InstitutionHonor killing in the novel “Chronicles of a Death Foretold.” Student’s nameCourseProfessorDateIntroductionThe novel Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a tale that reveals the conservative nature of Columbian society. The novel emphasizes on theme considered traditional in modern society, for example, honor killing. Marquez narrates the events that led to Nassar’s murder. Nassar was accused of taking Angela’s virginity even though the accusations lacked evidence, and how those who a plot to kill Nassar for the sake of restoring honor.
The narrative constitutes a wide range of literacy techniques which are meant to invoke the reader to determine a person to blame for Nassar’s murder. This article discusses an aspect of honor killing and the question of who should be blamed for Nassar’s death using a ride range of elements or techniques and includes thematic concerns, i.e., killings and violence. This is achieved with an understanding that society should be held accountable for Nassar’s death.
Even though Nassar is killed by the Pablo and Paulo, their actions kill him, but the twins would not have murdered him if the society did not have double standards, conventions, and attitudes which create a conducive atmosphere for murder and also punish perpetrators.Elements in the novellaThe novel has many elements that are significant in the process of examining who is to blame for the death of Nassar. One such element includes foreshadowing and foreboding. There are many elements in the novel that foreshadow the killing of Santiago Nassar for example the first sentence in the novel informs the audience of what will transpire in the novel: On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nassar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on. He’d dreamed he was going through a grove of timber trees where a gentle drizzle was falling, and for an instant, he was happy in his dream, but when he awoke, he felt completely spattered with bird shit.(Marquez, 2003, p. 3). The opening chapter, therefore, establishes a sense of foreboding. The elements also create an atmosphere of impotence (Martin, 2012, p. 479), and points to Nassar’s death as inescapable. The reader is informed of the end before the story unfolds. The reader is made aware of the fate of the main protagonist in the novel. The narrator builds suspense through his language. He uses terms such as sacrifice in many occasions, juxtaposing it as a context of caring for loved ones (Marquez, 2003, p. 31) instead of an idea of death being sacrificial (Marquez, 2003, p.52). This enables the audience to develop an ominous tone revealed by other elements in the text. This reveals the attitudes and rituals within the community even though it does not indicate an individual to blame for Nassar’s murder. Therefore, the narrator projects a sense of collective responsibility within society. Also, Marquez uses symbolism which can be understood to foreshadow the death of Nassar. The narrator mentions the cooking rabbit which was being prepared by Victoria Guzman throughout the text: She had been quartering three rabbits for lunch, surrounding by panting dogs (Marquez, 2003, p. 9); without taking his eyes off the two women who were disemboweling the rabbits on the stove (Marquez,2003, p. 9); But she couldn’t avoid a wave of fright as she remembered Santiago Nassar’s horror when she pulled out the insides of a rabbit by the roots and threw the steaming guts to the dogs” (Marquez, 2003, p. 10). The three instances what awaits Nassar both figuratively and literally. Thematic areaThe main thematic concerns in the Marquez’s narrative are killing and violence which has been repeated constantly. The town people can be regarded as “blind notion of family duty” (Camayd-Freixas, 2000, p. 116) when they accept the idea of honor in killings as a means to restore status quo. In the narrative, everyone was aware of the crime before committed. When the narrator draws his knowledge of Columbian society due to actual honor killing which happened in 1951 (Bell-Villada, 2010, p. 18), he brings out a code of silence which led to Nassar’s discovery of the plot against his life. There is much to blame on the community in the murder. Fate chose Nassar, a victim of communal sacrificial rite. The inescapable Nassar’s death seems obvious when the reader gets fascinated similar to the murderers with the code of obligations and power of prophecy (Ortega, 2014, p. 79). Nassar’s death is therefore identified as a little inevitable event which finds its root in the nature of the society, behavioral code and its conventions. His life is sacrificed despite being proven guilty, merely in the restoration of honor of the society when Angela returns home in disgrace. The society