Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere


José Rizal

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Noli Me Tangere: Chapter 58 Summary & Analysis

The ensign marches the prisoners, including Ibarra, into the streets. The townspeople insult Ibarra, calling him a heretic and hurling stones at him. Father Salví pretends to be sick and closes himself away in the parish house. Those who once supported Ibarra stand passively as the crowd rages. As the procession winds past Ibarra’s smoldering house, he feels utterly hopeless, abandoned by his country, lover, and friends. Meanwhile, Old Tasio watches the procession from a hill. He observes the crowd until it disappears into the distance. After standing idle for some time, he turns around and sets off for home. He is found the next day, deceased “on the very threshold of his solitary refuge.”
Tasio’s death is yet another reminder that, though certain kinds of isolation may at first seem to liberate free-thinkers, it renders their actions futile and leads only to inglorious death. This is evident in the way Rizal phrases Tasio’s death, saying that he dies “on the very threshold of his solitary refuge.” Indeed, a life’s worth of isolation ends for Tasio before he can even attain any sort of “refuge”—he perishes on the “threshold” of safety and comfort, a fact that symbolizes his failure to ever reach a point where he can benefit from his solitary ways.
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