, Research Paper
CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD: English A1
Chronicle of a death foretold is written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The book tells overall of the pretold death of a man, Santiago Nasar. The death of Santiago Nasar is revealed immediately, in the opening lines of the novel. Its reasons and details, are divulged slowly throughout the entirety of the plot. Nasar is killed in the story upon the general reasoning that he is the one to blame for the premarital devirgninization of one Angela Vicario, and so, in defense of her honor. His death, though the main event for the reader, is not so for the most part of the characters described within the plot. Rather it is this issue of the loss of virginity which is the base for most s concern. However the great tragedy of this novel can be said to be the murdering of this man, Santiago Nasar, not by the actual murderers, but by a town. He was killed by, in, and with the town.
The town in which the story takes venue, is a small Latin town. A town in which everyone knows everyone. Its 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 virgins purity and importance until marriage. In the novel, Angela Vicario is wed to a newcomer in the town in search for a bride, Bayardo San Roman. After their eventual marriage, the wife is returned to her mother s home and said to have not been a virgin at the time of their marriage. The people of this town become consumed by their interest and disgust for this breech of morality that they fail to see the value, and importance of one man s life. 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 did this . This man, according to Angela, but unconfirmed by other sources, was Santiago Nasar. This happening, is such an enormous tragedy in the eyes of this town, almost a death in its self. Regarded to as “Angela s misfortune”. The cheated husband at one point is brought out from his house on a stretcher with the image of one arm dragging along the ground as if his life had been taken. And he being referred to, and known as ” poor Bayardo”. The fuss over all of this makes it seem as though this event was a greater tragedy than the loss of a life. A murder
Throughout the book, we are confronted with the murder. It is repeated in different forms, from different characters points of view. The death becomes the reader s main affliction. The reader continues on through a period of time, winding down, from all different angles and perspectives, and always to the same closing. The narrator, also a character in the plot who s name is never stated, is told the story of the murder by numerous persons. Each one having differences in detail, and additional information, but, most importantly, each knowing beforehand, that the Vicario brothers were in fact going to kill Santiago. Yet, even with virtually the entire town knowing the crime was to take place, the brothers somehow still were not stopped or dissuaded from carrying out the deed. In fact, the brothers had made an effort to make it extremely easy for themselves to be stopped. They told their plans all over town to anyone and every one, hoping that someone would stop them. And yet no one did. In this respect, it is almost as if the brothers were forced to commit the crime. Or rather it was as if they were walking backwards down the path to their eventual doings, reaching out for a hand that would stop them. But the town would not extend a hand, and the brothers are eventually forced to keep their honor, and that of their sister, by taking a life. The town seems to have a relatively easy time letting go of a life considering its religious emphasis and moral strictness. Even in light of this, the people of the town managed to overlook warning Santiago of his murder, until shortly before its occurrence. Some cared not. Some forgot. Some thought nothing of the brothers claims, and some kept to themselves. Over all, the town sat back and watched the death take place. This can even be taken literally. The people from the town even went so far as to gather around Santiago s home before the crime was to be consumed to watch the event, as if they had no care at all for the loss of his life. Not even knowing for sure that Santiago was the one to blame for the “virgin tragedy ” with which everyone was so concerned, the people of the town rested and accompanied the killing of Santiago Nasar.
Santiago was mercilessly slaughtered. Killed in vengeance for an act that he was not sure to have had committed. People, regardless of their carelessness towards his defense, still however doubt as to his definite guilt in the matter for which he was being punished. The taking of Angela Vicario s virginity. Although she had endlessly insisted upon his being the one, no other evidence or witness was ever produced to confirm her claim. The very thought of it did not even make sense to the people of the town. The two had never been seen together, nor spoken to one another. They had no affiliation to each other whatsoever, and yet she persisted in blaming him for her “misfortune”, for which he lost his life. His guilt remained never to be concretely established. But it was really of not much importance once he had taken his final step into the kitchen of his mothers home, to fall face first into death.
This book is a book of tragedy. A story of different tragedies. Tragedy as seen by the reader, and as seen by the characters within the story itself. Within the plot of the novel, Angela Vicario is stripped of her purity, of her virginity, by an Arab man. Robbed of her honor. A disgrace to her kin, she is the one who has been wronged, as if she had not played a role in the deleting of her own virginity. And a poor cheated Bayardo San Roman. Left without a bride and is said to have suffered immensely. These may be grave tragedies, but do not in any way compare to the injustice brought upon a possibly innocent Santiago Nasar. Plotted and conspired against by almost an entire town of his friends companions and acquaintances, he walks into death not knowing its reason for meeting him. There can not be any dispute in that there is no crime nor tragedy within this novel greater than the injustice that was brought upon poor Santiago Nasar. Proven by the people of the town, and admitted by the narrator when he refers to it as, “A crime for which we were all to blame”, the tragedy lies with Santiago. A man killed by a town.