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Noli Me Tangere: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 16 (Sisa)

Sisa patiently waited for her two boys to come home.  She had already prepared supper.  But instead of Basilio and Crispin it was her husband, a drunkard and a gambler, who walked through the door.  He ate all the food, leaving nothing for his sons.  He went on a rampage, and left telling his wife that if the boys ever brought home some money she should leave some for him.  Minutes later Basilio arrived, out of breath and bleeding.

Points of Note:
This chapter is one of the most emotionally stirring in the entire book.

Here Rizal clearly differentiates the poor from the rich characters presented in "All Souls."

At this point in the story, we read about the friars practically hoarding for their own personal indulgence, money that could have benefited two poor boys whose father had left to fend for themselves.

Sisa and her two sons live in a small hut outside town, close to where Tasyo the Philosopher lives.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: How does Sisa earn a living?
Answer: She offers paid services like dressmaking and all other honorable tasks she can think of to do.  She grows a small garden of vegetables, too.  Her sons' meager income also helps bring food on the table.

Question: Is Sisa a good mother?
Answer:  Sisa is a wife who patiently tolerates the affliction of her living, and a loving mother to her sons.  However, these qualities do not necessarily earn her the label of a good mother.

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