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Noli Me Tangere: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 56 (Rumors and Beliefs)

A child looks out the window to assess the condition outside, and his mother scolds him.  Manang Puti opens her windows, and so does Manang Rufa.  The two women talk.  They suspect that the rebellion was headed by Captain Pablo.  Rumor has it that Don Felipo was arrested.  Some say that the civil guards had revolted in the barracks, and that Friar Salvi had attacked the alferez.  Word spreads that Ibarra had burned his entire house down.  They had surveyed Ibarra's house.  They say that the youth was plotting to kill Friar Salvi.  Word has it around town that Ibarra is a criminal, and that this was because of his liberal education in Spain.

Points of Note:
In the characters' conversations Rizal shows clearly to the readers why rumors always spread fast and grow.  It is because every single person who hears the news inserts his own opinions and thoughts and adds it to the original story.  Opinions and guesses are quickly taken as facts.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Why is Don Felipo arrested? Is he part of the rebellion?
Answer: No.  He is one of the men incriminated by the alferez and the civil guards so they could take revenge on him for what he did to the guards in the barracks.

Question: What does Rizal say about the church's stand regarding those people who commit suicide?
Answer: The church says that if a man takes his life he can never be pardoned by heaven and therefore is sure to burn in hell after death.  Consequently, there is no need for final benedictions and blessings for the body by the priests, and no need for offering of prayers by the living relatives and friends.

Question: Lucas's death: Was it suicide, or murder?
Answer: It was murder.  Proof:
(1)    His entire face and body are blackened and bruised.  No man who commits suicide would punish himself like that before doing the act.
(2)    The extent of his injuries could not have allowed him enough strength to climb up the santol tree and hang himself.
(3)    His clothes are torn and stained with earth, proof that he had been struggling with someone.
(4)    The area of Lucas's neck that had been strangled by the noose is white.  If it had been the force of the rope that had killed him, his neck would have been dark red and bruised in that area.

Question: Who killed Lucas?
Answer: The head sacristan.  Proof:
(1)   He was the only man Lucas frequently talked to and visited since the latter came to San Diego.
(2)   Elias spotted traces of earth and amor-seco clinging to his clothes -- the same ones that had been on Lucas's garments.
(3)   He is the only one asleep, when everyone else could not rest their minds because of what happened that night -- especially at the convent.

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