[[quoteright:282:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Noli_Me_Tangere_1169.jpg]]

''Noli Me Tangere'' (translated as ''"Touch Me Not"'') is a novel by Filipino author and national hero Jose Rizal, written in Spanish and published in 1887, which details the situation of the UsefulNotes/{{Philippines}} during the last part of Spanish rule.

Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, the son of a wealthy Creole landlord, has returned to the Spanish-controlled Philippines after seven years of studying in Europe. After realizing not much has changed thanks to TheGovernment and learning that his wealthy father died in jail for being labeled a heretic, he is understandably upset.

Nevertheless, revenge on the person who got his father that fate is not in Ibarra's plans, and all he wants to do is to settle down with his beautiful childhood fiancee Maria Clara and to finance a schoolhouse for the less fortunate with his father's money. Unfortunately, things most definitely do not work out as planned, and a RantInducingSlight at the opening luncheon for the aforementioned school sets in motion a chain of events that will change Ibarra, and subsequently the country, forever.

''Noli Me Tangere'' was wildly controversial and wildly game-changing at the time of its release; it was actually [[BannedInChina banned in several parts of the country]] due to its portrayal of priests as [[DirtyOldMan dirty old men]], the church as [[CorruptChurch corrupt]], and the government [[BananaRepublic as just as corrupt]], abusive, and indifferent. It turns out, however, that [[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity banning it only served the purpose of making even more wildly popular]] among the Filipinos, and the book managed to unify the Filipino Nationalist consciousness and indirectly spark the Katipunan revolution, as several of its head honchos were inspired by the thoughts and messages in it. Meanwhile, Rizal himself was imprisoned for his writings containing subversive content, and was later executed at the age of thirty-five. Afterwards, the Rizal Law made studying this novel mandatory for all Philippine schools as part of their study on Filipino literature.

It has a sequel, ''Literature/ElFilibusterismo'', which is set thirteen years later.

Not to be confused with the BoysLove {{Eroge}} of the same name.
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!This novel contains the following tropes:

* AggressiveCategorism: Ignorance and stupidity are almost always attributed to the Indios in the story by the Spanish curates.
* AllegoricalCharacter: Every character is an allegory of the status of the country.
* AntiquatedLinguistics: Thanks to the time period and the era the novel was written in nearly all the characters speak in straight, formal Spanish.
* AristocratsAreEvil: The Ibarras are the exception.
* AuthorAvatar: Rizal is both Ibarra and Elias.
** San Diego, the town where the story is set, is very much inspired after Calamba, Laguna, the author's hometown.
* AuthorFilibuster: Philosopher Tacio often serves as the mouthpiece of Rizal's beliefs and ideals. Though it never goes into an AuthorTract or become outright {{Anvilicious}}.
* ArrangedMarriage: Maria Clara to [[spoiler: Linares]].
** Originally, Ibarra is Maria Clara's ''fiance'', but Father Damaso meddled with their arrangement and chose Linares instead for Maria Clara.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Brothers Bruno and Tarsilo for their unnamed sister after their father was killed via whipping. It's the reason why they're desperately gambling for money in the cockpit during their introduction. [[spoiler: It's also the reason why they decided to join Lucas's revolution, thinking that they'll earn enough money for their sister to live on, though it's also partly to avenge their deceased father.]]
* BigDamnHeroes: Ibarra, during a fishing trip in the lake, saved the boatman from being devoured by a crocodile. The boatman turns out to be Elias, and he returns the favor by saving Ibarra's life many, many times.
* BigFancyHouse: Capitan Tiago's house where the banquet in chapters one and two was held.
* BilingualBonus: The title is Latin for "Touch me not," from [[Literature/TheFourGospels the Gospel of John]].
* BoomerangBigot: Most of the upper class Filipinos like Capitan Tiago and Donya Victorina.
* BreakTheCutie: Maria Clara. Sisa, and [[spoiler: Ibarra, who, in ''Literature/ElFilibusterismo'', has become quite the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynic]].]]
* ChekhovsGun: Ibarra's letter of farewell to Maria Clara just before he studied abroad 7 years ago is the same letter used to convict him.
* ChekhovsGunman: Various characters. An example would be the boatman Ibarra saves from a crocodile during the lake trip who turns out to be Elias, and the lady whose gown Lieutenant Guevarra steps on in the 1st chapter turns out to be Donya Victorina 42 chapters later.
* ColdBloodedTorture: [[spoiler: Tarsilo endures this at the hands of the Alferes and Donya Consolation. First he's [[ATasteOfTheLash whipped for a number of times,]] beaten, and then he gets repeatedly dunked upside down to a filled well used as a dumping ground for trash and the like. He dies from his injuries later, all the while [[DefiantToTheEnd remaining defiant against his tormentors.]]]]
** [[spoiler: While this scene was already tragic in itself, his sister watching him being tortured to death while being unable to do anything makes [[{{Tearjerker}} it even sadder.]]]]
* CorruptChurch: One of the issues raised by the book. Father Damaso is a bully, while Father Salvi is a CovertPervert secretly harboring lust for Maria Clara.
* CrapsackWorld: At least if you're Filipino.
* DeadpanSnarker: Philosopher Tacio in most of his scenes. Also, Lieutenant Guevarra during the banquet towards Donya Victorina.
* DespairSpeech: [[spoiler: Ibarra gives one in his exchange with Elias at the end. This also marks the birth of the figure of Simoun from Literature/ElFilibusterismo.]]

