Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s Criticism Of Latin American Culture

1661 words - 7 pages

Murder is a common theme for most novels. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is no exception. It is no secret that Santiago is going to be killed by the Vicario brothers, since the beginning of the novel embodies one of a headline. The reason why they killed Santiago is because of virginity. In the novel, Santiago allegedly takes Angela Vicario’s virginity. A cult of sorts has formed around the idea of men have to be “muy macho” and girls must remain pure and celibate until marriage, called machismo (Berroa). Both Berroa and Garcia Márquez go and explain that the cult obsession with virginity in Latin America. Berroa states in her article that it causes overpopulation, poverty, and is “one of the region’s major problems.” Garcia Márquez reveals his opinion in Chronicle of a Death Foretold as it is never stated in the novel if Santiago took Angela’s virginity or if she lies to save herself. Garcia Márquez has a modern writing style as “he drew literary lessons from his modernist precursors, and he openly acknowledges the impact on his work” (Delden 957). In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Márquez correlates aspects of modernism, such as journalistic fiction, underdeveloped characters, and a fragmented writing style, to reveal ambiguity of Angela’s virginity to criticize Latin American culture.
By using journalistic fiction, the realistic aspect of the journalism with crossover of the fiction creates a sense of mystery around the events in the novella. When reading a news article, journalists update constantly on the latest news. Garcia Márquez used to be a journalist and incorporated journalism into his novels “because he saw himself as journalistic” (Rosenberg). The novel is based around the 1951 murders that occurred in Sucre, Columbia because “I was interested in it not as material for a novel but as a newspaper article” (Mendoza). The Vicario brothers are personifications of the two murders involved in the 1951 Sucre murders. In the interview, Garcia Márquez states “the two murderers didn't want to commit the crime and had tried their utmost to get somebody to prevent it, without success” (Mendoza). Another way that this novel reflects journalism is the addition of multiple characters. Because news articles try to pull as many accounts as possible, the many characters represent the multiple accounts. Multiple accounts of the incident are skewed as some characters such as Nahir Miguel believe Santiago is innocent, while characters such as Pedro and Pablo Vicario believe Santiago is guilty. It represents how truth is subjective and the ambiguity around Santiago’s innocence, because no truth seems to be superior over the other. Still, the cultural obsession with virginity is probably what caused both the murder in Sucre and the murder of Santiago Nasar.
The modern characters support the idea of journalistic fiction as well as draw attention to the ambiguity of what actually happened to Angela. It is hard to distinguish characters with...

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