Chronicle of a Death Foretold
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
In Chronicle of a Death Foretold a possibly innocent man is killed for the sake of “honor” while almost every person in the town knows, yet does nothing. Each work serves to demonstrate the relationship between guilt, understanding, and confession. A man returns to the town where a baffling murder took place 27 years earlier, determined to get to the bottom of the story. Just hours after marrying the beautiful Angela Vicario, everyone agrees, Bayardo San Roman returned his bride in disgrace to her parents. Her distraught family forced her to name her first lover; and her twin brothers announced their intention to murder Santiago Nasar for dishonoring their sister.
Yet if everyone knew the murder was going to happen, why did no one intervene to stop it? The more that is learned, the less is understood, and as the story races to its inexplicable conclusion, an entire society—not just a pair of murderers—is put on trial.
“There had never been a death more foretold,” the narrator asserts, repeating the truth that haunts the entire town. Dismissing their superficial reactions—”most of the townspeople consoled themselves with the pretext that affairs of honor are sacred monopolies”—he finds the murder has in fact created “a single anxiety which had made of the town an open wound.” In retracing the actions of the victim and his assailants, the narrator finds innumerable moments in which the right word or the right action could have prevented the murder from occurring. No one in Chronicle of a Death Foretold is purely guilty; Marquez makes every character in the story a partial victim. Just as Marquez gives all of his characters a measure of innocence in Santiago's death, so too he gives them a measure of guilt for the murder.Garcia Marquez suggests that the members of the town-almost all of whom could have...