Summary of El Filibusterismo
Simoun, a mysterious and powerful jeweller who is in good graces with the Captain General plots a revenge against the Spanish colonial government. He secretly provokes the natives to rise up in revolt. To weaken the regime, he encourages corruption, using his immense wealth to foment injustice and provoke massive unrest. Unknown to all, Simoun is Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, a man who had been wrongfully accused of rebellion and condemned in a plot instigated by his enemies including a friar who had unchaste feelings for his fiancée, Maria Clara. Everybody thought Ibarra had been killed as a criminal, but in truth he had escaped, enriched himself abroad and has returned to the Islands to avenge himself. He plans to take Maria Clara who, believing Ibarra is dead, had entered the convent. In the course of his plans, Simoun comes into contact with young idealistic Filipinos whom he wants to enlist to his cause. One of these is Basilio, one of the few who know his secret. He had been adopted by Kapitan Tiyago, a wealthy landowner and father of Maria Clara. Basilio is about to graduate as doctor of medicine. Kabesang Tales, a homesteader who had been dispossessed of his lands by the friars. Turned outlaw, Kabesang Tales and other victims of injustice have been enlisted by Simoun in his plan to overthrow the government. Another student, Isagani, dreams of a progressive future for his country but his fiancée, Paulita, who shares his aunt Dona Victorina’s prejudices against the natives, is not interested in them. Simoun’s plot is aborted when he learns that Maria Clara had died at the convent. Student leaders who have been advocating the opening of an academy for the teaching of the Spanish language hold a party where they lampoon the friars. The next day, posters are found encouraging sedition, and those suspected of involvement are arrested, including Basilio. His foster father having died, nobody intercedes for him, while the rich and...
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