Literature

Chronicle of a death foretold themes/introduction/plot

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Where does Gabriel García Márquez’s magical realism end and begin ? The Colombian writer is one of the great exponents of 20th century Latin American literature. Without leaving this aside, he began his steps with the pen in newspaper writing; with reports and chronicles. In this lesson from a Professor we will summarize one of the works that allows us to reflect on the narrative limits of journalism and literature: Chronicle of a Death Foretold . Chronicle of a death foretold themes

The plot

Now that we have a general idea of ​​the style and intention that Gabriel García Márquez had with this novel, let’s delve into the plot of a man who is going to be murdered and there seems to be no factor preventing this crime. Chronicle of a death foretold themes

Santiago Nasar, a young man who will be killed for, apparently, having been the cause of Angela being rejected the night before for her marriage to her own husband. From voice to voice, the town learns that Angela’s twin brothers will go after Santiago; However, the news of his announced crime does not seem to reach him to allow him to escape and save his life. Throughout 5 chapters we delve into the history and the announced tragedy. Chronicle of a death foretold themes

Themes Chronicle of a death foretold themes

The novel is more than a simple chronicle of a revenge of honor . The following topics stand out:

  1. COLLECTIVE LIABILITY. In Living to tell it , the author declares that his intention in addressing this novel was to address this issue. It is “the moral responsibility, the guilt, of the inhabitants of a town for an irrational crime that could have been avoided; above all, because it had been announced ”.
  2. THE VIOLENCE . It is the only response to the violation of the code of honor that governs the morals of the people and that requires the bride to be married a virgin: the honor of the family must be washed with the blood of the offender. But in addition, other manifestations of violence appear in the novel: in the personality of Santiago Nasar, in references to the guerrillas through the character of Pedro Vicario, in the specific fact of the crime, in the description of the autopsy scene.
  3. THE HONOR . It is a rigid code that everyone abides by and that reflects the puritanical and ignorant morals of the people and brings us reminiscences of the Golden Age theater . It is a code as puritanical as it is intolerant, focused only on the sexuality of the woman who is required to become a virgin at marriage. The transgression of this code –Ángela Vicario does not arrive a virgin to the marriage- is an affront that affects the whole family and must be repaired with the blood of the aggressor. The Vicar, Peter and Paul, twins will be the executors of the vengeance that demands the honor outraged, revenge that must be quick because “the honor will not wait” (p. 101). Chronicle of a death foretold themes
  4. RELIGION . It is presented to us through the visit of the bishop and the frustrated expectations that it provokes in the town. It is a faith with a lot of fetishistic and sanctimonious, that coexists with the superstitious beliefs. The writer sometimes gives the subject a humorous and ironic treatment.
  5. THE FATALITY . Tragic destiny weighs on Santiago Nasar in the form of a series of adverse circumstances that lead him to death,  which is related to the classic sense of fatum or destiny. E l word “Fatality” appears at various points in the novel. Even the narrator is surprised by the great number of coincidences that led to the death of Santiago in the form oferrors, coincidencesand adversities that led to afatal outcome.
  6. THE HUMOR . Sometimes it is grotesque and grotesque and serves as an anticlimax to violence and the macabre of crime. Chronicle of a death foretold themes
  7. LOVE . The novel is also the story of Bayardo and Angela’s love passion, which grows with the separation of lovers and is capable of overcoming offense, loneliness, silence and even the passage of time. Relationships between lovers they are conditioned by the different role that men and women play in the Caribbean society recreated in the novel. In the small town, conservative morals, taboos, religiosity and attachment to the typical traditions of the rural environment predominate. Women are educated to marry and accept the impositions that may come from their father or brothers: Angela and her sisters are told that “they knew how to hoop embroidery, machine sew, weave bobbin lace, wash and iron, make artificial flowers and fancy sweets, write engagement obituaries ”. As for men, they are raised “to be men”, that is, to assume all the family responsibilities and commitments that may befall them.the role of women is marriage and being “honest.” It is common for marriages to be agreed upon for convenience: that of  Plácida Linero and Ibrahim Nasar “who did not have a single moment of happiness” or the one projected between Santiago Nasar and Flora Miguel, which had been agreed upon in their teens by their parents respective are an example. Regarding the marriage of Ángela and Bayardo, the attitude of this is related to hunting, as recalled by the quote from the poet Gil Vicente that opens the novel: “The hunt for love / is haughtiness” , specifically with the hunting of falconry : ” Falcon that dares / with a warrior heron, / dangers await.” Chronicle of a death foretold themes

Other secondary themes are the inversion of moral values, the assumed machismo, the loneliness of the victims, death, the never-satisfied search for the truth . Chronicle of a death foretold themes

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