Chronicle of a Death Foretold Women

Topics: Latin America, Sociology, Gabriel García Márquez Pages: 8 (3046 words) Published: April 27, 2013
Chronicle of a death foretold
The stranger all about absurdism and absurdist point of view The women warrior is a book in which women are explained from the Chinese perspective. American girls are very modern but whereas Chinese girls are notWomen in Marquez’s Chronicles CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE: Assignment II

The Chronicles of a Death Foretold: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
(Penguin Books India (2007) Edition translated from Spanish by Gregory Rabassa)

‘Women in Marquez’s ‘Chronicles of a Death Foretold’

The representation and characterization of women in Marquez’s “Chronicles of a Death Foretold” provides an understanding of the varied ways in which patriarchy gets constituted, constructed and re-invented in the Latin American context and experience. Marquez’s women characters in the novella reflect not just the extent of women’s internalization of this hierarchy or their exploitation under this unequal gendered system, but his characterization also reveals the diversity of women’s subversions and resistances to this oppressive subjugation.

Patriarchy in Latin America is unique in its assertion as it works in a society where indigenous cultural practices have been rooted in a celebration of and openness about sexuality. This stood in direct opposition to the orthodox Catholic ideals of chastity and purity that penetrated into the local tradition during colonization under a patriarchal state apparatus. Patriarchy also worked closely through intersecting oppressions of class and race with the advent of Spanish and Portuguese claiming the “New World” from these early indigenous societies[1]. Through the character of Angela Vicario, Marquez presents to us these various dynamics at work in assertion of patriarchy and exploitation of women; the complex links between gender, class and violence; and the trajectories of resistance that women adopt to build an independent space for themselves under such an oppressive system. Angela’s situation raises questions of class exploitation and the position of women under the Christian value system. For Bayado, it is merely a matter of ‘conquest’ of the woman he chooses. Angela Vicario becomes the passive object of her sexual desire. His class position and wealth allowed him this privilege. Bayado becomes representative of the foreign imperialist presence in Latin America. It is made clear in the novel that Angela from the very beginning did not feel any attraction towards Bayado San Roman (It was Angela Vicario who did not want to marry him.”He seemed too much of a man for me” she told me).  She did not appreciate his performative public avowal to show his interest in her and the manner in which he never really courted her or engaged with her feelings, but “bewitched the family with his charm”. Marquez thus critiques this system of exploitation that leaves no space for women to assert or even voice her own choice or opinion. He shows how such a situation is made worse under family pressure mediated through the power exerted by a prospective proposal of social mobility.  Angela’s parents ‘decisive’ argument claimed that “a family dignified by modest means had no right to disdain that prize of destiny”. When Angela only ‘dares’ to hint at “the inconvenience of the lack of love”, her mother “demolishes it with a single phrase — Love can be learned.” Women are hence conditioned and taught to inform their feelings and emotions and as well as their sexuality in accordance with the unequal standards of an orthodox patriarchal society. The novel shows us how the Vicario sisters were provided rigorous training on mastering their domestic role as prospective wives – “The girls had been reared to get married” or Purisima del Carmen’s claim “Any man will be happy with them because they have been raised to suffer”.

As argued by Elizabeth Dore in “Hidden Histories of the Gender and the State in Latin America”, historically, the patriarchal character of colonial society in Latin America was...
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