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Layla Ziani

My fav class

04 September 20XX

Chronicle Supervised Essay Prompt #2

Germaine Greer along with many other prominent writers agreed that the end result of

machismo or male dominance, in order to preserve their honor, was violence. Other than

Germaine Greer, other writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez was an outspoken critic of the

distorted roles between men and women in order to achieve honor or respect by society. Most

famously, in his critically-acclaimed novel: ​A Chronicle of a Death Foretold, ​Marquez outlines

the recurring idea of keeping one’s honor in a traditional village in 20th century Columbia. This

author outlines the motif of honor throughout the book by identifying the different distorted ways

by which one achieves respect and honor by society, for women it is by the philosophy of

marianismo and for men it is through the philosophy of machismo. Through staying in

accordance with both of these philosophies each sex is able to achieve honor. Living in this

honor-based system in Latin America, Marquez denounces this distorted way of receiving

respect through pointing out that it causes violence and unrest within a given society. In

conclusion, in his famous novel, ​A Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Marquez brings attention to

the recurring motif of honor by associating the different philosophies for each sex to the cause of


Along with many other examples, throughout the beginning of book, Marquez introduces

a character by the name of Bayardo San Roman who had the “waist of a novice bullfighter”

(Marquez 25). In the minds of many women, he was “an enchanting” (Marquez 26) creature

whom they “couldn’t take [their] eyes off” (Marquez 26). During San Roman’s stay in this rural

Columbian village, he was seen as the epiphany of machismo or extreme male dominance.

Every woman wanted to be his bride and every man wanted to be him. In the eyes of the village

he was “honest, he had a good heart” and he “helped with the mass in latin” (Marquez 27). In

this heavily Catholic town, all of these traits were respected which in turn gave San Roman the

honor he was looking for. He was seen as tough, handsome , and dominant, these were the

adjectives that created the perfect man in Latin society. However, in that same village lived a

young woman by the name of Angela Vicario. Angela was seen as “the prettiest of the four”

siblings she had and was said to “be born like the great queens of history” (Marquez 32). In the

eyes of the village, she was what symbolizes purity, femininity, and virginity. These were all of

the traits that were praised by men for women in order to retain their honor. When San Roman

gazed upon her, he asked his companion to “remind [him] that [he is] going to marry her”

(Marquez 29). When asking her hand in marriage, he rarely tried to win other Angela’s personal

feelings, but instead did what was cultural appropriate for men and win over her family instead.

After wooing and convincing the family of his honor in latin society, San Roman married the

young Angela without her consent. The only reason the family allowed this union was to boost

their own honor and societal influence amongst the masses. However, after the wedding,

although Angela was looked upon as this “Virgin-Mary” like figure, her virginity and purity was

nothing but a lie. After finding this out about his newly-wed wife, San Roman returned her to

her home to have her mother hold “[her] hair by one arm and [beat her] with the other with such

rage” that Angela thought she was going to kill her (Marquez 46) After finding out that Santiago

Nassar took her virginity which in turn took her only source of honor was so devastating for this

family that the two Vicario twins masterminded an entire murder to avenge their sister’s lost

honor onto Santiago Nassar. Again, the recurring idea of preserving one’s honor in latin society

is denounced by Marquez because he believes that it causes violence and unrest within a society.

Through developing the ways by which men are supposed to attain and receive honor by society

through acting dominant, possessive, and violent, and how women must surpress their sexuality

and only be with one man and act pure throughout their whole life does not allow for anyone no

matter what sex from being who they really are. Through being obssessed with honor and

recieving respect from society, people never express who they really are which in turn causes

civil unrest and violence throughout a society. One can see this directly in the book when the

Vicario twins are so distraught by their sister’s lost honor that they murder an innocent man.

In conclusion, in his famous novel, ​A Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Marquez brings

attention to the recurring motif of honor by associating the different philosophies for each sex to

the cause of violence.

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