From the novel entitled colonized and colonizers by Jose Rizal, the latter has used Ibarra (a Spaniard) as his central character to criticize the challenges posed by the Spanish colonial rule in Philippines. The colonizers brought no progress in Philippines. This is evident when Ibarra notes that it was the same Chinese man he came across seven years ago when he was leaving the party.
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It is also evident that the native people increased poverty levels in Philippines bearing in mind that Ibarra’s father used to feed the poor Spaniards in Philippines. In addition, the natives were seen collecting taxes from people who had vehicles for their own upkeep.
The Spaniards also contributed towards the level of illiteracy in Philippines. We are also informed that the tax collector who was restrained by Ibarra from physically assaulting a child had no idea how to sign the pieces of paper. He had even been dismissed from services. In addition, he seemed to have attended no school at all since he used to hold written papers upside down when signing them. They even introduced schooling system that the illiterate Spanish were supposed to attend.
Corruption was also another challenge that the Spaniards adopted and encouraged. When Ibarra’s father was arrested, justice was hardly in place. He was sentenced to prison without trial until his death. When this happened, all his past enemies surfaced and started fighting against him. He was accused of heresy and sedition. He was also accused of subscribing to the overseas mail and other newspapers from Madrid. As a result, all his written pieces of literature were confiscated.
The concepts of civilization, progress and manliness are also major themes in this novel. The people of Philippines allow their children to go to school because they understand that education is critical towards social progress. The inability of the tax collector to sign the required papers is a clear indication that education plays a critical role in society.
It signifies the importance of education especially in regards to communicating vital information from one party to another. Moreover, Ibarra illuminates civilization by helping the poor people as well as the child who was being harassed by the tax collector. Progress is visualized when people gather together for a party.
This is a show of unity and harmony among people. A show of unity is also evident through the introduction of Christianity. The church also emerges as an important institution where people fellowship together. Schools act as symbols of progress in Philippines.
Manliness is another key factor in this novel. The governor exhibits manliness by denying Mr. Ibarra the much needed justice because he envies his riches. The priests also exhibit a sign of manliness. For instance, father Damaso exposes other people’s confessions although such confessions should remain as secret as possible.
Jose Rizal sees the role of native Filipinos in the nation as royal towards fighting for the independence of their country. The national movement of middle class intellectuals that Rizal envisioned claimed the independence of the Philippines in 1898 thereby creating the first republic in Asia.