The Social Cancerby José Rizal
Noli Me Tangere (commonly referred to by its shortened name Noli) is a novel written in Spanish by Filipino writer and national hero José Rizal, first published in 1887 in Berlin, Germany. The English translation was originally titled The
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Noli Me Tangere (commonly referred to by its shortened name Noli) is a novel written in Spanish by Filipino writer and national hero José Rizal, first published in 1887 in Berlin, Germany. The English translation was originally titled The Social Cancer, although more recent translations have been published using the original Latin title.
Having completed his studies in Europe, young Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin came back to the Philippines after a 7-year absence. In his honor, Don Santiago de los Santos, a family friend also known as Kapitan Tiyago, threw a get-together party, which was attended by friars and other prominent figures. One of the guests, former San Diego curate Father Dámaso belittled and slandered Ibarra. Ibarra brushed off the insults and took no offense; he instead politely excused himself and left the party because of an allegedly important task.
The next day, Ibarra visits María Clara, his betrothed, the beautiful daughter of Kaptain Tiyago and affluent resident of Binondo, Manila. 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 guardia civil, 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 filibuster — an allegation brought forth by Father Dámaso because of Don Rafael's non-participation in the Sacraments, such as Confession and Mass. Father 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 ill of him surfaced with additional complaints. He was imprisoned, and just when the matter was almost settled, he got sick and died in jail. Still not content with what he had done, Dámaso arranged for Don Rafael's corpse to be dug up from the Catholic church and brought to a Chinese cemetery, because he thought it inappropriate to allow a heretic a Catholic burial ground. Unfortunately, it was raining and because of the bothersome weight of the cadaver, the undertakers decided to throw the corpse into a nearby lake.
Revenge was not in Ibarra's plans; instead he carried through his father's plan of putting up a school, since he believed that education would pave the way to his country's progress (all over the novel the author refers to both Spain and the Philippines as two different countries, which form part of a same nation or family, being Spain the mother and the Philippines the daughter). During the inauguration of the school, Ibarra would have been killed in a sabotage had Elías — a mysterious man who had warned Ibarra earlier of a plot to assassinate him — not saved him. Instead the hired killer met an unfortunate incident and died. The sequence of events proved to be too traumatic for María Clara who got seriously ill but was luckily cured by the medicine Ibarra sent. ---From Wikipedia
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