Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere

A woman well-regarded in San Diego for her high social station. Having grown up together as childhood friends, María Clara and Ibarra are engaged to be married, though Father Dámaso—her godfather—is displeased with this arrangement and does what he can to interfere. When Ibarra is excommunicated after almost killing Dámaso at a dinner party, arrangements are made for María Clara to marry a young Spanish man named Linares. She doesn’t speak up against this idea because she doesn’t want to cross her father, Captain Tiago, a spineless socialite who disavows Ibarra to stay in the good graces of friars like Father Dámaso. Later, María Clara discovers that Captain Tiago isn’t her real father—rather, Father Dámaso impregnated her mother, who died during childbirth. When Ibarra is put on trial after being framed as a subversive by Father Salví, María Clara is blackmailed into providing the court with letters Ibarra has sent her—letters his prosecutors unfairly use as evidence of malfeasance. She does so in order to keep secret the fact that Dámaso is her biological father, since she doesn’t want to disgrace her mother’s name or compromise Captain Tiago’s social standing. Still, she feels intense remorse at having sold Ibarra out. When the newspapers eventually falsely report his death, she calls off her marriage with Linares, instead deciding to enter a convent because she can’t stand to exist in a world that doesn’t contain Ibarra.

María Clara Quotes in Noli Me Tangere

The Noli Me Tangere quotes below are all either spoken by María Clara or refer to María Clara. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Noli Me Tangere published in 2006.
Chapter 42 Quotes

The servants all had to call them by their new titles and, as a result as well, the fringes, the layers of rice powder, the ribbons, and the lace all increased in quantity. She looked with increasing disfavor than ever before on her poor, less fortunate countrywomen, whose husbands were of a different category from her own. Every day she felt more dignified and elevated and, following this path at the end of a year she began to think of herself of divine origin.

Nevertheless, these sublime thoughts did not keep her from getting older and more ridiculous every day. Every time Captain Tiago ran into her and remembered that he had courted her in vain, he would right away send a peso to the church for a mass of thanksgiving. Despite this, Captain Tiago had great respect for her husband and his title “Specialist in All Types of Diseases” and he would listen attentively to the few sentences his stuttering permitted him to utter successfully. For this reason, and because he didn’t visit absolutely everyone like other doctors did, Captain Tiago chose him to attend his daughter.

Page Number: 284
Explanation and Analysis:
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María Clara Character Timeline in Noli Me Tangere

