Rizal: The Interpretation Of Death In Simoun's Death
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Rizal relies on the imagery of Simoun dying from a combination of grievous gunshot injury and suicidal poison consumption to set a scene of “living, sensual contemplation” and thereby reveal underlying societal conflict and Filipino revolutionary sentiment. While Simoun dies, Father Florentino “felt his eyes tear up and he took his hand from the injured man, got up, and went to the window to contemplate the vast expanse of the sea… When he touched him gently, he realized that the man was dead. He had already begun to get cold. Then he knelt and prayed” (327). Here, Rizal is calling for the reader to reflect on Simoun’s death and in that reflection to derive an understanding of Filipino life and colonial injustice. Death is the culmination of…show more content… Voronsky further asserts that “[art] is the cognition of life in the form of sensual, imaginative contemplation. Like science, art gives objective truths; genuine art demands precision because it deals with the object, it is empirical” (100). Thus, art is both contemplative and objective; art requires a thoughtful approach and appeals to the senses, and in doing so it delivers objectivity. In Simoun’s death scene, Rizal clearly achieves Voronsky’s requirement for art to be a thoughtful appeal to the senses.
El Filibusterismo is real art, not pseudo-art, and thus generates objective cognition. Voronsky writes that “[just] as in the area of scientific disciplines there are pseudo-sciences, so, too, in art there is pseudo-art. The artist may tear himself away from actuality (ideal or real), he may devote himself to the free play of imagination, to the transmission of moods which interest no one” (101). By contrasting the rage and revolutionary fervor of Simoun with the intellectual optimism of Father Florentino and thus representing a broad spectrum of ideas rather than pushing a specific solution, Rizal avoids falling into the trap of creating propaganda. While his work still portrays Filipinos as frustrated and