Gabriel Garcia

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Before breaking down Gabriel Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold and analyzing its themes, one must consider the novels cultural and historical context. The story takes place in a small Colombian Coastal town in the early 1950s. This was during the same period that “La Violencia” took place, a ten-year period of civil war in Columbia between the Liberal and Conservative Parties. The reigning chaos and the lack of security in rural areas during the years of La Violencia caused an estimated millions of people to abandon their homes and properties. The lack of public order and civil authority prevented victims from laying charges against perpetrators. In relation to the countries history, the book depicts a society that has been ravaged with exploitation and oppression, and for whom violence has become an accepted and dominant lived reality. Marquez calls attention to these failings of political leadership in the novel as he portrays the mayor being more interested in a domino game than in preventing a murder that is about to happen in his town. Also, we are able to infer that the story set in a small, isolated, close-knit community that has been somewhat forgotten by the outside world. Considering this we can understand how the isolation of the community has allowed “old-fashioned” traditions to remain rooted in their society. In a traditional Columbian culture, men are the head of the household in charge of earning most of the family’s income, while women were responsible for cooking, housework, and raising children. The underlying sexism that is seen in Columbian culture enables the concept of machismo. Machismo is a strong or exaggerated sense of manliness; sense of power, or the right to dominate. In the novel it states, “The brothers were brought up to be men. The girls were brought up to be married. They knew how to do screen embroidery, sew by machine, weave bone lace, wash and iron, make artificial flowers and fancy candy, and write engagement...
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