Salome waits desperately for Elias, thinking that he would pass by the water any time soon. Elias, however, is nowhere to be seen because he is in fact hiding from the authorities who are currently patrolling the lake. When the two finally get to meet, Salome tells the youth of her plan to move to Mindoro and live with her relatives, and requests that he go with her. Elias, however, refuses her offer because he does not want her to be entangled with the tragedies and troubles of his past. He tells the lady that she must marry an honorable and respectable man, one whom she truly deserves and who can make her happy.
Points of Note:
“Elias and Salome” was originally the twenty-fifth chapter of the Noli. However, Rizal removed it during the actual printing of the book due to financial constraints.
Elias is better known from previous chapters as the pilot of the boat ridden by Crisostomo Ibarra and his companions around the lake.
Salome is a young girl of seventeen years, who lives by the edge of the lake.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: What is Salome doing while waiting for Elias?
Answer: She is sewing a shirt of brilliant colors and transparent weave.
Question: How would you describe Salome with regard to her raiment?
Answer: She is a modest young lady, wearing worn-out clothes that are nonetheless clean and decent. Her garments are covered with patches, which she most likely stitched herself, and the only accessories she has on her are a comb made from turtle shell on her hair, and a black rosary around her neck.
Question: How would you describe Salome in matters of beauty?
Answer: Hers is a soft and sweet beauty, which does not particularly attract attention at first sight.
Question: From where does Elias appear if not from the lake?
Answer: He appears from around the bank, carrying firewood and some bananas.
Question: Based on Elias and Salome’s conversation, what does Elias think of Maria Clara?
Answer: He thinks that she is very beautiful and kindhearted.
Question: Why does Salome break down in tears?
Answer: She cries in sadness at the thought of having to leave her home and live in Mindoro with her relatives.
Question: Why does Salome have to live in Mindoro?
Answer: It is not good that she lives alone at the edge of the lake.
Question: Explain this line by Elias: “Farewell, Salome, the sun is gone, and as you think it is not good that the neighbors can say that the night has caught me here…”
Answer: Elias now has to leave Salome’s home because night is falling, and it is against common propriety during that time that an unmarried man and woman spend the evening together, especially since Salome is alone in her house.
Question: What does Salome say about leaving her home?
Answer: She says that to leave a home where one has been born and raised is much more than to leave half of one’s own self.
Question: What final request does Salome have for Elias? Why?
Answer: She asks him to live in her home by the lake because:
1) It will make Elias think of her and remember her often.
2) It will not make her think, while she is far away, that her beloved home has been carried away by the waves into the lake.
3) When she visits the memory of her childhood home, the image of her beloved Elias will be there to accompany it.
4) It would be to him as if they were living there together.