Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Animals: Humor, Symbolism, and other Literary Devices in Chronicle of a Death Foretold In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, the author, Gabriel García Márquez, utilizes the motif of animals as symbols: pigs for ironic humor, rabbits as foreshadowing, and many other animals to aid in description, characterization, and establishment of theme. ​Márquez uses pigs as motifs the novel. He makes a big deal out of the knives that Pablo and Pedro use while describing the murder. “The Vicario twins went to the bin in the pigsty where they kept their sacrificial tools and picked out the two best knives: one for quartering, ten inches long and two and a half inches wide, and the other for trimming, seven inches long and one and a half inches wide. They wrapped them in a rag and went to sharpen them at the meat market.” Márquez then goes into great detail about how they are pig knives used for killing pigs. This adds insult to injury for Santiago, being an Arab, thus being part of is a culture that considers pigs to be filthy. This is an example of the author’s ironic style of humor. ​Márquez provides an additional bit of ironic humor while Nasar is being slaughtered during the murder scene. “Trying to finish it once and for all, Pedro Vicario sought his heart, but he looked for it almost in the armpit, where pigs have it.” This further develops the cruel, ironic humor established by killing Nasar with pig knives, and is now being killed like a pig as well. Another use of pigs in the novel occurs when the Vicarios insist on having the wedding at their home, and in doing so are forced to have the ceremony in the pigpen. “‘[The] daughters would be married in the pigpen or they wouldn’t be married at all’… The twins took the pigs off elsewhere and sanitized the pigsty with quicklime.” The Arab culture considers pigs to be filthy creatures, so Márquez continues to play on this belief by using the pigsty as a metaphor for the impurity of the marriage. Additionally, the...
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