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The Silence That Led To Tragedy: "Chronicle Of A Death Foretold" By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

2216 words - 9 pages

The central action which molds "Chronicle of a Death Foretold", by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is the "foretold" murder of young Santiago Nasar, by the hands of the Vicario brothers. The death of Santiago is revealed to us immediately, in the very first lines. His crime was the supposedly "defilement" of Angela Vicario, the sister of the Vicario brothers, which happened to be the antecedent of the murder itself. The real tragedy of this novel can be said to be the murdering of this man, Santiago Nasar, not by the actual murderers, but by his own town. He was killed in, by, and along with a town for their silence on that dreadful day. In short, the Vicario Brothers killed Santiago in a literal way, but the town's silence and reluctance to intervene "the act of honor," was the true reason Santiago Nasar was no more.The reason that this murder even took place was the fact that Santiago Nasar was believed to have sexually assaulted Angela Vicario. When Angela Vicario's husband discovers his bride's lost virtue on their wedding night, he returns her to the house of her mother and "softly pushed his wife into the house without speaking a word." (Marquez 46). She is now "damaged goods" and a disgrace to her family name. When questioned, Angela Vicario names Santiago Nasar as her violator. Although she had "mailed it on the wall," upon his being "the one", no other evidence or witness was ever produced to confirm her claim. (Marquez 47).Drunk from the wedding festivities, her twin brothers announce all over town their intentions to meet with Nasar in the morning. To explain Nasar's apparent ignorance of what is about to occur, the town speculates that he is either innocent of the act, too arrogant to expect punishment for it, or that it is his fate - which leads to his death.The town in which the story takes place is a small Latin town in which everyone knows everyone. It is a town where morality, tradition and religion have great importance... or at least on the surface. It is a town in which traditional customs live on in many forms, the most applicable of which, is that of a virgin's purity and importance until marriage. In the novel, Angela Vicario is wed to Bayardo San Roman, a newcomer in the town in search for a bride. After their marriage, Angela is returned to her mother's home and said to have not been a virgin at the time of their marriage. Angela Vicario's brothers, Pedro and Pablo Vicario, enraged by this tragedy, set out to regain their sister's honor by killing the man who "violated" her. This man, according to Angela, but unconfirmed by other sources, was Santiago Nasar. This incident, is such an enormous tragedy in the eyes of the town, it is regarded as almost a death in itself and referred to as "Angela's misfortune". The fuss over all of this makes it seem as though this event was a greater tragedy than the loss of a life.As the story unfolds, the reader is repeatedly confronted with the murder. It is repeated in different forms and from...

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