Context

Gabriel García Márquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia, in 1928, the eldest of sixteen children. After graduating from the University of Bogota, he worked as a reporter for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador and as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Caracas, and New York. His most famous work, One Hundred Years of Solitude, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Chronicle of a Death Foretold occupies a unique place among Márquez's works because the narrative is both journalistic and fictitious. García frequently uses journalistic techniques in his fiction. For example, in most of his novels he creates a high level of interest in the very first line of the text, and employs many journalistic details based on close observation throughout the entire novel. Márquez himself said that he became a good journalist by reading literature, and that journalism in turn helped him maintain contact with reality, which he considers essential to writing good literature. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Latin-American novel did little besides realistically portray of regional or national life and customs. In terms of narrative technique, this fiction functioned within the realist tradition of the nineteenth century. In the late 1940s, Latin-American novels changed, as they had been influenced by the modernist novels of Woolf, Joyce, and Faulkner. Such modernist novelists were well-known among Latin American intellectuals by the 1930s. Along with contemporaries such as the Cuban Alejo Carpentier, the Guatemalan Miguel Angel Asturias, the Mexican Agustin Yanez, and the Argentine Leopoldo Marechal, Gabriel García Márquez contributed novels that insisted on the right of invention. The books were concerned with the construction of new realities, not the reflection of existing themes. One technique that came into being in this fiction is magic realism, which is the incorporation of fantastic or mythical elements matter-of-factly into otherwise realistic fiction. Alejo Carpentier was the first to use the term when he recognized the tendency of his region's authors to illustrate the mundane by means of the extraordinary. Colombia prides itself on being a stronghold of Spanish tradition. Gabriel García Márquez became part of a coastal group that wanted to leave Bogota and the conservative attitudes prevalent in much of Colombia. Coastal towns like Barranquilla were more supportive of innovative and imaginative literature. Márquez and his contemporaries involved in this coastal movement were called the "Group of Barranquilla." Márquez's first novel, Leafstorm, strongly reflects Faulkner's influence in its structure and narrative point of view. In the 1940s, Márquez read and learned from Faulkner's novels. Márquez, who was originally planning to study law after graduating from university, said that when he first read Faulkner, he knew he had to become a writer. Chronicle of a Death Foretold showcases Márquez's skills as a journalist rather than as a novelist. After the publication of the novel, journalists poured into Sucre, the town where the real murder that inspired the book took place, in order to interview the surviving characters. In a strange twist, real life replicated the novel—the novel tells the story of a the narrator's return to the Colombian town to resolve the details of a murder twenty years after it had taken place.

Plot Overview

The narrative outlines the events surrounding the murder of Santiago Nasar, a young man who is thought to have taken the virginity of Angela Vicario. On her wedding night, after discovering that she was not a virgin, Angela's husband, Bayardo San Roman, returns her to her house. Angela's twin brothers, Pedro Vicario and Pablo Vicario, ask her who took her virginity, and she tells them that Santiago Nasar did. The brothers find Santiago and kill him. The narrative is non-linear. The narrator begins the story by telling us about Santiago Nasar's household the morning he was murdered. In the course of the chapter, we learn that Santiago lived with his mother, Placida Linero; their cook, Victoria Guzman; and her daughter, Divina Flor. Santiago's father, Ibrahim Nasar, has died three years previously. After his father died, Santiago took over the family ranch, which has been very successful; the Nasars are wealthy in their community. The day that Santiago is murdered was a significant day in town because the Bishop was coming by boat to bless the marriage of Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman. Many people were heading over to the dock to see the boats. Pedro and Pablo Vicario were sitting in the local milk-shop, which was en route to the dock, so that they could see Santiago Nasar either going or returning in order to track him down and kill him. The narrator's sister learns that Angela Vicario was returned home on the night of her wedding. Bayardo San Roman had come to town to find a bride. After deciding on Angela, the courtship was short. Because Bayardo came from a prestigious, wealthy family, and the Vicarios were relatively poor, Angela did not really have a choice, even though she did not love Bayardo at the time they were wed. The night before the murder, there had been lots of wedding revelry that had continued into the early morning at a local whorehouse run by Maria Alejandrina Cervantes, where Santiago Nasar had been carousing with the twins and the narrator until early in the morning. After returning home and finding their sister in disgrace, the Vicario brothers set out to avenge her honor by murdering Santiago Nasar. Even though they repeatedly announced their intent to murder him, the butcher, the police officer, and the Colonel all thought that the Vicarios are largely bluffing. Clothilde Armenta, the proprietor of the milk shop, even told the local priest about what the Vicario twins were threatening to do. However, in the excitement surrounding the arrival of the bishop, he forgot about her warning. After the murder, the entire Vicario family left town because of the disgrace the combination of events had brought upon their family. A week after the murder, Bayardo San Roman left with his family; they came and retrieved him by boat. The Vicario brothers were imprisoned for three years. After their release from prison, Pablo proceeded to marry his betrothed, Prudencia Cotes, and Pedro went back into the armed forces. After Bayardo returned Angela to her home on their wedding night, she fell in love with him. After she moved away from the town where she was disgraced, she wrote him letters every week for seventeen years, and eventually he returned to her. For years after the crime, it was all anyone in the town spoke of. The narrator tells how his friend Cristo Bedoya searched frantically for Santiago the morning of the murder in order to warn him of the Vicario brothers' plan, but failed to find Santiago because he did not realize that Santiago had gone to the house of his fiance, Flora Miguel. Her father was the first to warn Santiago of the murder. At this point, there were crowds of people outside who had

