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

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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