What Does Colonel Aponte, from Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Represent about Society?

Topics: Police, Gabriel García Márquez, Authority Pages: 5 (1832 words) Published: February 5, 2013
Juri Sodero
Candidate Number:
A: Literature Standard Level
Written Assignment: What does Colonel Aponte represent about society? Reflective Statement: 400
Essay: 1382

Chronicle of a Death Foretold Reflective Statement

How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?

I found that the interactive oral was very useful to understand the novella and various messages/symbols that are portrayed. It helped me realize many things about Chronicle of a Death Foretold and about Colombian culture back at that time since the novella is set up in Colombia.

One of the first things we noticed were how honor and virginity in women played a big role in the fundamentals of the community and how killing for honor was thought as a right thing. We also understand that Colombia was and still is a vey religious country. This is portrayed by the act of Bayardo San Roman in refusing Angela Vicario because he married her but she was not a virgin and as we all know, the bible clearly says that a Christian women must be virgin until the marriage and if not the husband was allowed to refuse her or even kill her. Honor was also very important for Colombians, so important that they would kill for it. This is portrayed by the Vicario brothers because of how for the honor of their family and their sister they went and killed Santiago, and the interesting thing is that the murder of Santiago Nasar is actually based on a true murder that took place in Colombia.

Another motif that we explored was corruption. What left me a bit astonished when I read the novella was the fact that law was corrupted in an unusual way; an example can be Officer Pornoy and how he did not do his job correctly in stopping the Vicario Brothers. People in the community recognized law figures as such but didn’t respect them as such, in fact they treated them like they were just normal people and “Officer” and “Mayor/Colonel” were just labels. Labels are also a very interesting factor in the novella; in fact, labels are given to everyone throughout the book. Some examples are Clotilde, who is labeled as the “milk shop owner”, the twin brothers are labeled as “the bad guys, the killers”, Santiago is labeled as the “outsider, women deflowerer” and so on. The labels in the community are quite obviously used to distinguish the type of work that each person does or what the persons does or has done. The question is, have we missed something or did we find everything there was to be found out and can we be sure??


Colonel Aponte is the Mayor and Head of Police in his society and thereby he represents the law. Evidently, there are some issues concerning the way he fulfills his duty in terms of the measures he takes to prevent the killing of Santiago Nasar. The way in which he enforces law in trying to prevent Santiago’s death, is the way that Garcia Marquez reveals to the reader how law and belief systems are skewed.

One of the main actions we know he takes in trying to prevent Santiago’s death is when he hears about the twin’s plan and goes look for them, but then decides that they are of no real harm. “When I saw them I thought they were nothing but a pair of big bluffers,” he told me with his personal logic, “Because they weren’t as drunk as I thought.” (Garcia-Marquez, 2007: 56). Colonel Aponte thought that the two brothers were just bluffing and pranking them. By this quotation, we can also assume that the authorities of the town had a sense of moral duty to allow the murder to take place since everyone in the town knew that the brothers wanted to kill Santiago only to defend and preserve their sister’s honour. However, this does not justify Colonel Aponte’s actions since there is no such thing, to have moral duty to allow a murder....
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