but we don't know what he dreamed about when he was awake. and that he wakes up with a headache. so it is not entirely clear that he would not have been inclined to do so with Angela Vicario if given an opportunity. or whether or not he actually loved his fiancée. firearms. We also know that Santiago. Angela Vicario is a distant cousin of the narrator." She used to sit in the window of her house. since she is the only one who knows whether or not Santiago was truly the one who took her virginity. The reader learns that Santiago Nasar frequently dreams about trees. The narrator gives us somewhat random. The narrative never explains any ambitions Santiago may have had.come to see the Bishop but had lingered because they had heard the rumor that Santiago was to be killed. probably would have seduced Divina Flor. The narrator's sister. and has the strongest narrative voice. just as his father seduced her mother. superficial traits. Clothilde Armenta yelled at him to run. Margot. That he was never seen with Angela Vicario also points to his innocence. As a young girl. and stabbed him to death right outside of Santiago's front door. In addition. or birds in trees. had he lived longer. and he ran the fifty yards to his front door. and it does seem clear by Santiago's confused words right before his death that he had no idea what he was being killed for. Characters Santiago Nasar Although much of the narrative is focused on him. prudence. She is the most quoted character in the novel. tells us that he is handsome and rich. But on the other hand. However. what motivated him to do things. His appreciation of valor. who is no longer alive. The Vicario brothers easily caught up with him. Santiago Nasar remains a mystery throughout much of the novel. and falconry. Santiago was very confused. but we are never shown more that these facile. Angela Vicario Angela Vicario is in many ways the main character of the story. When he left Flora Miguel's house." so much so that when . and she remains enigmatic at the end of the story because she never reveals whether or not he was guilty. the narrator says she had a "helpless air and a poverty of spirit that augured an uncertain future for her. the reader knows that he would have had sex with Divina Flor if given the opportunity. fragmentary information with which to piece Santiago together. The narrator seems so focused on collecting others' views of the day of the murder that the narrative neglects to give the reader a comprehensive picture of the victim of the crime. We are told that he was a child of a marriage of convenience and that he is open hearted. and the narrator thought she looked more and more destitute every year. The narrator strongly implies that Santiago was innocent of the crime. making cloth flowers. comes from his father. Victoria Guzman. she is center of the mystery that the narrator is trying to unravel. He says that her "penury of spirit had been aggravated by the years. she was the most beautiful of her four sisters.

When he arrives in town. and that he was a Polack. she replied. and that also irritated her. and after being released from prison he joins the army once again. She has a well-earned reputation as an interpreter of dreams. though not in the sense that either she or Angela expected—Angela fell in love with Bayardo San Roman after he returned her to her house. He dies shortly after his twin sons are sent to prison.Santiago's father. her mother told her that love could be learned. Purisima beats her daughter. When her daughter is brought home by Bayardo San Roman." She eats excessively to mourn Santiago Nasar's death.The mother of Angela Vicario. Her mother appears to have been right. Pablo Vicario . He is betrothed to Prudencia Cotes. However." He says that "she was so mature and witty that it was difficult to believe that she was the same person.people discovered that Bayardo San Roman wanted to marry her. Placida Linero . He used to work as a goldsmith until the strain of the profession made him go blind. She never forgives herself for misinterpreting the dream about trees and birds that her son had the night before his death." Her inexplicable obsession with Bayardo San Roman takes the form of a ritual: she begins writing letters to him. Though she seems like an honest person.Santiago's mother. Pedro Vicario . Poncio Vicario ." When he asks he once again if Santiago Nasar was the guilty party who had taken her virginity. "Don't beat it to death. Because he does come back to her. However.He is the twin who insists that the twins go through with the crime. she answered all his questions "with very good judgment and a sense of humor. Purisima del Carmen . He spent time in the army. Maria Alejandrina Cervantes . who he marries when he is released from jail. She thought he was stuck up. an Arab.An elegant whore with eyes like an "insomniac leopard. her parents would hear none of her objections. they thought it was an outsider's plan. Prudencia Cotes . she is a strict mother. He was the one.He is Angela's father. she would never say anything save to name him as the one who took her virginity. and it becomes a weekly habit of hers for seventeen years. after he discovers she is not a virgin.Pablo Vicario's finance. but merely ingratiated himself with her family. The fact that he ultimately returns to her is no stranger than the act of writing a letter a week to someone who does not respond. it is difficult to tell whether she would have been willing to reveal the name of the man who truly took her virginity. She says she would not have married Pablo if he had not upheld the honor of his sister by killing the man who took her virginity.The man who marries Angela Vicario. Angela Vicario triumphs in a sense-she has found the resolution she desired in her life. especially if she still had feelings for him. It is his idea to kill Santiago Nasar. He comes from a wealthy and prestigious family. Ibrahim Nasar . He seduced Victoria Guzman when she was a teenager.The more serious of the two twins. She also felt that he did not court her. When the narrator went to visit her years later. cousin. Angela says she did not wish to marry him because he seemed like too much of a man for her. the conclusion of her love affair with Bayardo does not shed any light on the murder of Santiago Nasar-in terms of him. Bayardo San Roman . he is described as having a slim waist and golden eyes. . He taught his son the art of falconry and his love of firearms.

Clothilde Armenta's husband. had he lived longer. Colonel Lazaro Aponte . Father Amador . Nahir Miguel .The local priest.The lazy Colonel who fails to prevent Santiago's murder because he is checking on his game of dominoes. General Petronio San Roman and she drive up in a model T Ford. Mercedes Barcha .The narrator's younger brother. and wealthy. and the narrator when they go to serenade Bayardo and Angela on the night of their wedding. Alberta Simonds used to be the extremely beautiful. We are told that he was a child of a marriage of convenience and that he is open hearted. He dies of shock at age eighty-six when he sees the brutal way that the Vicarios murder Santiago. but Victoria watches carefully to make sure he does not do anything to her. handsome. who forgets to warn Santiago Nasar about the plot against him. Flora Miguel . The General is impressively bedecked with war medals.The proprietress of the milk shop where the Vicarios wait to kill Santiago. Cristo Bedoya . and can tell that the Vicario twins are tired and are killing Santiago only out of obligation. and falconry.The pretty.The narrator's eventual wife (and the name of Gabriel García Márquez's real wife). the house held all of his dead wife's possessions. He doesn't listen to her when she warns him about the Vicario twins' plan.An Arab man who warns Cristo Bedoya about the Viacrio twins' plan to murder Santiago. . General Petronio San Roman and Alberta Simonds . just as his father seduced her mother. His appreciation of valor. He plays the guitar very well. Margot . He is the one who warns Santiago that the Vicario brothers are waiting to kill him. and goes around with Santiago. Clothilde Armenta . She had an affair with Ibrahim Nasar when she was a teenager.Bayardo San Roman's parents. Divina Flor .Victoria Guzman's daughter. since he is young. who is no longer alive. Don Rogelio de la Flor . but uninteresting woman that Santiago Nasar was betrothed to marry. probably would have seduced Divina Flor.The local butcher who alerts a local police officer that the Vicario brothers are talking about murdering Santiago. He runs all over town at the end of the book trying to warn Santiago of the Vicario's plan. comes from his father. The narrator proposes to her at Angela and Bayardo's wddiing party. Faustino Santos . Main Character Analysis Santiago Nasar Although much of the narrative is focused on him.The Nasars' cook. Santiago Nasar remains a mystery throughout much of the novel. prudence. firearms. Cristo. He and Santiago have an Arabic play on words that they exchange whenever they meet. Xius .The narrator's sister.A widower who owned the most beautiful house. She feels that Santiago Nasar would be a good catch for any girl.Victoria Guzman . Yamil Shaium . Santiago desires her sexually. Luis Enrique .A friend of the narrator's and of Santiago Nasar. She is an insightful woman. We also know that Santiago.The father of Flora Miguel. She violently guts rabbits on the morning of the murder. he died of sadness because he sold it.

