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Noli Me Tangere: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 44 (An Examination of Conscience)


Summary:
Friar Salvi is alone with Maria Clara for the latter's confession.  The girl begins to feel well after a few hours, and according to Dona Victorina, it was all because of Don Tiburcio's skill and expertise.  Friar Salvi, on the other hand, says that it was because of her confession.  When the friar leaves Maria Clara's room, he appears rather pale and is covered in perspiration.

Points of Note:
Maria Clara did not have the chance to know her mother because the latter died right after giving birth to her.

Despite the many guesses as to what truly accounted for Maria Clara's fast recovery, it was in fact the medicine that Ibarra sent her through Sinang that did the trick.

Rizal describes a number of Catholic traditions in this chapter.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: Why does Friar Salvi glance over Captain Tiago when the latter remarks that after Friar Damaso was transferred to Tayabas, Maria Clara missed the priest as she loved him like a father?
Answer: Friar Salvi knows that Damaso is Maria Clara's real father.

Question: What does Rizal say about confession?
Answer: First, it is a belief of the friars back in those days that confession is more effective than medicine in curing the sick.  Second, Rizal seems to go into a tirade about having the sick undergo confession.  Rizal claims, through the statements of Linares, that it seems as though the patient is already dying and has no hope of recovery whatsoever since she is already being prepped for the afterlife.

Question: Why does Friar Salvi look pale and sweaty upon exiting Maria Clara's room after confession?
Answer: Friar Salvi is naturally pale.  He becomes even paler, because it is during this time that he reveals to Maria Clara the true story of her birth, and the identity of her real father (Damaso).


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