De La Salle University – Dasmarinas
College of Liberal Arts
Social Science Department
A Character Study in Kursong Rizal
Submitted to Mr. Edgardo Garnace
(Elias – Noli Me Tangere)
MARY JO M. LARA
I. Choice of the Character
In many characters acted upon their roles in Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, there is one personality aside Juan Crisostomo Ibarra who made the story of the two novels very interesting and that personality is by the name of Elias. I choose Elias as the character who will be upon to be study on for the reason that Elias is a symbol of deux ex machina where in he became a plot device in Noli Me Tangere. It is very rare in a many books now that one of there character is a deux ex machine, and unusual to many writer to use this kind of character to be able to have a plot device in the story. Elias appears "out of the blue" in the story to help the character of Crisostomo Ibarra to overcome a seemingly insolvable difficulty in the novel.
II. Who is Elias?
Aside from Juan Crisostomo Ibarra as a hero in the novel, it was also Elias who became a hero in the story. Ibarra was a 23-year-old son of Spanish-Filipino parentage, highly educated, and belonged to a wealthy family. Elias was a poor young man who suffered tyrannies from the Spaniards. They both loved their native land and committed their lives for her betterment.
Ibarra preferred that the Philippines remain a Spanish colony and praised its authorities for attempting to improve its rule. Elias had already lost his faith in the government, yet he still wanted peaceful means to attain reforms. But if they were no longer possible, only then would he opt for an armed resistance to win the country’s independence. Their differing beliefs did not
hinder them from becoming friends.
Elias outward show in the story has a robust appearance, marred by a great sad eyes and a stern mouth, long unkempt black hair that falls to his strong neck, and a coarse dark shirt that reveals powerful sinewy arms.
III. Historical/Family Background
In the novel Elias is a common labourer whose family has suffered much. This is the story of Elias family as he says it to Ibarra:
Isinalaysay ni Elias ang kanyang kasaysayan kay Ibarra upang malaman nito na siya ay kabilang din sa mga sawimpalad. “May 60 taon na ang nakakalipas, ang kanyang nuno ay isang
tenedor de libros sa isang bahay- kalakal ng kastila. Kasama ng kanyang asawa at isang anak na lalaki, ito ay nanirahan sa Maynila. Isang gabi nasunog ang isang tanggapang pinaglilingkuran niya. Isinakdal ang kanyang nuno sa salang panununog. Palibhasay maralita at walang kayang ibayad sa abogado, siya ay nahatulan. Ito ay ipinaseo sa lansangan na nakagapos sa kabayo at pinapalo sa bawat panulukan ng daan. Buntis noon ang asawa, nagtangka pa ring humanap ng pagkakakitaan kahit na sa masamang paraan para sa anak at asawang may sakit. Nang gumaling ang sugat ng kanyang nuno, silang mag-anak ay namundok na lamang. Nanganak ang babae, ngunit hindi nagtagal namatay ito. Hindi nakayanan ng kanyang nuno ang sapin-saping pagdurusang kanilang natanggap. Nagbigti ito. Hindi ito naipalibing ng babae. Nangamoy ang bangkay at nalaman ng mga awtoridad ang pagkamatay ng asawa.Nahatulan din siyang paluin. Pero, ito ay hindi itinuloy at ipinagpaliban sapagkat dalawang buwan siyang buntis nuon. Gayunman, pagkasilang niya, ginawa ang hatol. Nagawang tumakas ng babae mula sa malupit na kamay ng batas, lumipat sila sa kalapit na lalawigan. Sa paglaki ng anak na panganay, ito ay naging tulisan. Gumawa siya ng panununog at pagpatay upang maipaghiganti nila ang kaapihang natamo. Nakilalasiya sa tawag
na balat. Ang lahat ay natakot sa kanyang pangalan. Ang ina ay nakilala naman sa tawag na haliparot,delingkuwente at napalo at ang bunso dahil sa mabait at tinawag na lamang anak ng ina.