He was the one. she was the most beautiful of her four sisters." He says that "she was so mature and witty that it was difficult to believe that she was the same person. they thought it was an outsider's plan. The fact that . The narrative never explains any ambitions Santiago may have had. and that also irritated her. her mother told her that love could be learned." Her inexplicable obsession with Bayardo San Roman takes the form of a ritual: she begins writing letters to him. He says that her "penury of spirit had been aggravated by the years. or birds in trees. Angela Vicario is a distant cousin of the narrator. so it is not entirely clear that he would not have been inclined to do so with Angela Vicario if given an opportunity. The narrator strongly implies that Santiago was innocent of the crime. and the narrator thought she looked more and more destitute every year. and has the strongest narrative voice." so much so that when people discovered that Bayardo San Roman wanted to marry her. making cloth flowers. The narrator gives us somewhat random. However. That he was never seen with Angela Vicario also points to his innocence. and that he was a Polack. When the narrator went to visit her years later." She used to sit in the window of her house. fragmentary information with which to piece Santiago together. what motivated him to do things. and she remains enigmatic at the end of the story because she never reveals whether or not he was guilty. but merely ingratiated himself with her family. She is the most quoted character in the novel. She also felt that he did not court her. the narrator says she had a "helpless air and a poverty of spirit that augured an uncertain future for her. and it becomes a weekly habit of hers for seventeen years. cousin. and it does seem clear by Santiago's confused words right before his death that he had no idea what he was being killed for. superficial traits. Angela Vicario Angela Vicario is in many ways the main character of the story. The narrator's sister. In addition. "Don't beat it to death. Her mother appears to have been right. she answered all his questions "with very good judgment and a sense of humor. but we don't know what he dreamed about when he was awake. tells us that he is handsome and rich.Victoria Guzman. Margot. since she is the only one who knows whether or not Santiago was truly the one who took her virginity. but we are never shown more that these facile. As a young girl. the reader knows that he would have had sex with Divina Flor if given the opportunity. She thought he was stuck up. Angela says she did not wish to marry him because he seemed like too much of a man for her. and that he wakes up with a headache. her parents would hear none of her objections." When he asks he once again if Santiago Nasar was the guilty party who had taken her virginity. The reader learns that Santiago Nasar frequently dreams about trees. or whether or not he actually loved his fiancée. The narrator seems so focused on collecting others' views of the day of the murder that the narrative neglects to give the reader a comprehensive picture of the victim of the crime. she is center of the mystery that the narrator is trying to unravel. But on the other hand. she replied. though not in the sense that either she or Angela expected—Angela fell in love with Bayardo San Roman after he returned her to her house. However.

she would never say anything save to name him as the one who took her virginity. the conclusion of her love affair with Bayardo does not shed any light on the murder of Santiago Nasar-in terms of him. She dishonors her family by marrying another man when she had already slept with someone else. their family and wealth do. rather. she is more concerned with the fact that Bayardo is receiving them. The Vicario brothers kill Santiago in order to restore the honor of their sister. Angela Vicario triumphs in a sense-she has found the resolution she desired in her life. When Bayardo San Roman first comes to town. The ritual of writing brings her happiness. Angela does not care what she says in her letters. and Symbols Themes Ritual Manifestations of love in Chronicle of a Death Foretold are ritualistic. but rather is told for the cathartic value of the act of telling. His courtship of Angela demonstrates the rituals of Latin American marriage culture. honor is taken very seriously. Though a few people in the community. However. He brings her a gift of a music box inlaid with mother-of-pearl for her birthday. In order for this wrong to be righted. It does not follow a traditional narrative arc. Similarly. In this sense. Angela Vicario's obsessive letter writing is another example of ritual. it is difficult to tell whether she would have been willing to reveal the name of the man who truly took her virginity. like Clothilde Armenta and . A person without honor is an outcast in the community. The defense of this ideal is directly responsible for Santiago Nasar's murder. since it is commonly believed to be a fundamental moral trait that is vital to keep intact. Bayardo San Roman does not read her letters. whom he has never met. Nobody in the novel ever questions any action that is taken to preserve someone's honor. All of the characters in the novel are influenced by this powerful construction of honor. in order to clear her name. Because he does come back to her. the novel can be seen as a mere ritual of investigation as an end in itself with no other results or discoveries. Personality does not determine worthiness. The novel's style is itself a ritual repetition of the events surrounding a crime. her brothers must kill Santiago. but receiving two thousand letters over the course of seventeen years gives him the certainty that she is serious in her desire for him to return to her. especially if she still had feelings for him.he ultimately returns to her is no stranger than the act of writing a letter a week to someone who does not respond. The purpose of this courtship ritual is not to cause the lovers to fall deeper in love but rather to demonstrate the man's affluence and power. the man who supposedly took her virginity. Motifs. and obtains everything his future bride asks for. Honor In the culture of the Colombian town in which the narrative takes place. and the novel itself is a ritual which re-enacts Santiago Nasar's death. Though she seems like an honest person. Themes. he decides to marry Angela Vicario. The only thing we gain from reading the story is the same limited knowledge of the occurrence that is available to the narrator.

Santiago Nasar wakes up at 5:30 a. Santiago goes to the house of his mother. but the overall importance or significance of symbols in the novel is never clearly linked to any other concept or idea that informs the work as a whole. the description of her house is so beautiful that if one were to gloss over the description. doing so ruined her chances of marrying well. the narrator discusses the dream that Santiago Nasar has right before his death: "He'd dreamed he was going through a grove of timber trees where a gentle drizzle was falling. In the opening of the book. Because they occur randomly. and for an instant he was happy in his dream. it is difficult to distinguish any recurring symbol that has a greater significance in the text as a whole. because they believed that the severity of the crime deserved a cruel punishment. he had dreamt about trees. try to prevent the death from occurring. Chapter 1 Summary On the day he is eventually killed. One instance of this is his description of the local brothel. Motifs Magical Realism Gabriel García Márquez repeatedly uses strange. most people turned the other cheek. Placida Linero. The fact that death was considered a reasonable retribution for the crime of taking a girl's virginity indicates how awful it was to sleep with an unmarried woman. He woke up with a headache. and sends the reader into several different conceptual areas between reality and fiction that he then has to disentangle." This whimsical sort of detail works against the journalistic investigative style of the narrative. and marriage was women's one way to advance in the world. was wakened by the clamor of alarm bells. though they are interesting. The night before. Márquez uses magical realism in Chronicle of a Death Foretold to illustrate anecdotal digressions or details about characters that are not at all essential to the plot. Santiago is wearing a shirt and pants of white linen exactly like the ones he had worn to the wedding the day before. surreal details to highlight otherwise ordinary events. others that it was fine. constantly. lying in the lap of Maria Alejandrina Cervantes. they might perceive her house as an elegant domicile.Yamil Shaium.m. Some people remember that the weather was cloudy that morning. to get an aspirin for his headache. which sounds so nice that the reader at first has trouble discerning what exactly Maria Alejandrina Cervantes does—though she is a whore. This is especially true because the work is supposed to be journalistic and factual. to wait for the boat which is bringing the bishop. so any such symbols work against the narrator's purported intent of clarifying the events surrounding Santiago Nasar's death. becoming purely anecdotal. Symbols We learn that both the narrator's and Santiago Nasar's mothers interpret symbols from dreams. but when he awoke he felt completely spattered with bird shit. and without any easily discernible premeditated purpose. but all recall that Santiago was in a very good mood. The narrator. .

