Morals, Ethics, and Social Norms
There is a double standard for men and women in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. The social norm of society is to hold women accountable for their purity and beauty and it is expected for a young woman to be married as a virgin then take care of the family. The men don’t have any real expectations except to protect and support the family once they are married. Society allows men to go to brothels and have sex with women but the women are reprimanded for having sex. The double standards are a reflection of Marquez’s ideas of the hypocrisy of the catholic religion and its followers. The people of the society follow some of the laws of the bible religiously but other aspects are completely disregarded.
One of the areas ignored is the sixth commandment: “Thou shalt not kill”. The Vicario brothers murder Santiago Nasar for the “honor of their family” but the community does not find this to be a sin. Angela Vicario’s virginity being lost was a major sin in society’s eyes and she was punished by her husband for her adultery. This aspect follows the seventh commandment: “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. This shows the hypocrisy and double standard of society. Double standard and hypocrisy is the social norm of this community and religion is the biggest contradiction held in this text. The society does not except differentiating ideas or rebellion among women and they are punished for doing so. Angela’s mother gets sucked into society’s standards when she beats Angela for losing her virginity and destroying the social status of their family. This would go against the catholic religion but it is socially acceptable among the community. The brothers were not doing wrong for correcting a sin with another sin according to the people of the town and the ethics seem to be skewed by the machismo of the men and submission of the women.
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