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Doors and Windows as Symbols of Character Thoughts and Relationships in Dom Casmurro and Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Doors and Windows as Symbols of Character Thoughts and Relationships in Dom Casmurro and Chronicle of a Death Foretold Often, a person's home is a physical representation of his or her psyche. The implication of this is that the characters of a novel are involved in a symbolic relationship with their dwellings. More specifically, the symbolic meanings of the doors and windows in that character's home provide a conduit into a character's intentions or thoughts. As said in Dom Casmurro by Bentinho Santiago "Our souls, as you know, are laid out like houses, often with windows on every side" (107). The literary material gathered through looking specifically at these aspects of a novel can then be used to strengthen the reader's perceptions of unspoken character relationships. Throughout this paper I will compare how the authors Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis and Gabriel Garc�a M�rquez use certain doors and windows as a subtle and condensed form of symbolizing and revealing character relationships in their novels Dom Casmurro and Chronicle of a Death Foretold respectively. The passages in which doors and windows are mentioned in a significant way are few in number but we can see major themes of the novel compacted into just a few passages. ...read more.


We can also see additional instances of Bento's contribution to the eventual disintegration of their relationship as he was "standing beneath Capitu's window and seeing a man on horseback pass, a dandy as we said at the time [...] Others had passed by, and others would come later" (135). Bento is standing beneath Capitu's window and although his presence is still there, he is beyond her range of sight, spying on her just as she on him previously with Escobar. In this case, the window represents the relationship's communication or the lack there of, between the two characters. As Bento is concealing himself while observing Capitu, the communication is not reciprocated and thus the relationship is not fully functional. In addition to the way that Machado de Assis uses doors and windows to communicate, Gabriel Garc�a M�rquez uses these elements to convey the relationship between an individual and a group of people. He also uses the objects as symbolic barriers or entrances, primarily as a means of escaping or an obstacle preventing escape. I would see her again year after year during my Christmas vacations, and every time she seemed more destitute in the window of her house, (32) ...read more.


This is the ultimate betrayal, however unintentional. Even after Santiago is stabbed, he manages to stumble to the kitchen door, the one he regularly uses, to finally die there. The actions of Pl�cida Linero reflect her relationship with Santiago - as an inauthoritative mother figure who has good intentions and means well but her actions do not end as well. The inclusion of one character's or a group of characters' interactions utilizing doors and windows are a powerful addition to understanding character relationships and a character's inner thoughts and intentions. There are numerous ways in which this pattern of symbolism through architectural elements can be used to effectively convey character relationships and thoughts. After examining the various instances where doors and windows are featured in Dom Casmurro and Chronicle of a Death Foretold it can be stated that content in Dom Casmurro emphasizes the individual relationships whereas in Chronicle of a Death Foretold there is a tendency towards symbolizing groups of people. Although there are also other methods in which a reader may chose to acquire their impressions on character relationships, the importance of doors and windows may often be overlooked and underestimated for their significance as symbols in literature. ...read more.

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