Gabriel Garcia Marquez And The Ineffectiveness Of Colombian Social Institutions In Chronicles Of A Death Foretold

1995 words - 8 pages

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a novel reconstructing events of one man's unfortunate murder by two men seeking to kill in order to restore honor to their family. Gabriel Garcia Marquez explores various aspects of society in Colombia in this work, including gender roles, machismo, honor killing, and civil and religious institutions. Through the author's portrayals of distinctive religious and civil authorities, Marquez suggests that Colombian society is obsessed with Catholicism to the extent that it dictates all aspects of people's lives, and bashes the ineffectiveness and negligence of the Colombian government in dealing with societal issues. In the novel Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Marquez uses the civil and religious authority characters of the Bishop, Colonel Aponte, and Father Amador to represent various institutions within society and criticize the ineffectiveness of the institutions they represent in Colombian society.
First, Marquez accentuates the ineffectiveness, negligence, and irresponsibility of Father Amador, a Catholic Priest of the village and uses him to represent Catholic authorities and demonstrate their evil and insignificance. Father Amador performed the autopsy of Santiago Nasar's murder because the main doctor was absent from the town at that time, and also because he was the only one capable of doing so; however, it is highly ironic that a religious authority figure who is supposedly deeply devoted to Catholicism performed the autopsy as per Catholic tradition, the execution of an autopsy is strongly discouraged. By having Father Amador conduct the autopsy, Marquez emphasizes how Father Amador does not highly regard traditional Catholic values; consequently, he demonstrates Father Amador's irresponsibility and insignificance as a Priest. Before the autopsy, Marquez describes the body, saying, "the face remained intact, with the same expression it wore when [Santiago] was singing, and Cristo Bedoya had put the intestines back in place and wrapped the body in linen strips" (74); however, he describes Santiago's body following the autopsy as "a completely different body", because "half of the cranium had been destroyed by the trepanation and the lady-killer face that death had preserved ended up having lost its identity" (76). Marquez goes on to describe that Father Amador had "pulled out the sliced up intestines by the roots", and that he "gave them an angry blessing and threw them into the garbage pail" (76).The word "pulled" creates a careless tone, suggesting Father Amador's carelessness in conducting the autopsy, and his disregard and disrespect for Santiago. Moreover, the fact that the Santiago's intestines were pulled out in the autopsy alludes to how during Santiago's murder by the Vicario brothers, "all his intestines exploded out," (119). By alluding to the removal of the intestines, and creating a tragic tone similar to the one created when the Vicario brothers murdered Santiago,...

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