Chronicle of a Life Foretold
Gabriel García Márquez’s writing has been described as “richly composed worlds of imagination, reflecting the continent's of life and its conflicts” (Nobelprize.org). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982 for his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude which explores the genre of magical realism. Márquez’s William Faulkner-esque style combines narrative talent with the mastery of the literary mode, stream of consciousness. His international appeal and success come from his ability to lead readers to a place where the improbable and the truth converge, two ingredients which make up his novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
Márquez uses a “pseudo-journalistic reconstruction” in Chronicle of a Death Foretold to portray the importance of honor through the strict, ritualistic tradition of a Latin American community in the 1950s. This reconstruction is a narrative device that often drifts in and out of fantasy, demonstrated when the author starts off with “on the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning” (pg. 1 of Chronicle). Death plays a key role in his stories which revolve around the deceased or the soon deceased and involves all characters.
The novel surrounds Angela Vicario, a newly married young women found on her wedding night not to be a virgin. In order to repair the family’s reputation, her two brothers set out to kill their sister’s perpetrator. The boys’ murderous plot is gradually revealed to the whole town, but the villagers choose to ignore it. The fact that death becomes a reasonable punishment for the crime of taking a girl’s virginity embodies the importance of honor and just how vital it is to keep intact. None of the town’s people ever question any action that is taken in order to preserve someone’s honor. Márquez explores the psyche of an isolated society in a time of chaos when ritual is the only familiar habit.
The author’s own background serves as an...
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