The timeline below shows where the character María Clara appears in Noli Me Tangere. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Dinner
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Captain Tiago stops Ibarra and pleads with him to stay, saying that his daughter, María Clara, will soon arrive. He also tells Ibarra that the new priest of San Diego... (full context)
Chapter 6: Captain Tiago
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...give birth to a boy. Unfortunately, his wife died during childbirth, leaving him to raise María Clara with the help of his cousin, Aunt Isabel. To this day, everybody loves and... (full context)
Chapter 7: Idyll on a Terrace
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Aunt Isabel and María Clara visit church the next morning. When the service ends, María Clara promptly rushes away,... (full context)
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To further convince her of his fidelity, Ibarra implores María Clara to read a letter he sent her. The letter unexpectedly recounts the last interaction... (full context)
Chapter 9: National Affairs
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Father Dámaso pulls up to Captain Tiago’s home in his victoria, passing Aunt Isabel and María Clara on his way up the steps. They tell him that they are going to... (full context)
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...such a wealthy and influential individual. As such, they hope that he does indeed marry María Clara, for then they could be sure he would support the church, given Captain Tiago’s... (full context)
Chapter 22: Light and Shadow
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For the next three days, the town prepares for the fiesta. María Clara arrives with Aunt Isabel, and the townspeople notice a profound difference in Father Salví,... (full context)
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In an intimate conversation, Ibarra and María Clara plan an outing with friends the next day. María Clara pleads with Ibarra to... (full context)
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As Ibarra leaves María Clara’s house that evening, a stranger comes upon him in the street and tells him... (full context)
Chapter 23: A Fishing Expedition
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Ibarra and María Clara go on the planned outing the next morning, taking with them María Clara’s friends... (full context)
Chapter 24: In The Forest
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...rushes through his morning mass and other religious duties in order to meet up with María Clara and her friends. When he arrives, he walks through the woods and hears María... (full context)
Chapter 27: At Nightfall
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Later, as María Clara and her friends walk through town at dusk, they see a leper collecting donations... (full context)
Chapter 28: Correspondences
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...priests in attendance, the theater spectacles, the feasts, and the sermons. In a letter from María Clara to Ibarra, she tells her lover that she misses seeing him—because he has apparently... (full context)
Chapter 34: The Banquet
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...did to his father. As his anger reaches new heights, he raises the knife, but María Clara snatches it from his hand. He looks at her with crazed eyes before covering... (full context)
Chapter 36: The First Cloud
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Ibarra is excommunicated from the church. Captain Tiago’s first response is to forbid María Clara from speaking to Ibarra until this excommunication has been lifted. To make matters worse,... (full context)
Chapter 37: His Excellency
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...sure the young man doesn’t face similar circumstances in the future. Meanwhile, Ibarra runs to María Clara’s room, but she doesn’t open the door. Instead, her friends tell him to meet... (full context)
Chapter 39: Doña Consolación
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...seen with her. She, on the other hand, thinks she is more beautiful than even María Clara. Throughout the day, she grows steadily angrier as she remains pent up in the... (full context)
Chapter 40: Right and Might
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...discussing the matter until after the festival. When the performance starts, Father Salví stares at María Clara with his sunken eyes. At a certain point, the priest approaches Don Filipo and... (full context)
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Watching this chaotic scene, Father Salví thinks he sees Ibarra pick up María Clara and run away with her. Because he can’t stand the idea that this might... (full context)
Chapter 41: Two Visitors
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 42: The De Espadañas
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...de Espadaña and his wife, Doña Victorina, to stay with them while the doctor treats María Clara, who is still ill. Doña Victorina is a Filipina social climber whom Captain Tiago... (full context)
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...Salví that the priest will be stopping by that afternoon. As Doña Victorina eagerly introduces María Clara to her nephew, Father Dámaso enters the room. (full context)
Chapter 43: Plans
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Father Dámaso goes straight to his goddaughter’s bed and says, “María, my child, you cannot die!” with tearful eyes. Linares then gives Dámaso a letter from... (full context)
Chapter 44: An Examination of Conscience
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María Clara’s health slowly improves, much to the surprise of Doctor de Espadaña, who has prescribed... (full context)
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Aunt Isabel prepares María Clara for confession by reading her the ten commandments. María Clara weeps at first, heaving... (full context)
Chapter 48: An Enigma
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Ibarra visits María Clara to tell her that his excommunication has been lifted. When he arrives, he finds... (full context)
Chapter 51: Changes
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...thinks Ibarra will even be able to convince Father Dámaso to allow his marriage to María Clara—if, that is, he asks for Dámaso’s forgiveness. When Captain Tiago asks what will happen... (full context)
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...arrives at Captain Tiago’s house and speaks in private with Sinang, who tells him that María Clara—who has just overheard Father Salví talking with Tiago—says it would be best if he... (full context)
Chapter 55: Catastrophe
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In Captain Tiago’s house, Father Salví paces nervously back and forth, not wanting to leave. María Clara and Sinang whisper, acknowledging that he is clearly in love. Ibarra then arrives dressed... (full context)
Chapter 56: What is Said and What is Believed
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...in order to get revenge on Captain Tiago for calling off his wedding and engaging María Clara to Linares. Elsewhere, Lucas’s body is found hanging from an apple tree. Disguised as... (full context)
Chapter 60: María Clara Weds
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While Doña Victorina and Captain Tiago discuss plans for María Clara and Linares’s wedding, Aunt Isabel comforts her niece, telling her that marrying Linares will... (full context)
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...compromising circumstances. He casts a stern gaze at Father Salví, who turns away. Hearing this, María Clara drops the flowers she’s holding and goes perfectly still. Guevara continues by saying that... (full context)
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On his way out, Señor Guevara stoops to whisper to María Clara, who has been listening to his conversation about Ibarra. “You did well to give... (full context)
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Finally the party ends and the house goes quiet. María Clara opens her eyes and walks onto her private patio. Perched against the railing, she... (full context)
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Proceeding with her explanation, María Clara informs Ibarra that the man who came to her during her illness threatened to... (full context)
Chapter 61: Pursuit on the Lake
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As Elías rows Ibarra to safety after stopping at María Clara’s house, he suggests a plan: he will hide Ibarra at a friend’s house in... (full context)
Chapter 62: Father Dámaso Explains Himself
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Guests stack wedding gifts on a table in Captain Tiago’s house, but María Clara is uninterested in anything other than the newspaper she holds, which reports that Ibarra... (full context)
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María Clara tells Father Dámaso that, now that Ibarra has died, she has only two options:... (full context)
Epilogue
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...on the whereabouts of several characters, starting with Father Dámaso, who travels to Manila when María Clara enters the convent. Father Salví also goes to Manila, where he waits in vain... (full context)
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...night during a hurricane, two Civil Guard members see a woman atop the roof of María Clara’s convent in Santa Clara. As lightning strikes all around, the woman desperately moans in... (full context)