• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Chronicle of a Death Foretold. How does Marquezs use of labels reflect the cultural beliefs about women in society?

Extracts from this document...


How does Marquez?s use of labels reflect the cultural beliefs about women in society? The Colombian society in Marquez?s ?Chronicle of a Death Foretold? is a predominant character throughout the story; it is the alpha in the novel as it calls all the shots for the people who live in the town. The most distinctive role of society is that of creating labels. Labels are created through memories and actions that the society thinks ?defines? an individual. The tags are used interchangeably with names, which is how an individual is remembered. The smallness of the town ensures that no memory of a person is ever forgotten but only tainted further. Labels are dissected according to the society?s cultural beliefs. Labels reflect the gender expectations imposed by society as demonstrated by Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman. Labels mirror the status and role of women in society like that of the cook, the prostitute and the nuns. They also make us question who the ?victim? is. Society is constructed out of a narrow-minded group of ?traditional? thinkers who take upon themselves the right to set the parameters of social behaviour, beliefs and norms. ...read more.


Purisima del Carmen ?Love can be learnt.?[3]9 The fortune and the social status of a man is what counts in this society. Under these circumstances, no doubt, Angela bears the tag ?married forever?[4]1. The word ?forever? has a sense of foreboding; it gives a sense that the woman is trapped in the shackles of the society until her end. The honor code and the cult of virginity engulf the woman in such a vicious circle that even after Angela is deserted by Bayardo, she will have no suitor for her as she bears another label: deserted and forsaken. M Marquez draws the attention of the reader to the prevailing misconception in the society that the character of a woman is the true reflection of her inner self. The status of a woman is no different from ?a butterfly with no will?[5]10. The simile reflects her beauty as well as her fragility and defenselessness in society. Marquez gives us an insight into this evil society through his art of characterization also. Each character bears a label in the society, and no wonder the label a woman bears is a reflection of her social standing. ...read more.


Women are further categorized according to age. Elderly women have differentiated adjectives as compared to the girls in their youth. Santiago?s mother, Placida Linero is described as ?solitary?[9]2, suggesting that even though she?s married she?s alone. Purisima del Carmen, Angela?s mother is described as ?sacrificial?[10]8 which can be linked to being married forever. Angela on the other hand is described as ?the beautiful girl?[11]3 while Divina Flor is described to be ?coming into bloom?[12]4 and ?untamed?[13]4. It is noteworthy that Angela being of a higher socio-class than Divina is described as graceful and attractive whereas the ?servant girl? is depicted as a sex object. The diction associated with each label and age reflects socio- cultural beliefs about women- younger women are coveted and sexually appealing but older and married women are portrayed as undesirable. Marquez through the use of labels reflects society?s prejudiced cultural beliefs about women. They are objects that must bear labels such as old or young, desirable or undesirable and pure or corrupted. A woman leads her life trapped in a vicious circle imposed on her by men, and if she dares to give a voice to her identity and sexuality, she is indubitably going to be called ?damaged goods. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Cult of Machismo in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

    Though a few people in the community, like Clothilde Armenta and Yamil Shaium, try to prevent the death from occurring, most people turned the other cheek, because they believed that the severity of the crime deserved a cruel punishment. Most people in the society tend to think that disputes over

  2. The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Drowned ...

    Later on the narrator's next visit, there were "fewer than fifty or sixty people" but at the same time "the giant had been carried still closer to the shore". The narrator still saw him as "magnificent Homeric statue" and "drowned Argonauts or heroes of the Odyssey".

  1. The Significance of Names in the Plots of Chronicle of a Death Foretold and ...

    The name Alba is derived from the Latin word meaning "dawn" and can also mean "sunrise". This name suits her role in the Hopper 4 story because Alba is a symbol of new hope and joy amongst the Trueba and del Valle family, even more so for Esteban Trueba.

  2. Gender Roles in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold",

    Attempts to overrule the societal norms for a certain gender constantly fail. Pablo Vicario mentions that, ?So he put the knife in his hand and dragged him off almost by force in search of their sister's lost honor.? (36) Pedro Vicario tried to go against the duty of a man

  1. Discuss the Role of Society and Honour Codes in "Blood Wedding" by Garcia Lorca.

    price of carrying out the generational conflict, as both of them are killed with the same knife in order to restore their honour: for Leonardo it was his love and for the bridegroom it was his duty. Lorca has portrayed this real story as a tragedy of unrequited love.

  2. The Role and Significance of the Cult of Virginity as a Reflection of the ...

    He exposes the diabolical nature and religious hypocrisy of men who openly practice the cult of machismo and dominate the women in the name of religion. Angela Vicario breaks the Cult of Virginity by indulging in intercourse not with one but with many.

  1. Mahadevi Verma's Women: Saviours Not Victims

    to detect any trace of eccentricity in her other than her mania for work? (Varma ?Sketches? 48). Sabiya works diligently and efficiently everyday. She single-handedly supports her two infants and takes care of her mother-in-law with as much attention and affection as she does her own children.

  2. How and to what effect does the use of language empower Higgins and ...

    don?t sit there crooning like a bilious pig.?[20] From this demeaning dialogue, we learn that the restructuring of society that Shaw demands is rooted upon the phonetic retraining of all the women, despite the language Higgins himself always uses brutally and dominatingly.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work