Top Ten Quotes
1. “On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on.” (Chapter 1, page 3) In the opening line of the book, García Márquez reveals the ending of the story: Santiago Nasar is killed. The rest of the story unfolds in reverse, as readers learn more of the details of how and why Santiago is killed. This tantalizing sentence provides a good example of García Márquez’s baroque writing style. Three different points in time are referred to in the same sentence, so that the central fact of Santiago’s impending death is nearly obscured with other details. 2. “He won’t even get off the boat. He’ll give an obligatory blessing, as always, and go back the way he came. He hates this town.” (Chapter 1, page 8) This is Plácida Linero’s comment about the much-anticipated visit from the bishop. As it turns out, she is correct; the bishop does not even bother to get off the boat, but makes the sign of the cross toward the gathered crowd, then turns and goes back up the river. This incident shows that the moral and spiritual authorities in this society are more concerned with meaningless ritual than they are with actually helping the people they serve. 3. “The boys were brought up to be men. The girls had been reared to get 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 announcements. …[T]he four were past mistresses in the ancient science of sitting up with the ill, comforting the dying, and enshrouding the dead. …[My mother] thought there were no better-reared daughters. ‘They’re perfect,’ she was frequently heard to say. ‘Any man will be happy with them because they’ve been raised to suffer.’” (Chapter 2, page 31) This describes the Vicario family. Pedro and Pablo Vicario are raised “to be men,” while their sister Angela is brought up to be married and to suffer. The...
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