when she was an adolescent. Margot is unsure how Santiago Nasar is involved in the mix-up. as well as the qualities of valor and prudence. and her mother. Analysis Although Márquez never explicitly reveals the story's setting within the narrative. a young medical student and heir to a large fortune was killed with a machete outside his front door. She recalls that she had been in the kitchen. Margot learns that Angela Vicario. and holding knives wrapped in newspaper. Father Carmen Amador. Ibrahim Nasar. Divina Flor. They are still wearing their dark wedding suits. the two men who are waiting to kill Santiago. The narrator's sister." Victoria Guzman says that she will never be tamed while she is alive. Luisa Santiaga. but neither was certain whether or not the rumor was true. and falconry. someone running by tells Luisa not to bother. but it isn't found until long after Santiago's death. the bride of the day before. When she comes home. but says he must go home first to change into his riding clothes. with Arab eyes and curly hair. but many also think that he isn't in danger anymore. As everyone makes their way toward the bishop's boat. From his father. Margot. Both women had heard that Santiago was going to be killed. Even though the front door is usually closed and barred. There is an envelope under the door warning Santiago that someone is waiting for him to kill him. Pedro Vicario and Pablo Vicario are waiting at the local milk shop. he learned his love of firearms. quartering rabbits for lunch. the story is based on an true event that Márquez read about. when Santiago came in. Victoria Guzman is sure that it did not rain on the day of Santiago's death. She finds Santiago attractive. However. horses. He inherited his sixth sense from his mother. has been returned to her parents' house because her husband has discovered that she isn't a virgin. Flora Miguel. Santiago's father. Everyone thinks Santiago has been warned that he is going to die. The whole house is awakened by the bellow of the bishop's steamboat. Though everyone has amassed roosters and firewood to give to the bishop. "The time has come for you to be tamed. he never gets off the boat-he just stands on the upper deck and crosses himself until the boat disappears. Many people on the docks know that Santiago is going to be killed. She was seduced by Ibrahim Nasar. When she came again to take the mug away. goes to warn Placida that people are going to kill Santiago. in Colombia. invites Santiago over for breakfast. He accepts her invitation. In the city of Sucre. and imagines the good fortune of his betrothed. He and his father spoke Arabic with each other. her daughter. Santiago abandoned his studies at the end of secondary school in order to take over the family ranch. had served Santiago a mug of coffee with a shot of cane liquor. Santiago always uses that door when he is dressed up. Divina Flor leads Santiago to the front door. he grabbed her arm and said. the boat stopped tooting and the cocks began to crow. as she did every Monday. because he has already been killed. Divina remembers that when he went out the door. After his father died. He is the only child of a marriage of convenience. The young man was killed by the two brothers of a girl who had been married but was returned to her family by her husband after he discovered that she was not a virgin when she . the only place that is open at that hour. she tells her mother what she has heard.Santiago is slim and pale.

had been a schoolteacher until she married. she is singing out the numbers to a raffle at a town event. At the time. and of his own wife. is an event that was seen as potentially very significant in the novel. Memory. The novel resembles a mystery. but the overarching question of Santiago Nasar's guilty is never answered. much of the narrative is comprised of repeated events that seem to carry ambiguous symbolic meaning. He is about thirty years old. The reader is shown repeatedly the circumstances of Santiago Nasar's murder. The next time Bayardo sees her. but has lost his sight from doing so much fine work. Chapter 2 Summary The narrator tells the story of Bayardo San Roman. her two brothers killed the man. He buys all of the raffle tickets and wins a music box inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The novel reminds us of the difficulty of understanding events as they are experienced. the narrative does not present the events chronologically. We immediately learn that Santiago Nasar is going to die and continue reading to find out how and why this event will occur. reality. When she accused the young medical student of taking her virginity. He first sees Angela when she is crossing the town square with her mother. Bayardo arrives in August. The first chapter recounts the morning of the assassination by two brothers. which he then has delivered to her house as a gift. Luisa Santiago. for example. Pura Vicario wants Bayardo San Roman to identify himself properly. but versions of the morning are retold from various different viewpoints throughout the rest of the book. he . However. others believe that it rained. Despite the journalistic style of the novel. everyone thought that the bishop's arrival would be the biggest event of the day. the narrator repeatedly highlights the disputes over what the weather was like on the day of Santiago Nasar's murder —some people think it was nice out. She never discovers how he found out it was her birthday. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold. the two of them are carrying baskets of artificial flowers. The narrative is particular about irrelevant details. the bridegroom of Angela Vicario. Purisima del Carmen. In retrospect. He says he has come to find someone to marry. since the bishop never steps off the boat. the murder overshadows all other memory." Poncio Vicario is a goldsmith. The arrival of the bishop. Mercedes Barcha. Angela is the youngest and the prettiest of the family. as the title misleadingly suggests. The inclusion of the names of real people ties the events more strongly to a fixed reality. Angela's mother. he includes fictional names along with the names of his own mother. and the arbitrary ways that the mind chooses to pattern events in retrospect. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is not a chronicle. For example. but turns out not to be especially noteworthy at all. but seems younger because he has a slim waist and golden eyes. Pedro and Pablo Vicario. But significance of the rain is left unclear. to gain her approval. dressed in clothes of mourning.married him. and symbolism are further confused by the names Márquez chooses for his characters. six months before his eventual marriage. and vague about matters of real importance. The Vicarios are a family "of scant resources.

