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Noli Me Tangere: Summary and Analysis of Chapter 49 (The Voice of the Hunted)


Summary:
Ibarra goes to the seaside where he had agreed to meet with Elias.  Elias tells him of the purpose of the meeting -- to address the concerns and needs of those who are hunted and persecuted.  He asks Ibarra to find a way to diminish the power of the friars and the civil guards.  Ibarra refuses.  According to him, the friars and the civil guards are "necessary evils." 

Points of Note:
In this chapter Rizal explains what it means to love one's country.  It is here that the character of Elias finds more color and depth. 

Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What do the hunted demand?
Answer: They demand (1) respect for human rights, (2) a little more tranquility in the lives of the locals, and (3) diminished power of the friars and the civil guards.

Question: What does Ibarra say regarding the matter?
Answer: He says that if the nation is currently in a poor state, then the situation will get worse if they remove the civil guards and the friars.  According to him, they are necessary evils.

Question: Why is Elias shocked at Ibarra's response?
Answer: He does not expect that a well-educated, intelligent man like Ibarra would believe in "necessary evils."  He wonders to himself if the man actually believes that anything good can spring from something bad.

Question: What is Ibarra's explanation for this?
Answer: The civil guards and the friars are bitter medicine necessary for an ill nation, and however strong the pain such a medicine may bring, with it also comes healing.

Question: Did Elias share Ibarra's opinion on the subject?
Answer: No.  Elias says that only an unskilled and incompetent physician would place medicine on the painful areas without first examining the source of the illness.



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