Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere Summary and Analysis of Chapters 41-44


Later that night, Elías visits Ibarra and tells him that María Clara has become ill, though not seriously so. He explains that he was able to prevent the riot because he had previously saved the lives of the two people leading the chaos, and they were indebted to him. Elías leaves, and Ibarra goes outside and runs into a man named Lucas, who says he’s the yellow man’s brother and wants to know how much Ibarra will pay his brother’s family. Annoyed, Ibarra responds rudely and walks away.

The festival finally concludes. Doctor de Espadaña and his wife, Doña Victorina, arrive at Captain Tiago’s house, along with a cousin. The narrator informs the reader of the history of the de Espadañas: Doña Victorina is Filipina and was loved by many men, including Captain Tiago, but was determined to marry a Spanish man. She finally married Doctor Espadaña past her prime, and he was poor until she convinced him to pretend to be a doctor. Accompanying the de Espadañas is their nephew Linares, a Spanish man, who asks for Father Dámaso. Doña Victorina eagerly introduces him to the sickly María Clara.

Father Dámaso arrives, going straight to María Clara’s bed. He is uncharacteristically emotional, tenderly speaking to María Clara, but since he is her godfather, no one thinks much of it. Linares introduces himself to Father Dámaso as his brother-in-law’s godson, and gives him a letter in which Father Dámaso’s brother-in-law asks him to help Linares find a job and a wife. Lucas arrives and approaches Father Salví, explaining that he is the brother of the yellow man and recounting his interaction with Ibarra. Father Salví is strangely rude to him, yelling at him to leave, and Lucas does.

María Clara’s health slowly but steadily improves. Father Salví attributes her recovery to the power of confession, while Doña Victorina credits her husband’s medicine. María Clara’s friends give her one more pill, which was sent by Ibarra, and María Clara mysteriously tells her friend Sinang to “tell him to forget about me” before giving another confession. Isabel reads the Commandments to prepare for the confession, and María Clara cries in response, especially at the fifth commandment (“honor thy father and thy mother.”)


Father Dámaso takes Linares to meet with Captain Tiago not out of the kindness of his heart, but because he is desperate to provide an alternate husband for María Clara, given both the recent disgraces Ibarra has suffered and his personal dislike of him. He shows himself to be a clever opportunist, manipulating others in order to achieve the outcome he desires.

Father Salví’s staunch rejection of Lucas is strange, suggesting that perhaps he has an ulterior motive for not wanting to hear the man’s story (or at least not wanting to hear it in front of others.) This incident further suggests that Father Salví may have a role in the plot against Ibarra.

María Clara weeps at the fifth commandment in particular because she feels that she must marry Linares, who she does not love, and abandon Ibarra, who she does, in order to honor her father and the memory of her mother.