Isang umaga, nakagisnan na lamang ng anak ang ina na patay na. Ito ay nakabulagta sa ilalim ng isang puno at ang isang ulo ay nakatingala sa isang bakol na nakasabit sa puno. Ang kanyang katawan ay ibinaon samantalang ang mga paa,kamay ay ikinalat. Ang ulo naman ay siyang dinala sa kanyang ina. Walang nalalabing paraan sa nakakabata dahil sa kalunos-lunos na pangyayaring ito kundi ang tumakas. Siya ay ipinadpad ng kapalaran sa Tayabas at namasukang obrero sa isang mayamang angkan. Madali naman siyang nakagiliwan sapagkat nagtataglay nga ito ng magandang ugali.
Siya ay masikap at ng nagkaroon ng puhunan, napaunlad niya ang kanyang kabuhayan hanggang sa makakilala siya ng isang dalagang taga-bayan na kanyang inibig ng tapat. Gayunman sinasagilahan siya ng matinding pangamba na mamanhikan. Nangangamba siyang matuklasan ang tunay niyang pagkatao. Mahal palibhasa ang babae, minsan ay nailugso nito ang puri at desidido siyang panindigan ang nagawa. Ngunit, dahil sa mayaman ang ama ng babae at wala siyang kayang ipagtanggol ang sarili. Siya ay nakulong sa halip na makasal siya sa babae. Bagamat hindi nagsama ang magkasuyo, ang kanilang pagtatampisaw sa dulot ng pag-ibig ay nagkaroon ng bunga. Ang babae ay nanganak ng kambal, isang babae at isang lalaki. Ang lalaki ay si Elias. Bata pa sila ay iminulat sa kanilang patay na ang kanilang ama. Naniniwala naman sila sapagkat musmos pa lamang ay namatay ang kanilang ina. Nang magkaroon ng sapat na isip, palibhasa’y
may kaya ang nuno si Elias ay nag-aral sa mga Heswitas samantalang ang kapatid na babae ay sa Concordia. Nagmamahalan silang magkapatid at ang pag-igkas ng panahon ay hindi nila namamalayan. Namatay ang kanilang nuno kaya’t umuwi silang magkapatid upang asikasuhin ang
kanilang kabuhayan. Maganda ang kanilang hinaharap, ang kanyang kapatid na babae ay nakatakdang ikasal sa binatang nagmamahal sa kanya, ngunit ang kanilang kahapon ang nagwasak sa kanilang kinabukasan. Dahil sa kanyang salapi at ugaling mapag-mataas, isang malayong kamag-anak ang nagpamukha sa kanilang kahapong nagdaan. At ito ay pinatunayan ng isang matandang utusan nila. Iyon pala ang kanilang ama. Namatay na naghihinagpis ang kanilang ama dahil sa pag-aakalang siya ang naging dahilan ng kasawian nilang magkapatid. Pero, bago ito namatay naipagtapat niyang lahat ang kahapon ng magkakapatid.
Lalong binayo ng matinding kalungkutan ang kapatid ni Elias nang mabalitaan niyang ikinasal sa iba ang kanyang kasintahan. Isang araw nawala na lamang ito’t sukat lumipas ang anim na buwan
nabalitaan na lamang ni Elias na mayroong isang bangkay ng babaing natagpuan sa baybayuin ng Calamba na may tarak sa dibdib. Ito ang kanyang kapatid. Dahil dito siya ay nagpagala-gala sa iba’t-ibang lalawigan bunga ng iba’t-ibang pagbibintang tungkol sa kanya na hindi naman niya
ginagawa.” Dito natapos ang salaysay ni Elias.
