In the book Chronicles of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Marquez manipulates his characters in a systematic fashion that unveil the universal occurrence of societal pressure that forces categorized people into specific classes. An important element Marquez often alludes to is the abstract notion of honor, which holds a relatively high importance to those tied designated to the male gender in Latin America. On the other side of the spectrum, marianismo is the idealized female trait, often leading to suppression and objectification in Latin America.
On the contrary of the ideologies of society, this book reveals basic human instincts and actions, cultivated by culture. Marquez uses his fundamental organization of the text to present the traits. An apparent irony that one can easily spot is on the title of this piece itself, “The Chronicles of a Death Foretold”. Nevertheless by using this odd structure of time, the narrator was able to discover many basic human characteristics displayed in the interviews he had given. By bestowing the interviewer role on the narrator, this book shares many similarities towards the third person objective style even though this is in first person.
As this book progresses, they readers are giving much more information than the people in the book. Therefore the readers are able to synthesize their own critical analysis on the human traits that were presented. Nonetheless the narrator also sets his own opinions in the book. In these cases, the book gives information that helps guide the readers to what the narrator believes in. “… perhaps because it was the most perverse, was that angela Vicario was protecting someone who really loved her and she had chosen Santiago Nasar’s name because she thought her brothers would never dare go up against him.
I tried to get that truth of of her myself… ” (Marquez 90). Even though the narrator gives many important details regarding Santiago’s death, many events within the book are often irrelevant. In which, ties into the human psychology. As stated before, The Chronicles of a Death Foretold, is fundamentally a compilation on the natural human behavior in a given stimulation. “‘The sun warms things up earlier than in August. ’ She had been quartering three rabbits for lunch, surrounded by dogs… ”(Marquez 9).
Many characters focused on the insignificant events that occurred rather than the intimidating event that holds more significance. As humans, people often display their acts of selfishness innately throughout time, wishing to fulfill their own wants and straying away from responsibility given. Furthermore, the idea of “Diffusion of Responsibility”, or “Bystander Effect” shows that the more people aware of the incident, the less responsibility is felt on the bystanders. “There was never been a death more foretold… wenty-two people declared they had heard everything said. ” (Marquez 50-51). In this sense, many people were “kicking the can” towards a different person, in hopes that they will relieve them from the burden received.
“One of them told me that eh couldn’t eat the flesh of an animal he had butchered… I reminded them that the Vicario brothers sacrificed the same hogs they raised, which were so familiar to them they called them by their names. ‘That’s true,’ one of them replied, but remember that they didn’t give them people’s names but the names of flowers. ” (Marques 52). Throughout the book the interviewed gave extraneous information or rationalizations to justify their absence in this particular event The Chronicles of a Death Foretold, presents the twin as machismo men who would go through enormous lengths to prove themselves as so. So, to inflate their honor, the machismo twins set off to an adventure to kill Santiago.
But in reality, they didn’t want to do so. Having hope in the righteousness in the society they lived in, they believed someone would stop their tracks. “‘Don’t be silly,’ he said to her. Those two aren’t about to kill anybody, much less someone rich’” (Marquez 55). In fact, many people had doubted them, such as the narrator, and in relation, Angela herself. “Their reputation as good people was so well-founded that no one paid any attention to them” (Marques 52), if Angela pinned the molester to a stronger figure, the twins would be too afraid to honorably kill Santiago, and rupture their honor. The twins had lived in a society which expected them to display machismo actions, such as killing for their honor.
Ironically, the society that taught them to be this way, had doubted the twins could display their machismo-eaque behaviors. Furthermore, people failed to execute their responsibility due to the fragile hopes of these points as a misunderstanding of some sort. This common theme often coincides with reality. As evidently proven, this book paralleled with the real-life Latin America. In Latin America, abstract ideas such as honor is a highly attractive trait, wanted by males. On the other hand, being submissive is the characteristics females are told to look up to.
For example, Angela’s mother who was said to have little presence, people would forget she had existed. But on an extreme note, this book ties into a gruesome side. As an extension of parallelism to reality, this book also brings in the political imbalance of structure, that critiques on Latin America’s tradition of ruling throughout centuries. There were some characters who felt unsure about the Vicario twins conversation. “Faustino Santos told me that he’d still been doubtful, and that he reported it to a policeman who came by a little later to buy a pound of liver for the mayor’s breakfast. Marquez 53).
However bringing these doubts to a person of higher power are often ignored. “He found them in Clotilde Armenta’s store, when I saw them I thought they were nothing but a pair of big buffers, he told me with his personal logic, ‘because they weren’t as drunk as I thought. Nor did he interrogate them concerning their intentions, but took away their knives and sent them off to sleep. He treated them with the same self assurance which he had passed off his wife’s alarm. ” (Marquez 56).
It is apparent that responsibility is easily brushed off if given a logical rationalization and potentially dangerous uprisings are often brushed aside. Furthermore, this book showcases the imbalance and lack of ingenuity within the people who governs. “The damage from the knives was only beginning for the unforgiving autopsy that Father Carmen amador found himself obliged to perform in Dr. Dionisio Iguaran’s absence… ‘But it was an order from the mayor, and orders from that barbarian, stupid as they might have been, had to be obeyed.
… The mayor was a former troop commander with no experience in matters of law, and he was too conceited to ask anyone who knew where he should begin. ” (Marquez 12-13). This exemplifies the parallelism towards the real world because it shows that people who have power often abuse it or mishandle the situation that brings the subject into worse hands than before. Marquez was able to critique society with his odd story structure and characters to reveal many faults within the culture’s ideology.
Adherents of any society does not want to be outcasted by the general public so most actions taken are seasoned to society’s taste. In Latin America, Machismo and marismo are the preferred traits of their people. As a reader, many can see that because of what society wants, matters as futile as honor or pride are taken into extreme cases, that are often unnecessary. Furthermore these actions can hinder change the perspective of a given person towards the person who did the actions. For example the death of Santiago was created to reinforce the honor of the twins, taking the action of what tany machismo man would do.
This book critiques society’s teachings and shows how the traditional way of categorization of political structure can bring harm, rather than order. Reflection: I was able to come up with this essay due to my peer’s presentation on Latin America. Because of these, I was able to see the clear connection between the society of Latin America and the Latin America that Marquez described. Additionally, I tied the psychology of ideologies that ties well into perspective. Since culture has such a huge role into our lives, they can dominate one’s actions.
But in cases of ideologies, there are many times where it can lead into extreme display of behaviors that a person can feel justified to do because of the culture they had grew up with. It was very easy to bring up my evidence into the essay however trying to explain them eloquently seemed to be a challenge. I made a better effort on talking about the author style along with adding in literary elements to enhance my opinions. However I wish I had used a wider range of evidence and more transitions to have a better flow.