--> [[spoiler: '''Ibarra''']]: You are right Elias, but man is a creature of circumstances. [[WideEyedIdealist Then I was blind, annoyed]]. What did I know? [[TraumaCongaLine Now misfortune has torn the bandage from my eyes]], [[BreakTheCutie the solitude and misery of my prison have taught me]]. Now I see the horrible cancer which feeds upon this society, which clutches its flesh and which [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans demands a violent rooting out]]. They have [[CynicismCatalyst opened my eyes]], they have made me see the sore and they have forced me to be a criminal. [[ThenLetMeBeEvil Since they wish it]], [[FaceHeelTurn I will be a filibuster, a real filibuster I mean]]. [[{{Foreshadowing}} I will call together all the unfortunates]], [[RebelLeader all who feel a heart beat in their breasts, all those who were sending you to me]].[[WellIntentionedExtremist No, I will not be a criminal, never is he such who fights for his native land, but quite the reverse]].
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler: Ibarra.]]
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: Ibarra's on the run, Elias is dead, Maria Clara, who thinks Ibarra is dead, chooses to enter the convent and stay there for the rest of her life.]]
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Basilio has a dream that [[spoiler: Crispin]] is being beaten by the Sacristan Mayor and Father Salvi.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:An apparent FaceHeelTurn is done by Ibarra when he comes back as Simoun in ''Literature/ElFilibusterismo''.]]
* FallenHero: [[spoiler:Crisostomo Ibarra becomes Simoun in ''Literature/ElFilibusterismo''.]]
* {{Foil}}: Elias to Ibarra. Elias is an Indio, Ibarra is a Creole [[note]] a Filipino with Spanish descent[[/note]]. Whereas Ibarra is an idealist [[spoiler: at first]], Elias is a realist. Ibarra is a privileged man, whereas Elias has suffered oppression due to his race.
* TheFundamentalist: Primarily the curates, but also some "religious" Indios too.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: [[spoiler: Sisa, after learning about her son Crispin's fate.]]
* GreenEyedMonster: Ibarra after seeing Maria Clara with Linares. [[spoiler: Also, Padre Salvi towards Ibarra.]]
* TheHeretic: [[spoiler: According to Fray Damaso, Don Rafael. Ibarra is later excommunicated by the Church after he attacks Fray Damaso, but is pardoned by the governor-general.]]
* HenpeckedHusband: Don Tiburcio.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Elias.]]
* HolierThanThou: The curates.
* TheIdealist: Ibarra, who wished to build a school to educate the natives.[[spoiler: But the events in the novel succeed in breaking his idealism.]]
* IllGirl: [[spoiler: Maria Clara. Probably the reason why she died in the sequel.]]
* InferredSurvival: [[spoiler: Ibarra.]]
* InsistentTerminology: It's '''''DOCTORA''''' Victorina de los Santos de Espandanya to you!
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Elias is implied to also be in love with Maria Clara. Nevertheless, he lets her and Ibarra be together.
* JadeColoredGlasses
* KarmaHoudini: Everyone who isn't Ibarra, Maria Clara, Elias, Tacio, Sisa or Basilio.
* KillEmAll: The novel has a HUGE body count at the end.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Capitan Tiago and his wife Pia (Maria Clara's mother) badly wanted a child and attended all sorts of rituals and congregations to be able to conceivse, despite being unable to for many years. Subverted, since in the end they do get their daughter and end up with Maria Clara. [[spoiler: Double subverted as it turns out Maria Clara is a child born of rape, and that her real father is Father Damaso (Capitan Tiago was infertile)]].
* LaResistance: Elias meets with some rebels who were hidden in the mountains. They ask that he joins their cause but he refuses.
* LimitedWardrobe: While well-off and can afford a variety of clothes, Captian Tiago's prefers to stick to his standard outfit of a frock coat, khaki trousers, a bowler hat and a cane.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler: Father Damaso]] is Maria Clara's real father.
* MarketBasedTitle: The first English translation was called ''The Social Cancer''.
* MixedAncestry: Ibarra, being a Creole himself, and the Chinese Mestizos [[note]] Those of whom have one Chinese parent and one Indio parent [[/note]] Capitan Tiago and Philosopher Tacio.
* NoNameGiven: The Governor-General.
** The "Yellow Man" who orchestrated Ibarra's assasination (by [[DroppedABridgeOnHim having the cornerstone of the schoolhouse buiding he was financing fall on him]]) under orders by Father Damaso no less.
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler: Ibarra.]]
