Like Ibarra, Rizal made it a point to study the history of a country before visitingit.
3.
What was Rizal's point in introducing the red-haired writer in thischapter?
 He wanted to point out that at that time, our history was being written byforeigners who had spent so little time in the country. An example of this would

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