Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere Summary and Analysis of Chapters 45-48


Deep in the forest, Elías meets with an old man named Captain Pablo, who he tries to convince to travel north with him to live together as makeshift father and son. Pablo refuses, however, and tells his story: a minister raped his daughter, then framed one of his sons for a robbery and tortured him to death, fearing that the sons would take revenge on him, while the other son was arrested by the Civil Guard and harassed until he committed suicide. Pablo explains that he has joined with others who have suffered similar abuses of power and is planning revenge. Elías tries to dissuade him, fearing what the church and government will do in response, and tells him about Ibarra, suggesting he can speak to the Captain General about the issue.

The two brothers whose father was killed by the Civil Guard and who Elías convinced to help stop the riot, Tarsilo and Bruno, visit a gambling house and speak with Lucas. Lucas offers to pay them in exchange for them organizing an attack on the barracks and claims that this money is coming from Ibarra.

Doña Victorina walks through town dressed in an elaborate outfit alongside her husband. She becomes angry when the Civil Guard officers don’t tip their hats to her and the ensign doesn’t compliment her dress. She walks by Doña Consolación and thinks the other woman is staring at her, prompting a loud fight between the two. Doña Victorina wants her husband to challenge the ensign to a duel to defend her honor, but he refuses, so she decides Linares will have to take his place. Linares tries to refuse as well, but Doña Victorina threatens to tell Captain Tiago that Linares’s credentials, much like those of her husband, are manufactured. The de Espadañas soon leave for Manila, leaving Linares alone.

Later, Ibarra visits María Clara, intending to tell her that his excommunication has been rescinded, but he finds her with Linares and decides to come back another time. He wanders away, witnessing construction on the school, and sees Elías, who says he has something important to discuss.


Elías has thus far seemed to be the most radical of the characters in terms of his vision for changing Philippine society. In his meeting with Captain Pablo, however, Elías demonstrates a nuanced worldview by rejecting the use of violence to achieve his goals, fearing that doing so will only hurt the people he wants to protect. Instead, he relies on diplomacy, convincing Captain Pablo to allow him to talk Ibarra into getting involved.

It’s unclear how exactly Lucas obtained the money he suddenly has in the scene with Tarsilo and Bruno—Ibarra refused to pay him, and Father Salví quickly dismissed him. It’s possible he met with Father Salví again, but whether or not this is the case isn’t clear.

Doña Consolación and Doña Victorina are both Filipina women married to Spanish men and like to think of themselves as influential and powerful. They likely recognize these similarities in each other and resent their resemblance, prompting them to fight to prove that they are not in fact alike. Doña Victorina’s revelation that Linares’s credentials are fabricated exposes the cruel reality of the effects of the isolation of the Philippines—it’s easy for Spaniards to exaggerate their qualifications since they’re so isolated from Spain, but the Filipinos who are native to the country barely have access to education in the first place.

The fact that construction has continued on the school despite Ibarra’s excommunication and fall from grace suggests that Tasio’s plan worked: Ibarra has effectively convinced others that the school is their idea, just as the liberals convinced the conservatives that reducing spending was their idea at the town hall.