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Honor In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

1265 words - 5 pages

In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, the theme of honor is one that presents itself throughout the novel by having a major role in the plot. In a small town in Colombia, honor is taken very seriously. Angela Vicario, a young bride, is returned to her family for not having her virginity intact. When her twin brothers find out about their sister’s dishonorable actions, they set out to murder the man who they believe did this.
“On the other hand, the fact that Angela Vicario dared put on the veil and the orange blossoms without being a virgin would be interpreted afterwards as a profanation of the symbols of purity” (Márquez 41). From the quotation, it has been revealed at this point in the novel that Angela is not a virgin. As a bride in the small town, one is expected to have chastity which is why they have the veil and orange blossoms to represent the purity a young bride should have. However, Angela is not a virgin and is dishonoring the veil and orange blossoms by using them when she is not known to be pure. Therefore, after the revelation of this, the act is seen as a defiance of the glory of purity.
On the whole account, however, Angela is a dishonor as herself, especially in the small town of Colombia that the novel is set in. Pura Vicario, Angela’s mother, would not let the girl out of her sight with Bayardo San Roman, her fiancé, as to “watch over her honor” (Márquez 37). Angela’s two confidantes tell that the linen sheet upon the bed would be enough to show Bayardo that she was a virgin if she herself stained it with something that represents the blood of lost purity. If she followed her friends’ advice then “on her first morning as a newlywed she could display open under the sun in the courtyard of her house the linen sheet with the stain of honor” (Márquez 38). Angela goes on to marry with this illusion in mind, but it does not work out as she plans.
The night of the wedding after the newlyweds have left to their house, three slow knocks are heard upon the Vicario’s door. Bayardo has learned of his new wife’s illegitimacy and returns her to her family. As Angela is beaten by Pura for dishonoring herself and her family, the Vicario brothers appear and demand to know the name of the man who took her virginity. With two words and a name, she destroys the life of a man. “‘Santiago Nasar,’ she said” (Márquez 47).
In the succeeding pages, it is shown the confession of the brothers to Father Carmen Amador subsequently after the murder of Santiago. The conversation goes as follows:
“‘We killed him openly,’ Pedro Vicario said, ‘But we’re innocent.’
‘Perhaps before God,’ said Father Amador.
‘Before God and before men,’ Pablo Vicario said. ‘It was a matter of honor’” (Márquez 39).
In this quotation, the brothers confess to the reverend of what they have done and why they have committed the crime. They give their alibi in a way to show that they only did what they did because Santiago took the chastity of their sister therefore taking away...

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