Concise Summary and Critical Analysis of Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere: Chapter Fifty-one

A complete analysis and study guide of Chapter 51: Exchanges (Pagbabagong-ayos)

Summary:

Doña Victorina writes to Linares, who is currently still living in Captain Tiago’s house.  She tells him that it is imperative that the lad will have already dueled with the alferez after three days.  If this plan does not push through, she says, she will tell Tiago of the youth’s lies and pretenses.  Ibarra arrives.  He secretly asks Sinang to find a way for him to talk with Maria Clara privately. 

Points of Note:

Doña Victorina’s letter is a clear picture of the present condition — the deliberate use of a foreign language in which one is not well versed.  Doña Victorina repeatedly speaks and writes in Spanish although her grammar and use of the language is rather pitiful.  At present many locals deliberately speak English when they know their skill in its use requires much improvement.

Linares regrets agreeing to Doña Victorina’s demands of pretending to be an honorable Spaniard and secretary to the minister just to gain Captain Tiago’s favor.  Now the woman is threatening to reveal all his rotten lies.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: According to Friar Salvi, who is the only person who is against Maria Clara’s marriage to Ibarra?

Answer: It was only Friar Damaso. 

Question: Who is this person that Sinang labels as the “soul from purgatory”?

Answer: Ibarra.  According to the priests, a man who is excommunicated is destined for purgatory after his death.  Only they can take souls out of purgatory. (This appears to claim that Purgatory is only invented by the priests).

Question: Why does Maria Clara want Ibarra to forget her and find other women to woo?

Answer: Maria Clara has already come to know of the truth of her birth — and her father.  She does not want to drag Ibarra to her mess and shame.

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