Honor in No One Writes to the Colonel and Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Garcia-Marquez
Every culture in the world has its own unique set of values that they adhere to in life. The most important value to people is their honor. Honor is a very important factor in a person life that they will stop at nothing to make sure it is not lost. This endless pursuit of keeping honor can causes both positive and negative effects to a society. The reason honor is a main driving force in a person's life is for the simple fact that it determines how the society views that person's integrity, honesty and truthfulness to himself and family.
In the two novellas No One Writes to the Colonel and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Garcia-Marquez shows the complexity involved in the pursuit of honor. He explains through his writings that preserving honor is essential to live, but can be very harmful to others. The pursuit of honor can cause complex and difficult situations that can either benefit or harm others in a society. It can cause people to either live a truthful life or a false life run by lies and illusion. In the process of attaining honor strong relationships and friendships can fall apart. The pursuit of honor can give liveliness and vigor to people or put them people into a state of paralysis.
The pursuit of honor can either cause a person live a life where they are true to themselves and their feeling or live a life run by lies and illusion. A false life refers to a human using lies and illusion to change the perception that others have of their honor and overall place society. In the novella No One Writes to the Colonel, the Colonel and his wife live their lives under the illusion that they are not poor so they can maintain their honor and dignity in the town. The Colonel refuses to sell their most valuable asset, the rooster, because of the honor it gives them by being a symbol of the liberal party. The Colonel and his wife consequently starve in order to maintain the honor given by the rooster. They conceal this humiliation of poverty by giving a false illusion of who they are to their neighbors. The Colonel believes that starvation is necessary as long as they are honorable to the liberal party and their son. The wife of the Colonel states "I [place] stones on to boil so the neighbors wouldn't know that we often go with out food for days"(159). The Colonel's wife feels humiliated that they have to live in poverty to maintain honor. In a moment of doubt the Colonel's wife states to the Colonel "you can't eat dignity"(160). Then the author uses a brief interruption in the setting to show incorrectness in the wife's comment. Garcia uses the interruption of lighting to show that what the wife said was wrong and that lying and maintaining their honor is the most important thing to do.
This same idea that maintaining honor can cause a person to live a life of lies is seen in the novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold. The...