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Symbols Used in ”Noli Me Tangere” by José Rizal

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The characters of the novel were drawn by Rizal from persons who actually existed during his time. * Juan Crisostomo Ibarra – the protagonist Represented the affluent and liberal European educated Filipino (Ilustrado) and desired the education of the people * Elias – represented the Filipino masses wanted to liberate the people from the injustices suffered from the Spaniards and represented Rizal himself * Maria Clara – The object of Ibarra’s love and affection. * Trained in a convent and immersed in education that is religious in orientation. * Salome – Elias’ girlfriend

* Same with Maria Clara epitomizes womanhood in their fidelity, shyness and modesty and represents Leonor Rivera * Padre Damaso – the main antagonist in the novel.
* A typical domineering friar during Rizal’s time.
* Arrogant, immoral and anti-Filipino
* Often mistaken as a Dominican priest.
* Pilosopo Tasyo – perceived to be a sage by the educated and a lunatic or
weird by those who did not know him. * Represents Paciano, Rizal’s older brother
* Capitan Tiago – Don Anastacio de los Santos
* Husband of Pia Alba
* His wealth came from illegal opium trade
* Example of a subservient Filipino to the Spanish authorities for protection and security * Capitan Juan Sunico of San Nicolas
* Sisa – the mother of Basilio and Crispin
* Symbolizes Filipinos lack of concern in facing and resolving problems confronting Filipino society. * But illustrates the typical Filipino mother. Ready to defend their children from all forms of injustice and accusations. * Basilio and Crispin – represents the Crisostomo brothers in Bulacan * Padre Salvi – represents an immoral and coward friar

* Was believed to be Father Antonio Piernavieja, the hated Augustinian friar who was killed b the patriots during the revolution. * Doña Victorina – wife of Don Tiburcio de Espadaña.
* A social climber. An Indio who wanted to be treated as a Spaniard for her husband was a citizen of Spain. * Doña Agustina Medel
* Doña Consolacion – mistress of the Alferez
* Symbolized the mentality of the Guardia Civil: Vulgar, cruel and quarrelsome The novel calls for the Filipino to:
* Regain his self confidence
* Appreciate his self-worth
* Return to the heritage of his ancestors
* Assert himself
* To equal to the Spaniards
* Insists in the need for education
* Dedication to the country
* Assimilating the aspects of Western culture that could enhance native traditions

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