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Book Analysis

Which Characters In "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" Are There To Convey Critical Values? - Shreya Sachdev

Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Foretold Characters / Chronicle of a Death Foretold Themes / Gabriel Garcia Marquez Chronicle of a Death Foretold / Chronicle of a Death Foretold Analysis

In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold, there are many characters in this work whose chief role is to convey cultural values. For example, Pablo Vicario and Pedro Vicario symbolise the traditional and stereotypical men in the novel. Once they find out that their sister has lost her virginity to another man before marriage, they immediately take it upon them to find this man and murder him because they believe that this is the only way to regain the honor of their family. The extent to how determined Pablo Vicario and Pedro Vicario are symbolizes how much honor is valued in Latin American culture. The thoughts that Pablo Vicario and Pedro Vicario have also symbolize their view on who the authority is. In this case, Pablo Vicario and Pedro Vicario view the authority to be their honor. They believe that they would be disrespecting authority, or the “godlike figure” by not murdering the man who took their sister’s virginity.

Santiago Nasar is also a character who conveys the audience with cultural values. Santiago Nasar represents a god like figure in the novel. Just as Jesus Christ had to die so people’s sins would be spared, Santiago Nasar dies so that the Vicario brothers's honor is restored. Typically, religion is always preaching about ways to change your life to live better, to be saved from punishments, and to reach freedom. Religion is a symbol of the good in the novel and how religion is so respected in the culture. However, the fact that Santiago Nasar dies, or the fact that an aspect of religion dies, goes to show the audience that honor and masculinity is valued over the good teachings of religion.

Angela Vicario herself is also a key character whose chief role is to convey cultural values. For example, when Angela Vicario finds out that she is going to be forced to marry Bayardo San Roman, she does not complain or express her opinions about the marriage and instead chooses to oblige to what her family has chosen for her. This is a clear representation of how women do not consider themselves to be important enough to stand up for themselves. Angela Vicario does not value herself and considers herself to be inferior to her brothers. When Angela Vicario falls in love with Bayardo San Roman, she writes him over 2000 letters over the course of 20 years, despite the fact that she never once got a reply back from him. This again symbolizes her self worth and shows how unindependent and reliant she is on a man.

Clotilde Armenta, similar to Angela Vicario, is also a representation of a stereotypical woman in Latin American culture. Clotilde Armenta immediately notices that Santiago Nasar’s life is in danger when she sees the Vicario brothers with their knives. She decides to express her concern to her husband who considers her feelings to be completely irrelevant and simply responds with “Don’t be silly.” Despite the fact that Clotilde Armenta is still extremely worried about Santiago Nasar, she obliges to her husband and does not rush to Santiago Nasar’s aid. Clotilde Armenta is another representation of a stereotypical woman who has little self worth.

Victoria Guzman and Ibrahim Nasar also represent cultural values. On page 5 of the novel, we learn that Victoria Guzman “had been seduced by Ibrahim Nasar in the fullness of her adolescence. She'd made love to him in secret for several years in the stables of the ranch, and he brought her to be a house servant when the affection was over.” The fact that Ibrahim Nasar just brings Victoria Guzman to her house to be a servant once the affection is supposedly conveys to the readers how much more control men have over women in the novel.

Shreya Sachdev