In his Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez raises that
very question, the question of whether the desires of society can overshadow
the needs of an individual.
If a man cries out in a forest, and no one around him cares, does he
make a sound? In his Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia
Marquez raises that very question, the question of whether the desires
of society can overshadow the needs of an individual. In his
Chronicle, two brothers, Pablo and Pedro Vicario, arbitrarily murder a
young man named Santiago Nasar. Marquez' presented conflict, however,
is the reason that the brothers give to justify their crime: honor.
Marquez' point is that societal values, such as honor, have become
more important than the inherent good of human life. Marquez, though,
does not openly portray this message; instead, he uses satirical
literary devices. In this passage, for instance, he uses an apathetic
tone and a satirical allusion to religion to invoke his point in his
The most ubiquitous aspect of Marquez' style is his journalistic tone,
an objective, seemingly apathetic tone; ironically, it elicits a
response of bias against the societal values. The reason for this
ironic discrepancy is that Marquez' apathetic tone is obviously
satire. For example, as he unemotionally states that the brothers
"stood by the thesis of homicide in legitimate defense of honor"
(Marquez 55), he purposefully neglects to include commentary. When he
adds that this defense was "upheld by the court in good faith"
(Marquez 55), there is likewise no hint of personal opinion. It is
this very lack of emotion that produces an emotional response; his
audience, compelled by their human nature, must necessarily find fault
with this apathy. The portrayed society, however, does not find fault
with such apathy: they are, instead, the ones that are apathetic. If a
person is compelled by their human nature to judge this sentiment as
wrong, then it would seem as though Pedro and Pablo Vicario would
never have said that "they would have done it again a thousand times
over for the same reason" (Marquez 55). This is part of Marquez'
point; with this, he demonstrates that the values of society have
overshadowed the intrinsic values of life. Moreover, with this he
demonstrates the value of an objective viewpoint. As in the example of
the Vicario brothers, a subjective mind is a mind blind to truth.
Thus, by telling this tale apathetically, he erases any possibility of
his opinions influencing his...