Analysis of Cultural Flaw in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Topics: Gabriel García Márquez, Novel, The Reader Pages: 4 (1485 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Analysis of Cultural Flaw in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Humanity has built grand and wondrous cultures and societies, for the better of mankind people have devoted themselves to a functional structured society. But have these creations become merely fabrications that hinder one’s true beliefs? Throughout the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, author Gabriel Garcia Marquez gives insight into Colombian society. As the story of a murder unravels Marquez projects the themes of honor and fate cautiously, using the town's hesitation to prevent Santiago's murder despite "foretold" warnings to portray how they flaw Columbian culture. By doing so Marquez effectively creates a fictional situation that highlights how the deeply rooted philosophies of these two themes can danger society.

Marquez portrays the theme of honor as a fundamental value in Columbia which everyone must respect, such that it leads to a situation that binds the characters, restraining them from doing the right thing - or anything at all - to prevent the murder of Santiago Nasar. This respect can be clearly seen in the town’s reaction to the murder, where they turn away from their actual morals and beliefs in the face of the unspoken law of another’s honor. The way they see it, “affairs of honor are sacred monopolies giving access only to those who are part of the drama,” (97) effectively showing that even with a life on the line, honor prevents intervention, leaving the town powerless to act and showing the extent of honor’s control. The wife of Pablo Vicario, one of the murderers, “wouldn’t have married him if he hadn’t done what a man should do.” (62) This example shows the culturally accepted mindset and expectation, depicting why the town cannot act out, and that those who cannot uphold the value of honor become outcasts. This quote also reveals another theme within honor as it shows certain socially expected qualities in males, building upon the idea of male dominance and power or...
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