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Rizal and Naturalism


In a jungle there is a word survival of the fittest where the strong will survive and the weak will perish. That is Darwins Theory of Survival but it does not limit only to Darwinism 1. There is another category of philosophy Darwin has released throughout the world and its called Naturalism. 2 Through this philosophy, the group will focus on finding naturalism inside Rizals literary works and writings through scenarios and quotes.

Freeman, R. B. (1977), "On the Origin of Species", The Works of Charles Darwin: An Annotated Bibliographical Handlist (2nd ed.), Cannon House, Folkestone, Kent, England: Wm Dawson & Sons Ltd 2 Boller, Paul F. Jr. American Thought in Transition: The Impact of Evolutionary Naturalism, 1865-1900 (1969)

What is Naturalism?

Naturalism is said to deal with five subject matters 1. The subject matter deals with those raw and unpleasant experiences which reduce characters to "degrading" behaviour in their struggle to survive. 2. The setting or milieu is the commonplace and the unheroic.3 Life is usually the dull round of daily existence. Yet, acts of violence and passion often occur which sometimes lead to desperate moments or violent death. The suggestion is that life on its lowest levels is not as simple as it seems to be. Offers clinical, panoramic, slice-of-life" drama that is often a "chronicle of despair." 3. Themes explore the brute within each individual. Each individual is composed of strong and often warring emotions: lust, greed, or the desire for dominance or pleasure; There is a fight for survival in an amoral, indifferent universe. The conflict is often "man against nature" or "man against himself" as characters struggle to retain a "veneer of civilization" despite external pressures that threaten to release the "brute within characters struggle to maintain human dignity. 4. Views nature as indifferent. It doesnt care about man. 5. Portrays the futile attempt of human beings to exercise free will.4

Paul P. Reuben, Perspectives in American Literature , , November 12, 2011 4 Prince of Peace Catholic School, Naturalism,, November 14, 2011

Noli Me Tangere

The subject matter deals with those raw and unpleasant experiences which reduce characters to "degrading" behavior in their struggle to survive in the Novel is showed by various chapters but showing a specific chapter will showed instead. "I'm very poor, so I've neither gold nor jewels to offer you. The only thing I had you've already taken, and that is the hen which I was thinking of selling. Take everything that you find in the house, but leave me here in peace, leave me here to die!" 5 Chapter 21 On this Quote Rizals thoughts about how the Filipino people were treated during the Spanish regime. A lot of innocent people even in the verge of degrading his/her self-character were not let go that time. Rizal mustve felt pity to those people since he cant do something about that time. The setting or milieu is the commonplace and the unheroic in the Novel would be the setting of Noli me Tangere itself, but, to be precise with the study, a specific chapter will be showed instead. "My son-in-law hasn't done anything and he's got handcuffs on!" Ibarra turned to the guards. "Bind me, and bind me well, elbow to elbow," he said. 6 Chapter 58 On this quote, Rizal may have thought that all that is happening to the motherland was because of him. Unable to comply with what is happening around him, he was force to give in and in exchange for all of the troubles thats happening around the innocent. This might be the only solution Rizal may have come up with but its the setting that is just too unheroic for him. "The physician was afraid they would accuse him of being a friend of Don Crisostomo's, so he drove her from his house. Now she wanders about again as crazy as ever, singing, harming no one, and living in the woods." Chapter 63

Dr. Robert L. Yoder, Chapter 21: The Story of a Mother,, November 14 ,2011 Dr. Robert L. Yoder, Chapter 58: The Accursed,, November 14, 2011

On this quote, it wouldve seemed that Rizal might have thought of the motherland and the Filipino values under the Spanish regime is now faltered and out of control with nobody around to do something about it. It may have stung him right in the core but without a doubt there was nothing he could do about it. The Brute Within in the novel is already anticipated that it has a lot by default but specific chapters will be showed instead, just to be precise with the study. "I die without seeing the dawn brighten over my native land! You, who have it to see, welcome it--and forget not those who have fallen during the night!" 7 Chapter 63 On this quote, Rizal might have thought that Filipino men once engaged a battle against the Spanish regime will be glad that they have died for their country. Rizal mustve thought that all of these men will release everything theyve got just to retain the veneer of civilization in the Philippines but with brute force, it might just be a coincidence or maybe Rizal really knew that It would really happened. Nature as indifferent in the novel is not showed in any chapters because Rizal may or may not have thought of adding calamities and such as another problem to the motherland or to what he had engaged with. It is possible that Rizals goal is only to just open the Filipinos mind and not to be blinded by such endeavors of any engagements that are coming on their way. It may also be a mystery as to why he did not include nature on it but he himself only knows. Portrays the futile attempt of human beings to exercise free will subject matter in the novel is portrayed in the novel on some several chapters. "All of us have them, sir, from the smallest insect up to man, from the poorest and humblest to the richest and most powerful! Enmity is the law of life!" 8 Chapter 33 On this quote, Rizal might have encountered a hindrance on his plans, though he already has Spain as a hindrance to begin with. It may seem Rizals free will is easily rejected by society that time since hes being degraded by society by most times.