Bayardo asks Angela what house she likes best. He has two young sisters." and that the Vicario daughters "were raised to be married. The four of them had grown up together. even if Santiago truly is innocent. at the church and after at the festival. which is on a windswept hill and overlooks the purple anemones of the marshes. we never learn who was guilty of taking Angela Vicario's virginity." In this culture. who in her youth had been proclaimed the most beautiful woman in the Antilles. Angela Vicario's parents are highly in favor of the match. wealthy. thanking her for everything. The narrator implies that Santiago is not. Alberta Simonds. The twins return home. Cristo and Santiago all went to Maria Alejandrina Cervantes' house. Luis Enrique. is a mulatto woman from Curacao. since Bayardo is handsome. Nor does the narrator—he questions Angela at length later in life. Pura Vicario goes to bed at eleven o'clock and has fallen into a deep sleep when there is a knocking at the door. telling her that love could be learned. She does this so stealthily that she does not wake her husband and other daughters. Luis. along with Cristo Bedoya. Because she was not a virgin when she married. where the Vicario brothers also went and were singing and drinking. hero of the civil wars of the past century. and his father is famous: General Petronio San Roman. The widower insists that the house wasn't for sale.introduces his whole family. but Bayardo keeps offering more and more money until Xius gives in. and comes from a prestigious family. Angela does not want to marry Bayardo. but her mother dismissed that idea. Nobody knows that Angela isn't a virgin. Angela Vicario protested to her parents that she did not love Bayardo. The narrator. and it was hard to believe that one of them could have had such a big secret. After Bayardo's family comes to visit the Vicarios. and Pedro asks Angela who has taken her virginity. Analysis This chapter explains the motive for the murder of Santiago Nasar. in fact. Bayardo's mother. the best way a woman could improve her life was to marry a husband who would provide for her well. Their engagement only lasts four months. The family drives to the village in a Model T Ford. Pura holds Angela's hair with one hand and beats her with the other. were with Santiago Nasar all the time. After he leaves. the narrator says that the Vicario boys "were raised to be men. guilty of the crime he dies for. but she quietly persists in saying that Santiago was the one. the bride and groom take their leave and drive to their new house. it becomes clear to the town that Bayardo can marry whomever he wants to. They have a huge wedding. The narrator has a confused memory of the festival—he remembers proposing to marry Mercedes Barcha as soon as she finished primary school. and she replies that she liked the farmhouse belonging to the widower Xius. She opens the door and sees Bayardo and Angela standing there. At six in the afternoon. not only is Angela abandoned by her . The brutality of the social conventions surrounding women becomes clear in this chapter. with extravagant gifts and days and nights of dancing and revelry. Bayardo pushes his wife into the house and kisses Pura on the cheek. However. She says that it was Santiago Nasar. Earlier in the narrative. The narrator says that he and his brother.

. takes the knives away from the boys. a butcher. Faustino reports the conversation to a police officer who comes by. Because the twins are known to be good people. It is a way of showing not only the bride. Bayardo does not seem to concern himself with getting to know Angela Vicario. they went to Clothilde Armenta's milk shop. Although Pedro makes the decision to kill Santiago. Bayardo will do whatever it takes to win the approval of Angela by showering her with gifts. wonders why they are coming—he thought they were so drunk that they didn't know what time or what day it was. It is culturally acceptable for men to have premarital sex. The Colonel goes to Clothilde Armenta's shop. that she will be well taken care of. believing that the boys have brought the same knives. Pablo Vicario's fiancée. The economy behind the match is made clear through this method of courting. so that the daughter does not dishonor herself by marrying someone from a questionable family with little money. but he responds that she is being silly. Another ritual is that the entire family of each spouse must meet before the match can be approved—understanding the background of the spouse is vital. Faustino Santos. and Pablo declares that they are going to kill Santiago Nasar. Prudencia Cotes. He explains later that he thought the twins were bluffing. the police officer informs Colonel Lazaro Aponte about the Vicario brothers' plan. Meanwhile. The double standards of her culture are highlighted by the fact that the narrator. but the bride's parents. and tells them to go home. he merely demonstrates the amount of money he will be willing to spend on her. and Cristo are all at a whorehouse doing whatever they please. The Colonel hears that Angela Vicario had been brought home on her wedding night. At Clothilde Armenta's milk shop. She waits the three years he is in jail. says she never would have married him if he hadn't upheld his sister's honor by killing Santiago. They talk about the wedding. and go to have them sharpened. where they had been with him until two o'clock. the twins drink two bottles of cane liquor. and realizes the connection between that event and the impending murder. get two different knives. they immediately go to the pigsty. Luis Enrique. but she is beaten by her mother. and have them sharpened at the meat market. even if they are already betrothed to marry other women. The importance of the ritual of courtship is also very evident in Colombian culture.husband. After they leave. The Vicario brothers go home. which was near Santiago's house. Clothilde tells her husband. to wait for him to come out. Chapter 3 Summary The Vicario twins later tell the narrator that they began looking for Santiago Nasar at Maria Alejandrina Cervantes' place. Bayardo demonstrates that he will get the music box and that he will buy the house. Don Rogelio de la Flor. They tell her that they are looking for Santiago to kill him. Pablo insists on following through with the plan. Faustino is confused. and when he gets out he becomes her husband for life. The Colonel has settled so many fights the night before that he is in no hurry to settle another. nobody pays any attention to them. Since he wasn't there. They pick out the two best knives. wrap them in rags. Santiago. After Angela Vicario reveals Santiago's name to her brothers.

the Father forgets. The Vicario brothers believe themselves to be defending the honor of their sister and family. Clothilde Armenta has told Father Carmen Amador about the Vicarios' plan. Angela and her family leave the town because of the scandal the event has created. But on the night before the murder. Santiago's difference. They do not kill Santiago in a heated fury. The narrator says it was Maria who did away with his generation's virginity. a dancing courtyard. resulting from his beauty and his wealth. The novel explores the complexities of the concept of honor. and authority figures who are lax in their duties and allow the murder to occur. The town is divided into people who know what is going to occur and feel that the event should be stopped. Poorer residents envy him because of his superior financial status. but Santiago says he wants to get an hour of sleep before the bishop comes. This chapter chronologically precedes the first chapter of the book. the night before Santiago Nasar's death." The girls have all been working without rest for three days. The narrator then describes Maria Alejandrina Cervantes' house.The twins go back to the milk shop. though they don't know that only Bayardo San Roman is there at that point. makes him an object of suspicion in the town. making his death an unsolvable puzzle. Even after Santiago is killed. Maria wouldn't let Santiago dress up her mulatto girls as he usually did. that man must be punished with a comparable degree of severity. The town's tacit acceptance of honor and gender codes within their society condones the murder. people who think that the brothers are joking. They have become affluent while others around them exist in poverty. and the third chapter relates the events leading up to that morning. They all go to get breakfast. hoping to make them so drunk they can't do anything. Analysis This chapter relates the events on the evening of the wedding. The narrator mentions several times that the Vicario brothers are good people. Clothilde Armenta gives them rum. so Santiago and Cristo Bedoya and Luis Enrique and the narrator set off with the musicians on a round of serenades. and "pleasurable mulatto girls. But the combination of economic and personal interests surrounding Santiago Nasar is never fully elucidated. The severity of their crime reflects the severity of the limits imposed upon women. the unfolding of the event takes hours. Santiago's family represents the upper class. which is so important to them that they kill a man to preserve it. their knives wrapped in newspaper from Prudencia's house. taking care of all who were "unsated" by the wedding bash. Young men in the town are jealous of his proficiency with women. and. The brothers reason that since whoever took Angela's virginity ruined her chances of finding a suitable husband. where there are musicians. The first chapter tells about the morning of the assassination. The first house they stop at is the newlyweds'. . Class differences influence the course of events in the novel. This disjunction in time indicates the temporal confusion within the story as a whole. but because of the Bishop's arrival. walks right by the milk shop where the murderers are waiting. on his way to meet the bishop's boat.

