Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Many authors parallel the protagonists of their novels to other figures in order to make a direct comparison. Throughout the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez forms a congruence between Santiago Naser and Jesus Christ. While parallels between both men are woven within the pages, revelations of the corrupt societies are distinguished as the deaths of Santiago and Jesus essentially epitomize the cultural traditions that were destroyed by their lives, but revived through their deaths.
The portrayal of Santiago Naser develops into a direct parallel of Jesus Christ. At the beginning of the novel “Santiago put on a shirt and pants of white linen”(5). Since white is the color of innocence, this choice of clothing promotes an innocence in Santiago Naser. Just as Jesus wore a white linen cloth before he was to die, Santiago too wears white linen the day that he is supposed to die. This immediate comparison with Jesus Christ thus sets up the rest of the novel as a symbolic reference. The most direct parallels come during the narration of the direct killing of Santiago and the description of the body after the murder occurs. Marquez explains that “The knife went through the palm of his right hand and then sank into his side up to the hilt. Everybody heard his cry of pain”(139). Once again an absolute parallel is seen here. Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross by means of the palms of his hands. And just as the soldiers stabbed a wound in His side in order to ensure He was dead, the Vicario brothers stabbed the knife into the side of Santiago. In addition to all the parallels of this single quote, the explanation that “Everybody heard his cry of pain” was another striking resemblance to the death of Christ. While Christ was on the cross, he spoke only a few sentences through his pain. But these sentences were heard by many people, and the people who listened to these cries many times repented knowing they had done wrong. When the cries of Santiago Naser were heard, many people realized their mistake in not telling Santiago of what was about to be done to him. In both cases the people’s regret was too late. Marquez uses this idea to promote the corruptive society of the times. He shows that only after a crime is committed do the people realize their mistake, only after it is too late does the society care about the fault in their reasoning.
As Marquez continues his story, he constantly shows similarities between both men. Through his research he learns that “Mortally wounded three times, Santiago Naser turned forward again and leaned his back against his mothers door, without the slightest resistance”(139). Once again, the Jesus symbolism comes into play. Not only does the number three stand as a symbol for Christ, but the idea of Santiago Naser showing no resistance plays a dramatic role in the comparison. Jesus Christ showed no...