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World Lit. 2- Symbolism of the Town Square in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Symbolism of the Town Square in Chronicle of a Death Foretold Nicole Davis IB DYP Language A1 English HL March 2010 2a Word Count: 1243 Symbolism of the Town Square in Chronicle of a Death Foretold In the Latino culture, the town square represents many things in their society, one of which a reflection of the present, another is the deeply rooted historical and cultural heritage. Symbolically, the square represents stability, beliefs, strength, solidity, and the earth or ground. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the town square represents the bridge connecting the old ideals to the new. Located in the town square in the novella are the port, Santiago Nasar's house, the church, and Clotilde Armenta's milk shop. In the Latino culture, the four sides of the town square represent the senate, the church, university, and commerce. The port represents the senate, where the people come to greet the Bishop the day of Santiago Nasar's death, and the Church represents the church. Sanitago's house represents the university, and the milk shop represents commerce. In Marquez's novella, the town square facilitates the meeting between conflicting elements, between the old and new ideals of the town. ...read more.


The symbolism of the then square becomes ironic because the square represents stability, strength, and solidity; if the town lacks a solid figure to look up to for guidance, one can only question their cultural stability? The interactions in the novella occur where opposing ideas clash, in the square. Thus, the clashing ideas depict both the old and the new ideals. When the Bishop came on his boat to bless the island, his "boat bellowed", juxtaposing that sound with that of the "music versus fights", the "drunkards singing" (Marquez 45). The bellow of the boat connects back to when Santiago felt like he was "covered in bird shit" (Marquez 1) after waking from his dream. Conversely, the music and the singing symbolize the happiness and harmony during Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman's wedding. Along with the wedding came the change of ideas. Angela Vicario's family was totally entranced by Bayardo San Roman, leading to the marriage. In the Latino society, marriage is extremely important, symbolizing the support and love the couple will devote to each other for the rest of their lives. The Catholic Church also did not permit divorce, therefore marriage is for life. ...read more.


Ironically, almond trees usually flower in February when the events in the novella take place. Therefore, when Santiago was flying through the almond trees, there would not have been any almonds. The almond trees would be flowering, which is symbolic of fertility and lust. There is a mystery of a lost virginity before marriage, forming a juxtaposing ideal from the old Latino ideals. This first idea that the reader is given from Marquez prepares them for the changes that will take place in the society, therefore in the town square. The town square, through its symbolism in Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold, illustrates the conflicting elements within the novella compared to the Latino culture. Marquez mentions the town square while writing about the Bishop's arrival, the wedding, the conflicting sounds, and Santiago's dreams, emphasizing the clash of opposing ideals through out the novella. Altogether, the town square is a place in the novella that provides irony, juxtaposition, and a bridge connecting the old ideals to the new. Though the meaning of the square includes stability, beliefs, strength, solidity, and the earth or ground, this shape or place or object, in the end, symbolizes almost any form of guidance or stability in a society's culture. ...read more.

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