and he sends his wife and daughters to get Bayardo. Angela Vicario ends up in a town called Guarija. he comes into her workplace. The whole Vicario family leaves town. and another suitcase filled with the letters she has sent him. and is never heard from again. even though. a day's trip from Manaure. but she won't sleep with him because she says he smells like Santiago. She begins to think about him constantly. and she was dressed in bright red so that nobody would think that she was mourning for her secret lover. Dr. here I am. He takes a step forward and lays his saddlebags on the sewing machine. Pablo learns to work with precious metals and becomes a goldsmith. Pedro Vicario goes back into the armed forces. After the poorly executed autopsy. Iguaran treats him. The twins were transferred to a prison in Riohacha. Poncio Vicario died shortly thereafter. she wasn't crying because of anything that had happened—she was crying because of him. the mayor orders Father Carmen Amador to perform the autopsy on Santiago Nasar. Then. They carry Bayardo out on a cot. but as soon as he recovers he throws the mayor and the doctor out of his house. nor can they sleep. They perform it at the public school with the help of a druggist and a first-year medical student. Angela begins to write him letters. arranged by date and tied with colored ribbons. She says that when her mother beat her. They are all unopened. making her living as an embroiderer. saying. he is in her life forever. When the narrator finally goes to see her. The Vicario brothers also complain that they can't get his smell off of their bodies. he finds her with glasses and with yellowish gray hair. the town that the Vicario family moved to. and Pablo Vicario gets a serious case of the runs. Angela and Santiago were never seen together.Chapter 4 Summary Because Doctor Dionisio Iguaran is absent. They are placed in the local prison. they quickly bury the body. and she calmly says it was. put him on the boat and take him away. The narrator says that the true misfortune for Angela is that as soon as Bayardo brings her home. He has gained weight and is balding. almost dead with alcohol poisoning. halfway through a day in August. Prudencia Cotes moves to Manaure three years later to marry Pablo Vicario after he gets out of jail. and wail as they walk barefoot to the house. She writes a weekly letter to him for seventeen years. Angela Vicario's face is wrapped so that no one would see the bruises from the beating her mother gave her. They arrive in mourning with their hair loose. "'Well. The narrator goes to see Maria Alejandrina Cervantes after the autopsy. The mayor goes to check on Bayardo San Roman a week after the murder and finds him lying in his bed. . The report concludes that the death has been brought on by a massive hemorrhage caused by any one of the seven fatal wounds. The narrator asks Angela if it was really Santiago Nasar who took her virginity. The mayor informed General Petronio San Roman of the situation. as the narrator says." He is carrying one suitcase filled with clothing. He says she is so mature and witty that it is hard to believe she is the same person.

Most people felt at the time that they couldn't intervene too much because it was a matter of honor. Yamil called Cristo . she does not receive the same consideration as Bayardo. and is dishonored for having premarital sex. people were staring at them. nobody could talk about anything but the murder of Santiago Nasar. Bayardo does not value Angela's love letters for their content. The narrator's personal viewpoint is that Santiago Nasar died without understanding his death. His attitude makes the love letters part of the ritual of love. Placida Linero never forgave herself for mixing up the bad omen of birds with the good omen of trees in her son's dream. before his death. A man named Yamil Shaium. but insisted that he was the perpetrator. Love letters are often formulaic and interchangeable. By not opening any of the love letters. he trains her to hunt. by leaving her. The word "falconry" refers to both the actual practice of hunting small game with falcons and the art of training the falcons to hunt. their content is less persuasive to Bayardo than the fact that they continue to arrive. The definitions of the word reflect the roles of Bayardo and Angela. he could warn him of the planned murder. The letters that Angela sends to Bayardo explore the notion of the love letter. The sexism of the characters' world is evidenced by the town's view of Bayardo san Roman as the ultimate victim after losing his wife. demonstrates the love that Angela feels for him. What alarms the magistrate most is that there is not a clue that Santiago Nasar has taken Angela Vicario's virginity. is beaten by her mother." Falconry is mentioned several times in the narrative. and underscores his relationship with Angela as another ritual within the story. Bayardo is hunting Angela as though she is the small game. Márquez includes a quote by Gil Vincente: "The pursuit of love / is like falconry. and telling her son. Angela herself never specified how or where. Bayardo shows that the repeated act of sending a love letter. Cristo recalls that as Santiago and Cristo Bedoya walked through town on that fateful day. which is primarily concerned with clarifying the facts around Santiago Nasar's death. Even though Angela Vicario loses a husband. that his dream boded good health. In the beginning. Twelve days after the crime. the investigating magistrate arrives. stood in the door of his shop so that when Santiago passed by. and she then hunts him. rather than the love letter's actual content. The love story between Angela and Bayardo is tangential to the plot because it does not give more information about the murder.Analysis This chapter forms a corollary to the main narrative. Chapter 5 Summary The narrator says that for years. Everything the narrator knows about his character has been derived from the margins of the pages of the brief that the narrator salvaged twenty years later in the Palace of Justice. Whereas the function love letters is traditionally to express emotion or convey longing. At the narrative's beginning.

