Human Selfishness And Ignorance Portrayed In Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle Of A Death Foretold

1458 words - 6 pages

In the story Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez portrays how the bystander effect impacts the people around Santiago Nasar to act submissively revealing how people do not want to help others in difficult situations, unless it directly affects them. Marquez informs readers how individuals only see the different ways for personal gain, thereby not having “time” to help others in need. As Santiago Nasar nears his death, many of those who are informed of it do nothing to save his life, as they all rely on others to help rather than taking matters into their own hands and stepping up. Ignorance by specific townspeople, like Angela Vicario, Lazaro Aponte, Clotilde Armenta, and even a friend, Cristo Bedoya. Each person’s ignorance caused them to fail in helping a fellow citizen to their small town while some did not take enough initiative in preventing the murder.
Selfish reasons forces an individual to point the finger onto to another so the focus is changed to someone else. After her newlywed husband, Bayrado San Roman, returned her to her house after finding out that she was not a virgin, Angela Vicario was interrogated by her two brothers, Pablo and Pedro, as to who was the culprit in taking her virginity before she was married off. After the severe beating by her mother, her two brothers were summoned and when they both insisted that she say the name of the man who defiled her, she “looked for it in the shadows [and] found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names…and she nailed it to the wall…” (Marquez 47). During this time period, it was considered honorable for the men in a family to regain the lost pride of the family name by any means possible, and it was true that Angela knew that. As the name “Santiago Nasar” fell from her lips and into the ears of her brothers, she knew that Nasar would be killed. The fact that she gave a death sentence to an innocent man proves just how selfish people are in the world. People do anything to get by in the world without ever causing shame to them. Though in Angela’s case, the shame was already brought when she let the man who truly took her virginity sway her into bed. The readers can safely assume that she was not raped or pressured into having sex, because she would not have any reason in trying to protect the man who ruined her innocence’s image. Angela herself decided that in saying the name of a random man would result better for her than in telling the truth. Even after 23 years, Angela Vicario “was protecting someone who really loved her and she had chosen Santiago Nasar’s name because she thought her brothers would never dare go up against him” (90). Though she thought her brothers would not do anything drastic for their family name, like killing Nasar, she easily saw where it was all leading to, yet she claimed unawareness to the future fate of an innocent man.
Taking initiative requires more than just one attempt to help out a friend in need. Being the...

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