Doña Consolación

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Doña Consolacion is the muse of the Civil Guards in Jose Rizal's novel, Noli me Tangere. She is the ghastly wife of the alferez of San Diego.

Contents

Appearance

Doña Consolacion is a native woman who wears an overabundance of makeup, despite the heat and her masculine features. She had thinning locks of tangled hairs that escaped her hastily tied panuelo. Her forehead has swollen veins. Her cigar is held in place by purple lips as these covered her loose, jagged teeth. Her thin, flat thighs often shake uncontrollably under her layered skirts.

Doña Consolacion wears a flannel camisa and smokes a big cigar. She would wear dirty and mismatched layered clothing. She would often look out the window where she could criticize and insult other women. Her eyes, like her voice, are sinister and cold.

Character description

Doña Consolacion and her husband, the alferez, often squabble violently, which acts as a form of gross entertainment for their neighbors. She does not allow her husband to hurt her without revenge. She also enjoys making other people, like the curate Padre Salvi, miserable by making up lies about them. She is also cruel, like when she hurt Sisa after the latter had sung a soulful kundiman or Tarsilo after he had insulted her appearance. She does everything for spite and is envious of other people's good fortunes.

Despite the fact that Doña Consolacion never looks in the mirror, she is street smart as she could discern that Ibarra's boatman was none other than Elias. She busies herself by reading the reports for the alferez that her house is dirty and unkept. She thinks she is better than Maria Clara in terms of fashion and appearance, but the alferez would not allow her to go out or treat her badly. She is poorly educated, as she was once the laundrywoman of the civil guards before she married the alferez, who was then a corporal. She pretends not to know Tagalog as she would often syndicate words from Spanish, which she barely knows. Most of the time, she would use signs to make herself understood.

Role in the novel

Doña Consolacion was initially introduced in Chapter 11 as one of the authorities in San Diego. Full description of her appeared in a separate chapter. Her influence continues to add misery to other characters throughout the novel.

One of Doña Consolacion's highlights was when she nearly whipped Sisa to death. She had wanted the latter to dance after she had given herself away to her servants that she can understand Tagalog very well. She had been restrained by her husband but it described how she valued her airs and that she ignores the emptiness that she feels when the madwoman sang her sad lovesong.

A comedic scene in the novel was Doña Consolacion and Doña Victorina's confrontation. This came about after both women had seen the caricatures the other has become. After a torrent of insults and their husbands joining in the fray, Padre Salvi was able to stop and manage to restore peace, to the disappointment of the spectators.

Another example of Doña Consolacion's evil was when she attended the inquiry regarding the alleged rebellion initiated by Juan Crisostomo Ibarra. She had managed to convince the alferez to give Tarsilo, Bruno's brother, to grant the worst possible punishment: timbaín. This was after the man insulted her in front of the many who watched the proceedings. After the torture, she avenged herself by checking if the man is already dead by putting out the embers of her cigar on its wet, naked leg.

Symbolism

Doña Consolacion is a crude version of a native who wanted to put on airs and act superior from her countrymen. She has never experienced comfort in her life and had received nothing but cruel blows and foul words from her husband. Unlike Doña Victorina who signifies pride, she has degenerated into a sadist, who enjoys giving other people discomfort because of the anger that is in her heart.

References

Citation

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