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A comparison between Chronicle of A Death Foretold and The Outsider with regards to their outlook on life death and society.

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Introduction

A comparison between Chronicle of A Death Foretold and The Outsider with regards to their outlook on life death and society Shani Cohen In both of the novels, Chronicle of A Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Outsider by Albert Camus, the stories of two main characters are told while considering the circumstances surrounding their deaths. The first is set in a small Colombian town while the other takes place in Algiers. Although the contexts of their deaths differ, both are heavily subjected to the influence of the communities in which they lived. Santiago Nasar (Chronicle of A Death Foretold) was killed based on the community upholding of a Latino cultural code of honor, while Mersault (The Outsider) was punished because of the character judgement placed on him from a 'moral' Algerian society. In Chronicle of A Death Foretold the main character, Santiago Nasar, is killed to restore the honor of a woman (Angela Vicario) whose virginity he had allegedly taken; when this was found her husband on the wedding night it instigated the events to come. By assessing the situation, many issues present themselves as evidence to suggest that the society was responsible for the events surrounding Nasar's death. ...read more.

Middle

Disregarding the fact, it seems, that no one bothers to warn Nasar until it is too late; most 'thought it had all been a fib.'9 Whether it is because it is because they didn't believe that Nasar would be killed or because if their acceptance does not seem to matter when considering their influence was still a crucial factor. The idea of a court reinforcing the rules of a society is brought across even further in the second novel. In The Outsider Mersualt is condemned to die as punishment for killing an Arab, but upon closer reading it can be inferred that his death was a result of an impartial judgement of character rather than the actual crime itself since no reference was made about the Arab in the duration of the whole trial. All deliberation was focused on the character of Mersault and how he was not a decent person. The events prior to the shooting of the Arab are important to consider when looking at why Mersault was thought to be in indecent person. In this society when someone passed away it was customary to keep a vigil over the body and mourn for a period of time out of respect for the dead. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Nasar's death the society he lived in set the stage it. He was thought to have broken the laws of society and the Vicario brothers, bred by this society, had to live up to it's standards for his punishment; in essence, Santiago Nasar's death was a by-product of his society's teachings. Mersault's death, on the other hand, was the result of his society's inability to cope with his unconventional character. They could not accept that he did not follow their rules so they felt they had to get rid of him. The influence of the surrounding society was more indirect in Nasar's case by rearing the belief system that was his downfall; the society that which Mersault lived was directly responsible for his death by convicting him out of their own arrogant view on how people should act within their society. 1 Chronicle of A Death Foretold ,Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translation by Gregory Rabassa, Picador 1983 (pg. 37) 2 ibid (pg.38) 3 ibid (pg.38) 4 ibid (pg.57) 5 ibid (pg.63) 6 ibid (pg.84) 7 ibid (pg.48) 8 ibid (pg.53,54,56) 9 ibid (pg.18) 10 The Outsider , Albert Camus, translation by Jospeh Laredo, Penguin Books 1982, (pg.14) 11 ibid (pg.88) 12 ibid (pg.91) 13 ibid (pg.68) 14 ibid (pg.99) 15 ibid (pg.93) 16 ibid (pg.98) ?? ...read more.

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