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Warlike Crane Essay

1386 words - 6 pages

Although prostitution may be one of the world’s oldest professions to this day it is seen as a degrading and disrespectful career especially when regarding female prostitutes. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, the town is very critical and strict about chastity and premarital sex. Maria Alejandrina Cervantes is the town madam which by society’s standards makes her to most marginalized, but ironically she is not brought down by her society’s rules. Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses characterization and irony to demonstrate Maria Alejandrina Cervantes’s contradictory role and to develop the theme of going against society in Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
Garcia Marquez presents Maria Cervantes as highly respected and a powerful woman through the use religious allusions or references when developing Maria Cervantes. In the beginning of the story the narrator says that he was sitting “in the apostolic lap of Maria Alejandrina Cervantes” (5). By referring to Maria Cervantes’s lap as apostolic Garcia Marquez creates situational irony. The apostles were the disciples of Jesus Christ so by giving Maria apostolic qualities creates irony mainly because Maria Cervantes’s profession is more than often condemned by religion. By having the narrator on Maria Cervantes’s lap like a child the author creates the presence of dominance with Maria Cervantes because she shaped the lives of the men in the town. Another religious allusion is Maria Alejandrina Cervantes’s name. Her first name Maria is a reference to the Virgin Mary which creates more irony given Maria’s career. Despite the town’s use of religion as reasoning to their critique they failed to realize their hypocrisy because Jesus Christ was known to show compassion towards prostitutes like Mary Magdalene. The situational irony created by referring to Maria Cervantes with religious allusions helps portray her as a contradictory character.
Garcia Marquez also presents Maria Alejandrina Cervantes as a one of the few dominant female characters who acts as a mentor who shapes the men’s sexuality; by doing so she goes against her society’s beliefs that premarital sex should not be encouraged. The narrator states that “it was [Maria] who did away with my generation’s virginity” (65). Garcia Marquez uses a hyperbole to portray how crucial Maria Cervantes’s contradictory role is in the men’s lives. She embraces her sexuality and is very open. In addition she also “taught [the men] much more than [they] should have learned, but she taught us above all that there’s no place in life sadder than an empty bed” (65). She reinforces the idea that sexuality should not be repressed because that would only bring on loneliness and despair. She recognizes the “disorder of love” that the townspeople live with because of repressed sexuality. The narrator describes Santiago Nasar’s passionate relationship with Maria Cervantes. He describes their relationship like “a falcon who chases a warlike crane” and that the falcon can only...

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