Professor Priscelina Patajo- Legasto English 11 WFY
ENGLISH 11 Examination on Rizal and Noli Me Tangere Second Semester 2011-2012 I. REFORM OR REVOLUTION a. Does Elias embody reform or revolution or both? How? Cite specific acts and speech of the character, commentaries of other characters, dialogue, events, main plot, tone, etc. Explain.
For almost six decades, Elias’ family gravely suffered. His grandfather was falsely accused of arson, paraded along the streets of Manila, and was publicly flogged. The society turned their back on his grandmother when she begged for alms in order to tend to her sick husband and provide for their family, and so she became a whore. His grandfather, no longer able to take their family’s misfortune, hanged himself. Days later, her grandmother’s corpse was found stretch out on the ground with eyes turned towards the branch of a tree where a basket containing the bloody head of his uncle hung. His uncle’s body was dismembered; the trunk was buried, but the limbs were hung up in different towns. His father on the, other hand, tried to move on and live anew. He fell in love and asked for the hand of a girl from a wealthy family, but his background was soon found out, he was sent to prison. The girl gave birth to Elias and his twin sister. Since their grandfather was well-off, they were educated and initially lived a happy life. But when her sister was to marry, the past haunted their fate. Elias later found out that the servant he used to beat was in fact their father. He renounced their wealth, and her sister lost her fiancé. They left their town with their father, but their reunion did not last. Soon after, her sister went missing; only after six months did Elias discover that her sister no longer lives. Elias was
never the happiest man, it was no wonder he was described in the novel to have “great sad eyes”. (Noli, “A Fishing Expedition”, 145) Despite owing his misfortunes to his country, Elias sought reform over revolution. His intentions were made clear through his discourse with Capitan Pablo as he tried to persuade the leader of the rebels to refrain from using force: ‘I respect your [Capitan Pablo’s] sorrow, and I understand your desire for revenge. I am in the same situation, but, for fear of doing the innocent an injury, I prefer to forget my misfortunes.’ ‘You can afford to forget because you are young, and because you have not lost a son or one last hope. But I can assure you, I shall not harm the innocent. Do you see this wound? I received it rather than kill a poor municipal policeman who was only doing his duty.’ ‘But consider, to what a holocaust you propose consigning our unfortunate towns. If you take vengeance with your own hand, your enemies will take terrible reprisals, not against you, not against those who are armed, but against the common people on whom it is their usual practice to put all the blame. And then, how many injustices will be done!’ ‘Let the people learn to defend themselves! Let every man defend himself.’ ‘You know that is impossible. Sir, I have known you in another time, when you were happy. Then you gave me good advice. Now, will you allow me to offer you the same? I have the good fortune of rendering a service to a rich young man of good heart, a noble young man who seeks the welfare of his country. It is said that he has friends in Madrid; I do not know whether that is true or not, but I can assure you that he is a friend of the Governor General. Why not arouse his interest in the cause of the oppressed and make him the spokesman of the grievances of the people… Let us try it before using force. You must find it strange that I, one more unfortunate like the rest, but young and strong, should propose peaceful measures to you, who are old and weak, but it is because I have seen so much misery, caused as much by ourselves as by our oppressors. The unarmed always pay.’ ‘And if we get nothing?’...