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Dr. Robert L. Yoder, Chapter 63: Christmas Eve,, November 14, 2011 Dr. Robert L. Yoder, Chapter 33: Free Thought,, November 14, 2011

El Filibusterismo

Chapter 20 The chapter is about an arbiter named Don Custodio and his never overruled thoughts. The subject matter that reveals on this chapter is the subject matter deals with those raw and unpleasant experiences which reduce characters to "degrading" behaviour in their struggle to survive because Don Custudios view of the Filipinos Slaves and its only willing to serve. Rizal maybe thinking at that time that maybe when a fellow Filipino has enough power in his/her hands, he or she would look down on his/her very own motherland for being powerless. It may be just a hunch but this is just a thought. Chapter 4 On this chapter, Juli wants to free his father Tales. Juli sells all her properties just to ransom her father against guardya sibil. The subject matter that is revealed on this scene is the setting or the milieu is the commonplace of the unheroic because no matter how many times Juli ask for days or delays, she will never have a chance because nobody will help her but herself alone. There can be no tyrants where there are no slaves. 9 Chapter 27 This quote was from Simon and looking at this to naturalism, it would be the subject matter, views nature as indifferent and themes explore the brute within each individual. It doesnt care about man because we never wanted to become slaves to begin with or from where we were born nor have tyrants that want slaves to do their things for them by force.

The subject matter that deals with Nature as Indifferent has nothing to do with the novel because Rizal maybe isnt thinking of the calamities that are happening in the novel that time that caused Filipinos any depression or mishap or Rizal hasnt seen somebody experienced a misfortune with calamities. This subject matter doesnt care about man, let it be pure misfortune or a simple word Come what may.

Dr. Robert L. Yoder, CHAPTER 27: The Friar and the Filipino ,, November 14, 2011

Chapter6 This chapter focuses more on Basilio's biography. He went to Manila to employ himself to rich and known people so that he can have money, shelter, and the opportunity to study. Filipinos are trying hard to go to Manila because they know it its the capital and they see a lot of hope here. People are so desperate to go wherever it would be just to survive. The subject matter that is portrayed on this scenario is the exercise of freewill.

Quotes and other Literary Works in relation to Naturalism This sector only consists of Rizals literary work before Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo got published. It is also the time Naturalism has started to spread. From: The Last Poem of Rizal (paragraph2) On the fields of battle, in the fury of fight, Others give you their lives without pain or hesitancy, The place does not matter: cypress laurel, lily white, Scaffold, open field, conflict or martyrdom's site, It is the same if asked by home and Country.10 On this literary work, it would have seem that Rizal back then thought that men fought for the country against all odds in order to gain the desired freedom. Rizal may or may not know that what he wrote in the poem shows a subject matter of The brute within. From: Hymn to Labor (paragraph1) For the Motherland in war, For the Motherland in peace, Will the Filipino keep watch, He will live until life will cease!11

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Jose Rizal, Rizals Last Poem Mi Ultimo Adios,, November 14, 2011 Jose Rizal, Hymn to Labor, , November 14, 2011

On this literary work, Rizal might be thinking that Philippines will never give in to the Spanish Regime, through such desperation, Rizal wrote this but its just a hunch. If ever the hunch may be true then he himself showed a subject matter of The brute within because of his patriotism.

Genius has no country. It blossoms everywhere. Genius is like the light, the air. It is the heritage of all. 12(Toast to the artists Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo): This quote can be look in to the Naturalistic Character philosophy where the quote wants to say that its only natural to be a genius from far and beyond. It just comes to show that being a genius is not a boast but a gift and it is scattered everywhere naturally. Rizal must have thought of competition when he wrote this.

It is a useless life that is not consecrated to a great deal. It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice: This quote shows the subject matter: portrays the futile attempt of human beings to exercise free will because any ideal that is suggested to the society, it will never be accepted no matter how great this ideal is as long as society doesnt permit this to happened. Example would be Ibarra where he wants to establish a school but society wont let him because of his race and the society. It must be Rizal wanting to do something of his own interest but he failed to do so because of society around him, maybe restricting himself to hold on into this kind of milieu so he may have wrote this because of that reason.


Toast to the artists Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo: Madrid, Spain (25 June 1884)

So What?

Rizal as a Darwin Naturalist writer changes a lot in our perspective of our national hero. By culture, it is preset that we are Catholics by birth without free choice of what religion we want. Rizal warned us about religion and what it may bring. Rizal's message through his literary works that not just by liberation from political oppression is but freedom of the mind. Freedom from religiosity and freedom from passiveness.