Noli Me Tangere Introduction
When Dr. Jose Rizal was 26, he published his first novel “Noli Me Tangere” in Belgium in the year 1887. It was the Book that gave a spark in the Philippine Revolutions. It talked about the Spaniard’s arrogance and despicable use of religion to achieve their own desires and rise to power. It mostly talked about the life of Crisostomo Ibarra, a member of the Insulares (Creoles) social class, and a series of unf ortunate events that he encountered through the works of a Franciscan friar, namely Padre Damaso Verdolagas, and by the Spanish conquistadors.
Noli Me Tangere, a Latin phrase used by Jose Rizal as a title for his first novel, was actually the words used by Jesus Christ to Mary Magdalene when she saw him resurrected from the dead. It roughly translated as “Touch Me Not” in English. These words were said because Jesus, although raised in body and in spirit, was not the same for as he was before. Being glorified, waiting for the right time to ascend to Heaven and such, he did not allow himself yet to be known until the Great Commission.
The Cover Symbols
1. SILHOUETTE OF A FILIPINA
It was popular belief that the silhouette of the woman in the cover of Noli Me Tangere is the unfortunate Maria Clara, Crisostomo Ibarra’s lover.
"Padre Cura! Padre Cura!' [Padre Salvi] the Spaniards cried to him; but he did not mind them. He ran in the direction of the Capitan Tiago's house. There he breathed a sigh of relief. He saw through the transparent gallery an adorable silhouette full of grace and the lovely contours of Maria Clara and that of her aunt bearing glasses and cups."
2. A MAN IN A CASSOCK WITH HAIRY FEET
This symbolism at the lower part of the cover is to be a representation for pri ests using religion in a dirty way, specifically Padre Damaso.
"However, Padre Damaso is not mysterious like those monks; he is jolly and if the sound of his voice is brusque like that of a man who has never bitten his tongue and who believes everything he utters is sacrosanct and cannot be improved upon, his gay and frank laughter erases this disagreeble impression, even to the extent thatone feels bound to forgive him his sockless feet and a pair of hairy legs which would fetch the fortune of a M endiata in the Quiapo fair."
3. HELMET OF THE GUARDIA SIBIL/CONSTABULARY HELMET
An obvious take on the arrogance of those in authority.
"The Alferez [Dona Consolacion's husband] picked up his helmet, straightened himself a bit and marched off with loud giant strides. After a few minutes he returned, not making the least sound. He had removed his boots. The servants, accustomed to these spectacles [violent arguments between the Alferez and Dona Consolacion], were usually bored, but the removal of the boots called their attention. They winked at each other."
The cruelties present in the novel best explains the symbol Rizal used in the cover. "Dona Consolacion took a few turns in the room twisting the whip in her calloused hands and, stopping all of a sudden in front of Sisa, told her in Spanish, 'Dance!' “Dona Consolacion raised the whip -- that terrible whip familiar to thieves and soldiers, made in Ulango and perfected by the Alferez with twisted wires... And she started to whip lightly the naked feet of the mad woman, whose face contracted with pain,obliging her to defen d herself with her hands."
Another symbolism for cruelties. It is a representation of Jesus Christ’s scourging before his imminent crucifixion.
Elias "Since he was poor and could not pay for able lawyers, he was condemned to be scourged in public and taken through the streets of Manila. Not long long ago this was in use, this infamous punishment the people call "caballo y vaca," a thousand times worse than death itself. My grandfather, abandoned by all except his young wife, was tied to a horse, followed by a cruel multitude, and flogged on every street corner,...