Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere Chapter 41 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Late that night, Elías visits Ibarra, who is unable to sleep and is therefore awake and doing experiments in his study. Elías tells him that María Clara has fallen ill and then he explains that he was able to break up the crowd at the theater by speaking to the two people who were leading the revolt. They were two brothers whose father was killed by the Civil Guard, two brothers whom Elías happened to save one day from the same fate. As such, he asked them to calm down the angry crowd that night in the theater, and they obliged his request.
Elías’s story about how he disbanded the riot builds upon the previously mentioned informal chain of command. The fact that two rather insignificant characters were able to stop the chaos suggests that lowly townspeople actually have a certain kind of power that higher officials—like Don Filipo or Father Salví—don’t possess.
Themes
Colonialism, Religion, and Power Theme Icon
Revolution and Reform Theme Icon
After Elías departs, Ibarra goes out into the street. He comes upon a man named Lucas with a large scar on his cheek. Lucas tells Ibarra that he is the yellow man’s brother and asks Ibarra how much he intends to pay his brother’s family to make up for his unfortunate death. Ibarra has little patience for this and says that Lucas should visit him the next day, for he is on his way to visit a sick person and can’t stop to talk about such matters. “Ah,” says Lucas, “and for a sick person you would forget the dead?” Ibarra ignores him and walks away, leaving him standing in the street, muttering, “I know you’re the grandson of the man who put my father under the earth. The same blood flows in your veins.”
Lucas’s assertion that Ibarra is the “grandson of the man who put [his] father under the earth” is very strange—since Lucas is the “yellow” man’s brother, readers know that his father is the same person as Ibarra’s grandfather. This seems to be a discrepancy that Rizal fails to address. Nonetheless, if Lucas and Ibarra descend from the same family, they each represent two different ways of existing in Filipino society. Ibarra holds the power and influence of an affluent socialite, whereas Lucas remains disempowered, isolated, and bitter about the ways his family has been wronged. Of course, this bitterness calls to mind Tasio’s advice that Ibarra set aside his notions of revenge if he wants to succeed.
Themes
Colonialism, Religion, and Power Theme Icon
Isolation Theme Icon