The Influence of Violent Cultural Traditions on the Characters of Chronicles of a Death Foretold – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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“Violence has been a prominent social response to the application of structural adjustment policies throughout Latin America. There are societies in which, things fall apart; the center cannot hold. Violence is a shared disease that seems to arise in all societies where there are profound social differences and exploitation…Many Latin American societies are condemned to bloodletting by the precedents of violence and gross injustice that characterize their culture and their history.” – LeMoyne James, ‘Children of Cain’ 1991

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s text depicts the cultural life and setting of Latin America. His inclusion of conventional values portrayed in the novel such as pride and honor influences specific characters such as Pedro and Pablo Vicario, two “boys who were raised up to be men.” His ability to interweave these values in his narrative show his deep understanding and perhaps even condolence towards these Latin Americans compelled to follow these archaic tendencies, corrupted by centuries of political extortion and civil violence which has made violence a social norm.

The setting of Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a small Colombian coastal town in the 1950’s. The fictitious setting of this novella, although based on an actual location in Colombia, gives Marquez the opportunity to use his imagination to create the events that happen in Chronicle of a Death Foretold and relate them to cultural life in Latin America at that time. Latin America was the first location of colonial conquest and expansion and still remains in the hands of neo-colonialist governments; the use of economic, political, and cultural forces or pressures to influence or control a country. Neo-colonialism is what makes countries dependent on their relationships with other countries, leaves the country in disarray after being used, and leaves it buried in debt and contracts to other more powerful countries. The Columbian people have seen many civilian casualties all due to...
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