Where Does Ultimate Responsibility Lie for the Death of Santiago Nasar, in Chronicle of a Death Foretold?

Topics: Murder, Death Penalty, Colombia Pages: 5 (1721 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Where Does Ultimate Responsibility lie for the death of Santiago Nasar, in Chronicle of a Death Foretold?

“On the day they were going to kill him”[1], is the opening to Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel Marquez, is a novella written in the form of a pseudo-journalistic reconstruction;, in which the reader is told about the ‘murder death’ from the first line. Here comes the importance of the theme of responsibility; we, along with the narrator, work backwards to unravel the reasons and the mysteries behind the murder. However, we must differentiate between two opposite aspects of this theme; responsibility and action. Some characters were prominently conventionally responsible for the death of Santiago, through their actions. Their actions have lead in a direct or indirect manner, to the latter’s murder. On the other hand, other characters can be perceived as responsible through their negligence and laxity. Marquez lucidly vividly depicts the Columbian community, where the novel takes place, as a tightly knit one, in which more than twenty-two people were either formally or informally informed about the Pablo twins’ intention. Many of these characters were closely linked to Santiago and have seen him the day he was murdered, such characters include; Divina Flor, Colonel Aponte and LeonardoLeandro Pornoy. Yet, none of these characters managed to alert Santiago about his predicted fate. Furthermore, alongside the ignorance of the different characters, the Colombian code of honour and culture can be also perceived as a responsible figure. The society seemed to regard Angela’s violation, as a more serious event compared to a loss of life. For them, honour is a fundamental moral trait that is vital to keep intact and its prominence surpasses their sturdy religious beliefs. Angela Vicario, in spite of not taking the action and killing the protagonist, shares beares much initial of the responsibility for Santiago’s death. She named him as her deflowerer to her brothers, thus imposing on him a death sentence for his wrongful actions. Yet, it could never be completely proved candidly know if it was really Santiago who deflowered her. Angela is asked on three separate occasions to name her deflowerer, these three occasions come with a wide span of time in between. The first occasion, was when she was first returned to her house, after Bayardo San Roman learned that she had lost her virginity before their marriage. The narrator conveys in prodigious detail her firmness and decisiveness in naming Santiago, “she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written. (Marquez, P.47)” As for the second occasion, the narrator explains that Angela revealed in the court reports, according to the case’s judge that, “He (Santiago) was my perpetrator” (Marquez, P.101). Yet, She does not provide any other details, as to where or when this happened, which reduces her credibility. Finally the third occasion, comes years after the murder took place, when the narrator was trying to unravel the mysteries of the case. He had already come to a conclusion that Angela’s naming of Santiago could have been an attempt to save her real lover’s life. The latter was notorious of being a ladies’ man and consequently it was easy for people to deem that he is the deflowerer. Furthermore, Santiago was an intimate friend of the Vicario twins and therefore, she supposed that they would rule him out from their notion of honour. Yet, when she was asked, she boldly responded, ‘“He was the one. (Marquez, P.91)’” On both of these three occasions, we get an impression of her decisiveness and resolution; she was always ready to say the name.

Divina Flor’s actions played a pivotal and significant role towards the theme of responsibility. Marquez clearly portrays her affection and overwhelm towards for Santiago. Yet, the narrator also reveals, that she loathed abhorred his sexual...
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