IV. Role of Elias in the Novel
Elias is a master boater, Ibarra’s mysterious friend who appears in an almost deux ex
machine fashion every time Ibarra is in trouble. He believes that justice can be obtained only through revolution --- reforms simply won't do. As the story goes on, his character develop to be an outlaw, he is no ordinary traitor. His family misfortunes had forced him to brigandry. Elias symbolizes the very root of the Filipino culture before the coming of the Spaniards, which remained strong and unbroken by the Spanish culture. The same with Capitan Pablo, Elias also has a belief that when it comes to exacting revenge – do not involve the innocent. In line with this,
this is one of the many chapters in the novel where Elias seen as a renegade:
Chapter 46: The Fugitives
Just as he told Ibarra, Elias goes to Tanauan Batangas to search for Capitan
Pablo. He finds Pablo deep in the forest. Pablo has a head wound. Elias invites him
to live with him as father and son up in the north, but Pablo declines.
Pablo cannot turn his away from the life of a fugitive. Elias asks Pablo not to commit violent acts against the government before they first get the help of Ibarra. If after four days and the complaints of the people are brought to the Capitan Heneral and still nothing happens, then Elias promised to join the rebel forces of Capitan Pablo. .
After Elias experiences all the misfortune happens to his family, it was Pablo who took care of Elias when he was in a state of shock six months ago. Elias was aimlessly wandering here and there, not knowing how to seek vengeance for his twins, parents and ancestors. Through the help of the character of Pablo, Elias go back to his self and be the deux ex machina in the story.
Rizal represented the Filipino masses in the novel through Elias. As the symbol of the common people, Elias did everything to vindicate them from the injustices suffered from the Spaniards. Although Ibarra’s family had brought misfortunes to his own family, he extended help to Crisostomo in many occasions in the novel. This might have been due to his belief that the redemption of the country depends on the ilustrados. Just like Ibarra, he is a mouthpiece of Rizal’s contradictory thoughts and purposes.
V. Elias is Rizal or Bonifacio
Some say that Elias character was really Rizal, but it was a big NO. Rizal denied that he portrayed himself as Elias, Elias represents the common people who fight against the injustices that the Spaniard did towards the Filipino. Elias can be a symbol for Andres Bonifacio as Andres Bonifacio has the same principle in fighting against the Spaniards.
Elias character to be study on is very enjoyable. I am not saying enjoyable in the sense to what happens to Elias in the story but because there is a lot of information about to him to be study on unlike to the many characters that is really has limited information. Aside from this, Elias has a very interesting moral fibre in the development of the story. He’s character is
represented the Filipino masses where in the Spaniards shawl the justice and rights that foremost Filipinos must have. I am not surprise if he became a bandit in the pre –middle part of the story,
for he has a horrible family experience. In with that experience, he learns to be brave and strong enough; he uses these characteristics to revenge for the sake of his family.
With the help of Ibarra he’s plans became visible, but fortuneless at the end of the story
both of them having different preparation to revenge to the Spaniards did not succeed. All of Elias suffering did not given the right justice. But one thing for sure as I study him, Elias is a manifestation of a true Filipino. Who fights, who did not easily lose hope and where in the more he drag down the more he became brave. I very like his attitude of though he wants to revenge but he wants that surely the innocent will not be involve, a typical characteristic of Filipino guy virtue. Gentleman and protective, a man who will fight for the sake of his family and native land. In Elias character it is perceptible how nationalist and patriotic he was for his country.
; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina
; Source: http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Noli_Me_Tangere ; Source: http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/jsp/db/board.jsp?id=37670 ; Source: http://www.webmanila.com/nolimetangere/46.html
; Source: http://www.blurtit.com/q2467709.html
; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noli_Me_Tangere_(novel)
; Source: http://kurokami-02.deviantart.com/art/Elias-Noli-Me-Tangere-138401000 ; Source: http://emanila.com/philippines/2009/08/25/the-greatness-of-noli-me-tangere/ ; Source: http://www.pinoyhenyo.com/Noli_Me_Tangere__Sinosino-
; Source: Rizal and the development of Filipino Nationalism, Garcia, Carlito D. Ed.D., pg.