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A study of how far societal pressures are central to the main plots of ‘Blood Wedding’ and ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’.

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Introduction

English A1 Standard Level World Literature Naomi Kerr-Shaw A study of how far societal pressures are central to the main plots of 'Blood Wedding' and 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold'. Societal conventions and how they shape people's lives are base themes in Marquez's novella 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold' and Lorca's play 'Blood Wedding'. They both show how society's prejudices compel individuals to undergo acts they may not have done otherwise. The honour code is an extremely important factor in both of these works, in general it defines how men and women should live, it means that if a women's honour, in this case her virginity, is taken, then that women's family has the right and duty to seek revenge. The treatment and expectations of women in the respective societies is also dealt with in these work. Religion often plays a large part in determining people's opinions and so would be another factor affecting the society's feelings towards the acts undertaken in the two stories. We can subsequently see how economic differences too affect people actions. These works both tell the story of how women's honour is taken and the societal need for it to be regained through the shedding of the perpetrator's blood. ...read more.

Middle

It is interesting to note how Maria is portrayed, she is described as 'the most elegant and the most tender woman', a description not usually associated with prostitutes, her name, Maria, also implies the Virgin Mary3, showing her purity in comparison to the other women even though she is a prostitute. We can however see that although Marquez represents faithfully the cultural background for 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold' in that most of the action is carried out by males he does subtly subvert this by naming the female characters who tried to prevent the murder after authors who have influenced his work, Cervantes and Miguel, people he has a lot of respect for. It is no coincidence that in 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold' it is only the women in the story who try to really prevent the murder such as Lucia Santiago and Clotilde Armenta warning her husband but not being taken seriously. The fact that women were lacking so much social power meant that she had to try to help through her husband and not by herself, it is now that she responds with 'My God, women are so lonely in the world' the realisation of how totally male subjugated the society is. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both the marriages that took place were to the economic advantage of the bride and her family, making refusal of the offer of marriage even more impossible. In 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold' it may have been because of Santiago's wealth that she chooses him as her named adulterer. She could have been jealous of his wealth or thought that he may have been safer because of this from the inevitable anger of her brothers. Some people thought that his wealth would protect him including Don Rogelio de la Flor saying '"Don't be silly...Those two aren't about to kill anyone, much less someone rich'" stopping him from warning Santiago. From all of these different societal aspects that have been seen to shape parts of the plots we can conclude that societal pressures are extremely central to the plots of both works. In 'Blood Wedding' we can see a great struggle between social convention and human fervour and in 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold' it is clear that the whole society is guilty of the crime committed, hence 'the shouts of the whole town, frightened by its own crime.' Society had a warping effect on the individuals and their ideas and I think both of these authors are trying to warn us of the obvious dangers that society brings. ...read more.

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