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

How is morality presented in the novels Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Therese Raquin by Emile Zola?

Extracts from this document...


The issue of morality is blatantly presented in the novels Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Therese Raquin by Emile Zola. Marquez's novel is set in a world where morality is inextricably linked to religion and honour to such an extent that the community's behaviour and actions are driven by these rather than legal concerns. Zola's novel explores the effect on individuals of individuals and their resulting unravelling after an immoral deed. In the name of honour, the murder of Santiago Nasar was committed "before God" (Marquez, G. 2003, p.49; subsequent citations refer to this edition and appear in the text) according to the controversial religious standards of society. Blinded by this religious conscription, the Vicario brothers' moral beliefs are significantly influenced to accept murder when dealing with a "matter of honour" (p.49). This in effect shocks and surprises the reader as Marquez is able to expose the hypocrisies of the "unforgiving bloodthirstiness" (p.49) that is murder. Through this he subtly reveals his antagonistic view to the reader of such immoral deeds integrated into society. Marquez also addresses the moral ambiguity of the brothers' actions during their trial; he mocks the law and its concord with religion. ...read more.


The horrific and wholesomely real nature of a mother having a need to almost "kill" (p.46) to ensure a severe punishment is endured by her daughter is quite outrageous and grossly immoral to show the dangerous values such a society lives by. The repeated presumption by the townspeople of Santiago Nasar's death being inevitable and unavoidable is criticised by Marquez as he 'charges' the society for his murder. The unjust proclamation of the death of Santiago Nasar being his fate is an excuse of society attempting to justify and reconcile their guilt. "No one even wondered whether Santiago Nasar had been warned, because it seemed impossible to all that he hadn't." (p.20). The lack of a collective guilt felt by society is a clear indication of their pre-emptive attempt to retain their innocence. Father Amador also tries to make the narrator "understand" his 'situation', that the coming of the Bishop was time-constraining, and thus "he'd forgotten completely" (p.70). The absence of his guilt underlines the effect of religion that causes the townspeople not to be constrained by moral values as the reader would be but instead to unconsciously accept such an immoral act that "wasn't any of their business" (p.70). ...read more.


Zola explores the consequence of moral injustice also through the physical resemblance of guilt in the symbol of the cat that represents Camille. Laurent is lost into believing that "'Camille has entered into the cat'" (p.121) which leads him to feel very "afraid" (p.121) from Francois's "hard, cruel stare" (p.121). This ghostly presence of Camille created in Laurent's mind acts as an inescapable reminder of guilt that he tries to excuse by making absurd remarks like "'...It looks human.'" (p.121). Here Zola is highlighting the "fear and anguish" (p.121) of Laurent's clouded mind and how, to the reader, we cannot surpass our moral values that control our thought. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold Gabriel Garcia Marquez tellingly reveals that the social-hierarchy determines what is right and what wrong in such an instance of murder. He critically examines the extent to which morality is perverted by honour and religion. In Therese Raquin Emile Zola's record of human behaviour surpasses moral limits so as to expose where these boundaries stand through a naturalistic approach and subjective reasoning. Both writers comprehensively express how guilt and even remorse is inevitable and solemnly inescapable in the presence of immorality. ...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. Marked Essay.Compare and Contrast the effect of the narrative point of view in 'The ...

    Throughout the novel there is a theme of a quest for knowledge and understanding, on the part of Bruno. To the reader the subject matter of the novel is very clear but the way the reader is kept engaged is to see how Bruno comes to an understanding of the events happening around him.

  2. WIT Essay_Zorba the Greek_Personification of Dyonisian and Epicurean Values in Zorba

    When he was in Russia, he knew very little Russian and could not tell his story to a man who only spoke the language, so he danced it. "I danced my misfortunes; my travels; how many times I'd been married; the trades I'd learned ..."

  1. Mrquez's Use of Narrative and its Impacts on A Chronicle of a Death Foretold

    The idea of a chronicle has traditionally been known as an account of events presented in chronological order, however M�rquez does not use this customary idea of a chronicle. He instead communicates the events revolving the murder within five chapters by telling the events in this order: the morning of

  2. Free essay

    How is morality used to promote justice in Antigone and The Visit?

    The post of mayor requires a certain guarantee of good moral character, which you can no longer furnish. You must realize that." (Page 54) Investigation: How is morality used to promote justice in 'Antigone' and 'The Visit'? In 'Antigone' by Sophocles and 'The Visit' by Friedrich Durrenmatt, each central character

  1. During the entire novel of The Sorrow of War Kien is on a quest ...

    Both characters are trying to replace their sorrows Kien with something spiritual. In Sorrow of War Kien and Phuong are portrayed as childhood lovers. The setting of Sorrow of War is during the war time which creates this atmosphere for Kien, making him make himself private.

  2. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. How does Marquezs use of labels reflect the ...

    is more respected than any other woman ?of class? in society not only because her name echoes that of Mother Mary?s but also because she has an ?apostolic lap.? Is she more sacred than those who follow the cult of virginity?

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

    I'll follow them." (Mother, page 48). She knows the outcome of perpetuating such vendetta. But her character is a example of a person pulverized by the societal pressures. Did she not say earlier in the play, ?I wish you were a woman?

  2. The significance of virginity in Chronicle of a Death Foretold as a ...

    Garcia tells about, Maria Alejandrina Cervantes, the town whore, "It was she who did away with my generation's virginity.? At the death of Santiago, she is there with her mother, an allusion that reminds the readers of the presence of Mary Magdalene at the death of Jesus.

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