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Chronicle Of A Death Foretold, By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

974 words - 4 pages

Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
Works Cited Not Included

Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, is a story
that brings one to question the code of honor that exists in the
Columbian town. Marquez' paints a picture that shows how societal
values, such as honor, have become more important than the inherent
good of human life. The Vicario brothers' belief that their sister was
done wrong was brought upon by this honor, along with racial and
social tension. The dangerous path of both honor and religious faith
caused Santiago's untimely death.

"'Before God and before men,' Pablo Vicario said. 'It was a matter of
honor'" (Marquez 56). In the town honor is taken very seriously and
any action taken to protect one's own honor or family's honor is never
questioned. If someone loses their honor, they automatically become an
outcast in the society. Angela Vicario's father had "lost his sight
from doing so much fine work in gold in order to maintain the honor of
the house" (33). When Angela Vicario explained she lost her virginity
to Santiago Nasar, the honor and respect of the family was lost.

The Vicario brothers felt it was their purpose to keep some sort of
semblance of honor to their family name. Angela's supposed premarital
relations with Santiago Nasar were enough in this culture to warrant
death. The idea that honor can cross the boundaries of religion is
considered to be very powerful. It is an action in which one can take
the life of someone else. The act of killing someone becomes a
powerful and almost godlike statement. Honor can extend beyond the
reaches of religion, as shown in this story. Angela Vicario could have
been beaten to death because she infringed on the honor of both
Vicario and San Roman families. This begs the question, why didn't
anyone question the Vicario brothers' motive? Angela simply named
Santiago Nasar as her lover but there was no other evidence besides
her word to back that statement up. The narrator explained that "most
of those who could have done something to prevent the crime and did
not console themselves with the pretext that affairs of honor are
sacred monopolies, giving access only to those who are part of the
drama" (114). If the medieval idea that death brings honor is true,
then it is safe to say Santiago Nasar died without honor for he did
not know the reason for his death was.

The Vicarios were poor Hispanics and the Nasars were rich Arabs, so
social and racial tension was clear. In the town though, honor is not
defined by race or color. The Vicario brothers are cousins to
Santiago, yet when Santiago died the Arab families were "perplexed and
sadâ?¦but none harbored the ideas of vengeance" (94). After they killed
Santiago, the brothers went to the parish house, not for repentance,
but because they would be "safe from the Arabs" (91) and "were
comforted by the honor of having done their duty, and the only thing
that...

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