has placed honor above human life and love provides a motive to unify society without providing spiritual salvation (Hahn, 1993, pp. 72-73). The themes also reveal the gender divide in the community outlining the difference that exists between men and women. This is also true for the expectations and roles of both genders by society. Marquez says that the Vicario sisters are expected to preserve their purity and virtuousness by upholding conservative values (Coale, 2000, p. 30). The narrator adds that the veil Angela puts on for her wedding is regarded as an act of courage by her mother. This act was a suggestion to society the purity and untainted nature of Angela. This was a lie because her virginity was already taken: “the fact that Angela Vicario dared put on the veil and the orange blossoms without being a virgin would be interpreted afterward as a profanation of the symbols of purity. My mother was the only one who appreciated as an act of courage the fact that she had played out her marked cards to the final consequences. (Marquez, 2003, p. 41). The men, on the other hand, are subject to machismo: “can be observed as a form of emphasis on male pride and characters’ sexual behavior The societal code is perhaps the justification for the bordello in town. It is male behavior to frequent this place, where women can be used as objects of desire (Pelayo, 2001, p. 124). The narrator uses elements such as journalistic style to narrate the ordeal of Nassar and Colombian societal view on violence and killings. The style has been utilized in the entire novel instead of judgment. The style is supported by the fact that behavior such as murder is acceptable from one generation to the next, suggesting that there exists real gender divide in the community in terms of behaviors and expectations in a society that is ruled by men for men’s needs (Pelayo, 2001, p. 125). Moreover, questions linger in the minds of the audience of how far the community condones such acts and whether there is evidence of gullibility in terms of attitudes concerning sexuality and purity is to blame for Nassar’s death. For example, if Nassar had snatched Angela’s virginity, which is not true, then his behavior would have been acceptable within the community, while Angela would not. The theme of gives more evidence that the entire community is to blame for Santiago Nassar’s death. ConclusionThe analysis in this article provides evidence the society is highly to be blamed for the murder of Nassar. This gives collective guilt for life lost based upon the need to restore the society’s status quo and honor to Angela’s family. There is little doubt that the concept of honor is present in the discourse of society within the town. This is revealed by the actions of members of the society from the start. Also, the evidence in this article demonstrates that it blames the entire foundation of the society and should be regarded as a factor that contributes to Nassar’s death. Despite the guilt over Nassar’s death in both the twin’s consciousness and the society, less has changed. The flaw in the society is pointed out by the fact that the twins, Pablo and Paulo receive absolution from social and political institutions. The flaw will continue to exist as long as no single individual comes out to change how society thinks. Marquez is reluctant to neither blame the town nor an individual, and the audience can conclude that the entire community is mostly to be blamed for Nassar’s murder. Therefore, the thesis at the beginning of this article has been proved that even though the twins are to be blamed for killing Nassar, but they would not have proceeded if the society was not bound by double standards, conventions, and attitudes in society. The attitudes and conventions are the ones that place honor above human life. Works citedBell-Villada, Gene H. Gabriel garca mrquez: life and times. Cambridge University Press, 2010.Camayd-Freixas, Erik. “Narrative Primitivism: Theory and Practice in Latin America.” Primitivism and Identity in Latin America: Essays on Art, Literature, and Culture (2000): 109-34.Coale, Samuel. The Mystery of Mysteries: Cultural Differences and Designs. Popular Press, 2000.Hahn, H. “The influence of Franz Kafka on three novels by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Austria, Colombia).” (1993): 0828-0828.Marquez, G.,. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. New York (2003): Vintage Books.Martin, Gerald. The Cambridge Introduction to Gabriel Garca Mrquez. Cambridge University Press, 2012.Ortega, Julio. Gabriel Garca Mrquez and the powers of fiction. University of Texas Press, 2014.Pelayo, Rub©n, and Rube n Pelayo. Gabriel Garca Mrquez: a critical companion. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001.