THE MAJOR CHARCTEROF NOLI ME TANGERE
Noli Me Tángere (Touch me Not / Don't touch me) is a novel written by José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, during the colonization of the country by Spain to expose the inequities of the Spanish Catholic priests and the ruling government. The title, in Latin meaning Touch me not, refers to John 20:17 in the Bible (King James Version) as Mary Magdalene tried to touch the newly risen Jesus, He said "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." Early English translations of the novel used titles like An Eagle Flight (1900) and The Social Cancer (1912), disregarding the symbolism of the title, but the more recent translations were published using the original Latin title. It has also been noted by French writer D. Blumenstihl that “Noli me tangere” was a name used by ophthalmologists for cancer of the eyelids. That as an ophthalmologist himself Rizal was influenced by this fact is suggested in his dedication, “To My Country”. Originally written in Spanish, the book is more commonly published and read in the Philippines in either Filipino or English. Together with its sequel, El Filibusterismo, the reading of Noli was obligatory for high school students throughout the archipelago. References for the novel
José Rizal, a Filipino nationalist and medical doctor, conceived the idea of writing a novel that would expose the ills of Philippine society after reading Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. He preferred that the prospective novel express the way Filipino culture was backward, anti-progress, anti-intellectual, and not conducive to the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment. He was then a student of medicine in the Universidad Central de Madrid.In a reunion of Filipinos at the house of his friend Pedro A. Paterno in Madrid on 2 January 1884, Rizal proposed the writing of a novel about the Philippines written by a group of Filipinos. His proposal was unanimously approved by the Filipinos present at the party, among whom were Pedro, Maximino and Antonio Paterno, Graciano López Jaena, Evaristo Aguirre, Eduardo de Lete, Julio Llorente and Valentin Ventura. However, this project did not materialize. The people who agreed to help Rizal with the novel did not write anything. Initially, the novel was planned to cover and describe all phases of Filipino life, but almost everybody wanted to write about women. Rizal even saw his companions spend more time gambling and flirting with Spanish women. Because of this, he pulled out of the plan of co-writing with others and decided to draft the novel alone. Plot
Having completed his studies in Europe, young Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin comes back to the Philippines after a 7-year absence. In his honor, Don Santiago delos Santos "Captain Tiago" a family friend, threw a get-together party, which was attended by friars and other prominent figures. One of the guests, former San Diego curate Fray Dámaso Vardolagas belittled and slandered Ibarra. The next day, Ibarra visits María Clara, his betrothed, the beautiful daughter of Captain Tiago and affluent resident of Binondo. Their long-standing love was clearly manifested in this meeting, and María Clara cannot help but reread the letters her sweetheart had written her before he went to Europe. Before Ibarra left for San Diego, Lieutenant Guevara, a Civil Guard, reveals to him the incidents preceding the death of his father, Don Rafael Ibarra, a rich hacendero of the town. According to Guevara, Don Rafael was unjustly accused of being a heretic, in addition to being a subversive — an allegation brought forth by Dámaso because of Don Rafael's non-participation in the Sacraments, such as Confession and Mass. Dámaso's animosity against Ibarra's father is aggravated by another incident when Don Rafael helped out on a fight between a tax collector and a child fighting, and the former's death was blamed on him, although it was not deliberate. Suddenly, all of those who thought...
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