The Nonexistent Knight and Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Comparison

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Religion is Ridiculous?: A Comparison/Contrast between The Nonexistent Knight and Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Religion is a top the list of controversial subjects to include in works of literature. Italo Calvino and Gabriel Garcia Marquez do not blatantly state their positions on the subject, but yet surreptitiously use a backdoor approach to disperse their message. In order to communicate the ridiculousness of religion both authors construct characters and events representing religious figures and beliefs. This ridiculousness sets up the idea that people allowing themselves to be guided through life by a fictional and forecasted fate lack individual freedom and expression. Italo Calvino and Gabriel Garcia Marquez both use religious imagery in order to create a relationship between their character’s actions and the irony seen in religion. This connection allows them to convey the idea that religious traditions are illogical and hypocritical. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez continuously describes Santiago Nasar as wearing “shirt and pants of white linen” to suggest his purity and innocence (Garcia Marquez 5). This ultimately casts doubt on whether or not Santiago is guilty. In The Nonexistent Knight, Calvino uses an abundance of light imagery and repeats “white shadow” to portray Agilulf’s purity as well (Calvino 12). Both of these situations are ironic because the purity is introduced on the day Santiago is to be killed and Agilulf is the only chivalrous and pure knight despite being nonexistent. The light imagery used by Calvino bolsters the cleanliness and purity of Agilulf. He has an “iridescent crest” that foils at night and “white armor…isolated on the field”(Calvino 7). The diction in this quote such as “iridescent” and “isolated” illuminate the idea of Agilulf’s pious superiority, similar to that of Christ’s. Garcia Marquez, too, uses the imagery of Santiago’s death to contribute to his Christ-like stature. The...
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