Death Foretold by Symbols

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the author of the very intriguing novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold. The chronicle “is very strange and brilliantly conceived,” and “ a sort of metaphysical murder mystery in which the detective, Garcia Marquez himself, reconstructs events associated with the murder 27 years earlier of Santiago Nasar, a rich, handsome fellow who lived in the Caribbean town where the author grew up” (Michaels, P. 1). Marquez plays himself in the novel, interviewing people who remember the murder and studies documents assembled by the court. He gathers various kinds of data—dreams, gossip, philosophical speculation, weather reports—and creates a chronological record of what occurred. The data that is accumulated demonstrates that symbolism was very prominent in the story and essential to the death of Santiago Nasar.

Symbolism is first set up when it is introduced to the readers that Santiago Nasar had dreamed the night before his death that he was flying: “He’d dreamed he was going through a grove of timber trees where a gentle drizzle was falling, and for an instant he was happy in his dream, but when he awoke he felt completely spattered with bird shit” (Marquez, P.3). Beginning with the place, Nasar was passing by timber trees which are evergreens. “Evergreens represent immortality, everlasting life or an undying spirit, ironically enough” (“Symbolism in Chronicle of a Death foretold”). This adds to the whole ironic theme represented in a symbolic way. What is also symbolic about this piece is that flying usually represents moving to the next level spiritually. So that foreshadows his death.

Another related dream that Nasar had was the one in which he was alone in a tinfoil airplane and “’flying through the almond trees without bumping into anything’” (Marquez, P.4). These almond trees are a symbol of virginity, divine favor, and purity. Trees are also recognized as being feminine. This could be representative of Santiago Nasar flying through a...
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