* OpportunisticBastard: Lucas.
* ParentalMarriageVeto: [[spoiler: The reason why Fray Damaso is so adamant against Ibarra and Maria Clara's {{Arranged Marriage}} is not because he is Maria Clara's godfather, rather, he's her actual ''father''.]]
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: An incredible subversion. Maria Clara and Ibarra are not betrothed at first, but after their parents saw how much they love each other, they decided to have them in an ArrangedMarriage.
* PersecutedIntellectuals: Intellectualism in the Philippines was a big ''no-no'' in the era the book is set in to prevent the Indios[[note]]"Indians" a term used to define native Filipinos at the time[[/note]] from escaping their ignorance and therefore keeping the Spanish authorities, or specifically the friars, in power and control of the population; this was exemplified during Fray Damaso's sermon where he condemns local youths like Ibarra for going abroad to study and when [[spoiler: Tacio's books were [[BookBurning burned]] at the end by authorities who deemed them heretical.]] This was also true in RealLife during Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines.
* ThePhilosopher: Don Anastacio, a.k.a. Philosopher Tacio.
* TheQuisling: Donya Victorina, who also doubles as a SmallNameBigEgo.
* RantInducingSlight: After taking all the insults, [[spoiler: Ibarra]] finally snapped at a luncheon resulting in a knife at [[spoiler: Father Damaso's]] throat when the latter began to bad-mouth [[spoiler: Ibarra's father.]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler: Elias nearly kills Ibarra for being related to the Spaniard who ruined his entire clan.]] He snaps out of it, however.
* TheOphelia: Sisa, after [[spoiler: Crispin's death]].
* ParentalSubstitute: Since her mother [[DeathByChildbirth died in childbirth]], Maria Clara was raised by her MaidenAunt Tia Isabel.
* ProperLady: Maria Clara is written and promoted as such.
* StarCrossedLovers: Ibarra and Maria Clara.
* SequelHook: [[spoiler: The uncertainty of Ibarra's fate.]] It did.
* TakingTheVeil: [[spoiler:Maria Clara]].
* TheUglyGuysHotDaughter: The beautiful Maria Clara is Capitan Tiago's daughter. [[spoiler: Subverted since it turns out she isn't really his daughter.]]
* TraumaCongaLine: [[spoiler: Ibarra, Basilio, Maria Clara and Sisa are the primary examples.]]
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: Ibarra and Maria Clara are[[spoiler: [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend /would have been]]]] this for each other.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue:
** [[spoiler: Padre Damaso was reassigned in a remote parish church by his Father Provincial, which he did not take too well, and was discovered dead at his bed.]]
** [[spoiler: Padre Salvi resigned his post as the parish priest of San Diego and became a chaplain at the Santa Clara Nunnery.]]
** [[spoiler: Capitan Tiago, despondent over her daughter's decision to enter the convent, sank into a deep depression and began to frequent an opium den in Binondo.]]
** [[spoiler: Doña Victorina found a new hobby other than wearing her artificial hair ringlets and pretending to speak in a fake Andalucian accent: driving their horse-drawn carriage around town. She also has taken to wearing a pince-nez due to deteriorating vision. Her husband remained as henpecked as ever, and the regular abuse he receives from his wife even worsened as no patient ever solicited his medical "expertise" anymore.]]
** [[spoiler: Linares, Maria Clara's suitor after Ibarra, died of dysentery and was interred at the Paco Cemetery.]]
** [[spoiler: The Alferez was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander, and decided to return to Spain, leaving his mistress behind who was now taken to excessive drinking and smoking.]]
** [[spoiler: And finally, Maria Clara professed her vows and entered the Santa Clara Abbey, where Padre Salvi regularly rapes her to sate his carnal desires. One evening in a stormy night, two civil guards saw her on the roof of the cloister, raging against the heavens, and thinking that she was a ghostly apparition, immediately reported the incident to the authorities. However, a government inquiry about her fate was duly stopped by the Abbess, citing the rules of the convent about outsiders, and nothing was ever heard of from Maria Clara ever again.]]
* WideEyedIdealist: Ibarra. [[spoiler: Until the next book, that is...]]
* WouldHurtAChild: Hurting kids is okay with Spanish authorities and the guardia civil so long as the kid is an Indio.
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