Noli Me Tangere, 1887
“Noli Me Tangere… signify “do not touch me”. The book contains things of which no one among ourselves has spoken up to the present; they are so delicate that they cannot be touched by anybody… I have endeavored to answer the calumnies which for centuries had been heaped on us and our country: I have described the social condition, the life, our beliefs, our hopes, our desires, our grievances, our grief… The facts I narrate are all true and they actually happened. I can prove them.” * Jose Rizal
Idea of Writing the Novel on the Philippines
* It was written during the Spanish colonization.
* Rizal wants to expose the inequalities of the Spanish Catholic priests and the ruling government. * Rizal was inspired by his reading of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which portrays the brutalities of American-slave owners and the pathetic conditions of the unfortunate Negro slaves. * This idea came when he was still a medicine student in University Central de Madrid. * Rizal proposed the writing of the novel in his colleagues in their reunion in the Paterno’s residence on January 1884. * Unfortunately, his project did not materialize. Undaunted by his friends’ indifference, he determined to write the novel alone.
The Writing of Noli
* Rizal begun to write Noli towards the end of 1884 while he was still in Madrid and about to finish one-half of it. * When he went to Paris in 1885, he finished one-half of the second half of Noli. * He wrote the last few chapters of Noli in Wilhelmsfeld, Germany in April-June, 1886. * Finally finished the whole manuscript when he was 25 years old on February, 1887. * Victor Blasco Ibañes was a writer and political activist who served as a proofreader and consultant of Rizal while writing the novel.
Objectives of Rizal in Writing Noli Me Tangere
* To defend Filipino people from foreign accusations of foolishness and lack of knowledge. * To show how the Filipino people lives during Spanish colonial period and the cries and woes of his countrymen against abusive officials. * To discuss what religion and belief can really do to every lives. * To expose the cruelties, graft and corruption of the false government and honestly show the wrong doings of the Filipinos that led to further failure.
The Title of the Novel
* Noli Me Tangere is a Latin phrase which means “touch me not”. * The words are taken from the Gospel of Saint John 20:13-17.
Cover Page of Noli Me Tangere
* cross- sufferings
* pomelo blossoms and laurel leaves- honor and fidelity
* burning torch- rage and passion
* sunflowers- enlightenment
* silhouette of a Filipina- Maria Clara
* bamboo stalks that were cut down and grew back- resilience * a man in a cassock with hairy feet- priests using religion in dirty way * chains- slavery
* whips- cruelties
* helmet of the guardia civil- arrogance of those with authority * Top: all the best in the Philippine life
woman- constancy; religious faith
tombstone with laurel leaves- courage
words partly covered by the title- are secret inner dedication by Rizal to his parents
left of the title- flower mirasol- representing youth seeking the sun
author’s name- green of renewal, mounting up to the green of the most enduring of all Philippine trees, the bamboo
Bottom: all that is worst in the Philippine life
helmet of the Civil guard, whip and instruments of torture and feet of a friar
The Author’s Dedication
* To My Country/ To My Fatherland
* human sufferings are considered as social cancer
* seeking for the best treatment, exposure of these will offer them a remedy * As a true son of his fatherland, Rizal considered himself responsible for any defects and weakness of his country.
Rizal included more than 30 characters in the novel. The following are...