the crime had been committed by the time he arrived. thinking that maybe Santiago went to breakfast without changing his clothes. he fell to his knees. and thought that even if they didn't kill him. The blurring of journalism and fiction in the story is shown most clearly in the character of the narrator himself. Santiago wasn't there. he is the most enigmatic of all the characters. She handed him a box with all of the letters he had ever sent her. The Vicario twins caught up with him and began stabbing him. The Colonel did not believe him at first because he had taken away the knives. and she went into her room and locked the door. on the murder of Santiago Nasar. the narrator does not shed any new light. he would be forced to marry Angela Vicario in order to give her back her honor. She told him that she hoped they did kill him. then managed to stand. and went in through the kitchen door. Placida Linero. Cristo ran to try and find Santiago. She was upset and humiliated. He walked more than a hundred yards. and he told the Colonel what was going on. and despite the investigative magistrate's report. "I don't understand a goddamned thing. But because he was slow in leaving the club. Santiago Nasar was in the house of Flora Miguel. Nahir Miguel.Bedoya to see if Santiago had already been warned. but then realized they had gotten other knives. but rather the determination of how such . he cannot be an objective observer. and Cristo took the gun out of Santiago's night table and stuck it in his belt. Frantic. Clothilde Armenta yelled at Santiago to run. completely around the house." He left the house. Analysis This chapter demonstrates the complicity of the town in the murder of Santiago. The division between spectator and actor is blurred by the narrator's role. and he ran the fifty yards to his front door. Because the narrator is a part of the community in which the murder took place. As soon as Yamil related the Vicarios' plan to Cristo. Santiago's own mother. The people coming back from the docks began to take up positions around the square to witness the crime. and fell flat on his face in his kitchen. Santiago said. his fiancée. She had heard about the planned killing. After his entrails had fallen out of his body. Meanwhile. not realizing it wasn't loaded. and Santiago continued on his way home to change clothes in order to have breakfast with the narrator's sister. since he hardly discloses any revealing information. Cristo ran to his own house. had just closed the front door because Divina Flor lied to her and said that he was already home and had gone up to his room. and shows how they saw themselves as spectators rather than actors. Cristo Bedoya went into the social club and ran into Colonel Lazaro Aponte. and when Santiago came in she was furious. He himself acknowledges that he is not absolved of blame. twenty years later. Cristo left Santiago to go talk to Yamil. In many ways. told Santiago that the Vicarios wanted to kill him. and started to head home. her father. he checked Santiago's house on the off chance that he was already home. Despite the narrator's interviews of town residents throughout the story. Santiago's frantic knocking on her door woke everyone else up. This failure to fully explain events shows that the object of the investigation to be not the discovery of the truth.

the more forceful of the brothers. All of the chores they are taught to do-washing. She looked for it in the shadows. marriage is not based on love. 'Santiago Nasar. many easily confused names from this world and the other.' She only took the time necessary to say the name. unlike Western culture. their lives are bounded on all sides by tradition and the expectation to get married and have families. In a sense.' she was frequently heard to say. and write engagement announcements… my mother thought there were no better-reared daughters. In this Spanish culture. wash and iron. Especially because the narrator repeatedly insists upon Santiago Nasar's innocence. moments of personal weakness. taken from the end of the second chapter. They knew how to do screen embroidery. picked her up by the waist and sat her on the dining room table. the narrator's steady tone and method of progressively disclosing more information. The absence of conclusion also illustrates the importance of ritual in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. The narrator describes the upbringing of Angela Vicario and her siblings. with no other result than merely showing the reader the events that happened before and after the event.' she said. like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written. Explanation for Quotation 2 >> This quote. sew by machine. girl. The idea that the woman in a marriage is expected to suffer is significant-no woman enters marriage expecting to be happiness unless she is fortunate enough to love whichever man decides to court her. trembling with rage. the reader feels that the true identity of whomever took Angela Vicario's virginity will be clear by the end of the book. In the end. 'They're perfect. weave bone lace. Throughout the novel. The girls were brought up to be married. 'Any man will be happy with them because they've been raised to suffer.a publicized death could have taken place. the reader is left with a series of coincidences. 'All right. and assumptions whose random variety evades any sort of an overarching explanation or understanding of the crime. making flowers-are household chores. Women are not allowed to get jobs or follow their own dreams. This event demonstrates the escapist ambiguity of Márquez's writing style that runs through the book as a whole. describes the scene when Angela tells her brothers who took her virginity. make artificial flowers and fancy candy. leads us to think that the truth is about to be revealed. "Pedro Vicario. . she found it at first sight among the many. Important Quotations Explained "The brothers were brought up to be men.'" Explanation for Quotation 1 >> This excerpt shows the severity of the lives women lead in the reserved Colombian culture of the town. and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart.' he said to her. A woman's worthiness as a wife was measured by her beauty in conjunction with her ability to gracefully run all aspects of a household. 'tell us who it was. the entire story is a ritual in that it re-enacts the murder.

She "pins" Santiago with her words. The reader is presented with a surreal version of what Angela thought. Márquez's incorporation of details such as the musicians. with several rooms for rent and an enormous courtyard for dancing lit by lantern gourds bought in the Chinese bazaars of Paramaribo. but never finds out if what she said was true. and the most serviceable in bed. Márquez's use of magical realism allows him to avoid invoking traditional cultural perceptions when he so desires. but of people who have passed away. taken from the middle of the third chapter. The image of the butterfly paired with the evocation of living and dead names floating around in Angela's mind is a somewhat whimsical and fantastical. which comes as a surprise in a culture that censors women's sexuality so strictly. This illumination of the mundane by means of almost fantastical imagery is notable in this instance because it praises something that is usually degraded. highlights another way that magic realism works within the narrative. it seems a far cry from the neon glow of a red light district in a city. It seems that women in this Colombian culture can either accept the strict social codes governing their sexuality. "We'd been together at Maria Alejandrina Cervantes' house until after three. the dancing courtyard. in a house with open doors. they would have become furious at her for protecting the man who had dishonored her. Maria Alejandrina Cervantes is a whore. not only of people who are alive. no in-between is presented.' he told me. becomes bounded by cultural mores. or they can completely discard them. his fate. " 'The truth is I didn't know what to do. Márquez's description of Angela's thought process as she spoke Santiago's name is interesting because he suggests that many names. 'My first thought was that it wasn't any business of mine but something for the civil authorities. and here she lived. She'd been born and reared here. but she herself is "pinned" by the sexism of the culture. Maria is not depicted as a shameful woman with a dirty profession. but the description of her persona and her home does not seem to condemn her or her girls for their profession. and present reality in a refreshing way to the reader. when she herself sent the musicians away and turned out the lights in the dancing courtyard so that her pleasurable mulatto girls could get some rest…Maria Alejandrina Cervantes was the most elegant and the most tender woman I have ever known. like her own. but as a beautiful woman who taught all the men of the community about sex. This use of magic realism in Chronicle of a Death Foretold works against the journalistic style of the novel as a whole and obscures what is actually going on. but then I made up my mind to say . and the lanterns all make Maria's house seem like some sort of paradise with colored lamps." Explanation for Quotation 3 >> This quote. come to her. In the novel. Angela Vicario herself was pinned by other darts—if she did not give her brothers a name. Once she has proclaimed that Santiago is the one who took her virginity. but she was also the strictest.The image of a butterfly pinned to a wall is symbolic of both Santiago Nasar's situation and of Angela Vicario's.

