Noli and Fili

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  • Topic: José Rizal, Philippines, Philippine Revolution
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  • Published : March 12, 2013
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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.

Major Characters
Rizal included more than 30 characters in the novel. The following are...
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