"that the bishop was coming that day. he seemed insensible to her delirium. They all fail not only to rise above cultural prejudices and personal weakness. business papers. 'You have to understand. in which Angela Vicario explains the letters she obsessively wrote to Bayardo San Roman. 'Sometimes I couldn't think of what to say. the priest.' he told me. and that Bayardo didn't want to know what she had written. and the Colonel had all been warned that Santiago Nasar was going to be murdered. The book calls the so-called "authority" of these characters into question. It is significant that Angela says that it was enough for her to know that Bayardo was receiving the letters. Love is defined by ritual Key Facts full title · Chronicle of a Death Foretold author · Gabriel García Márquez type of work · Novel . dying with laughter.'" Explanation for Quotation 4 >> This quote is taken from the end of the third chapter. then little messages from a secret lover. And after the murder. This disinterest in the content seems contrary to the purpose of writing letters. highlights the importance of the ritual of writing and receiving letters as opposed to the importance of the content. but also to recognize the severity of the event that was about to occur. "She wrote a weekly letter for over half a lifetime. Father Amador is an example of the many authority figures who all had the power to stop the crime. the official verdict seemed to indicate that the Vicarios' action was just-the twins were only sentenced to three years in prison." Explanation for Quotation 5 >> This quote is taken from the end of the fourth chapter.' At first they were a fiancee's notes. Prudencia Cotes illustrates the gravity that the townspeople afforded matters of honor when she tells us that she would not have married Pablo Vicario if he had not killed Santiago Nasar. just as the novel's overall disinterest in the truth surrounding the murder belies the journalistic mode employed throughout it.' Yet when he crossed the square. a police officer. the speaker is Father Amador. 'but it was enough for me to know that he was getting them. It also shows us that the concepts of love in Colombia are firmly rooted in the actions between two lovers.' she told me. as opposed to the understanding between them. he'd forgotten completely. love documents…nevertheless. it was like writing to nobody. perfumed cards from a furtive sweetheart. The fact that Angela Vicario didn't know what to write. Their failure allows the town's view to prevail. because it was apparently enough for Bayardo to receive the letters without knowing what it was that she wished to tell him-he never opened them. but ended up being completely ineffective in preventing it. The bishop.something in passing to Placida Linero. and yet none of them took this news seriously enough to take effective preventative action.

Bogota narrator · Unnamed climax · The killing of Santiago Nasar protagonist · Santiago Nasar antagonist · Angela Vicario setting (time) · 1950s setting (place) · A small Colombian coastal town point of view · First person falling action · In this book. powerlessness of women. and form. uses anecdotal information as often as it presents the reader with the facts of the murder. Colombia. date of first publication · Bogota. translated into English time and place written: · Colombia. 1981 publisher · Editorial La Oveja Negra Ltda. the weather Study Questions Why do you think that Gabriel García Márquez used real names in his text? How does this decision influence the reader's experience of the narrative? Answer for Study Question 1 >> The way that Márquez uses names in Chronicle of a Death Foretold emblematizes the confusion between reality. while seemingly journalistic. because many different views of the death are shown before the death itself. fiction. the falling action precedes the climax of the death at the end of the novel. The story itself is based on a real occurrence. tense · Past tense tone · Surreal and repetitive. journalistic and investigative themes · Ritual. For example. importance of cultural traditions like honor motifs · Magic realism symbols · Dreams. but the novel. 1981.genre · Fiction language · originally written in Spanish.. the narrator spends a few pages discussing the fact that Santiago Nasar was in love with Maria Alejandrina Cervantes at the .

such an action would be judged as first-degree murder. within the Colombian town. The reader expects conclusions because Chronicle of a Death Foretold is misleadingly purposeful in its tone. in Colombia at that time. It is very improbable that a woman would be returned to her house and beaten simply because she lost her virginity before she was married. and the definition of gender roles was less misogynistic than it is in the novel. In addition. is a much more important question to answer. The text seems to constitute a sort of ritual repetition of the crime. or whether or not he had any idea why he was dying. he doesn't know any more than when he began. Márquez states over and over that Santiago Nasar is going to be killed-in fact. In America. Because the novel does not answer many questions. the reader feels cheated when the novel fails to disclose important information. The double standard regarding women's virginity is much less strongly enforced in the United States. The same is true for the narrator: even at the end of the book. How does Márquez's narrator use repetition in the story? With what result? Answer for Study Question 3 >> Márquez's use of repetition confounds the journalistic agenda that the general style of the book seems to engender. Clarification of the second point. And it is even less likely that the woman's brothers would go out and murder the man who took her virginity-in America. in terms of the plot. and the culprits would have been locked up for decades. was worth killing for. This is one of the strongest differences between the Spanish culture presented in the novel and American culture. even in the 1950s. nobody is ever sure whether or not the student that was murdered was guilty of the crime he committed or not. in Colombia. but he does not ever clarify whether or not Santiago Nasar was guilty of the crime he died for. The discourse of the novel clashes with its purported end: to shed . the cultural norms appeared to supersede the law. it accurately shows the reader how confusing all of the events surrounding the murder were when it occurred. traditional ideals is far less practiced. In America. murdering someone was a crime excused only by insanity. the novel does not "chronicle" the events as the title leads the reader to expect that it will-the narrative shifts between the past and the present. the Vicario twins are largely condoned for their crime because they murdered Santiago in order to uphold their sister's honor. However. he tells us this fact in the very first line. the strict adherence to hierarchical. But because the narrative constantly displays a sense of imminent disclosure. What cultural aspects of the Colombian town affect the course of events leading up to the murder? Answer for Study Question 2 >> The concept of honor shapes the actions of everyone in the Colombian town where the murder occurs. Honor.age of fifteen. In real life. and the novel never answers it.

Colonel Aponte) depicted? Do their actions represent a larger theme? Discuss the use of magic realism in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. How does the use of this literary technique affect the narrative? . Is Angela Vicario the most powerful or the least powerful woman in the novel? How do the excerpts from Gil Vincente's poem shape the text as a whole? Compare and contrast the themes used in the poem with those in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Suggested Essay Topics Examine the roles that women play in Chronicle of a Death Foretold.light on the death of Santiago Nasar. What the text does (and the repetition throughout the text highlights this phenomenon) is to re-enact the death rather than to ever satisfactorily explain it. the Bishop. Is there any significance to the repeated mention of dreams and/or weather in the story? How do these elements affect the narrative? What view does the narrative seem to take toward authority? How are the authority figures (Father Amador.

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