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The significance of virginity in Chronicle of a Death Foretold as a reflection of the hypocrisy in the society

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Introduction

Tittle: Significance of Virginity as a reflection of the hypocrisy in the society Word Count: 1497 The novella ?Chronicle of a Death Foretold? by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is part fiction part history, and is based on an incident that took place in Sucre in 1951, where Marquez had been living with his family. In this melodramatic incident, a landowner, Miguel forsook his wife, Margarita, when he found on his wedding night that she was not a virgin. Through a journalist style, and the genre of magic realism, Marquez blends facts and fiction to show the farcical honor codes and double standards of the people of the society. This novel is a reflection of a society wherein every one is closely related to the other, yet the people are indifferent and elusive to the moral and ethical actions that are violated in the name of honor, religion and double standards. The use of the setting, characters and conflict help Marquez lash upon the virginity paradox, the hypocritical thinking and superficial religious values prevailing in Columbia. To begin with, Marquez chooses the Columbian town, which is deeply engulfed in the Latin American culture to show the poignancy of the importance of virginity and honor codes. ...read more.

Middle

Marquez?s quote is is remarkable in that it shows how the Columbian society has perceived the notions of the Spanish culture that has obliterated the native culture and values of Columbia. The reader is surprised to see the prevalence of the stereotyped roles of men and women even in the 20th century Columbia. Marquez uses the word ?brothers? to show that the brothers act as a unit for the family. But the ?girls? are reared to marry separately, and that they are disintegrated form the family soon after the wedding. Marquez reflects on the closely-knit people of the society who gather at the bank of the river to wait for a Bishop, who hates them. The word ?hates? is not commensurate with the profession of the Bishop. But he does not bother any more than to wave his hand from the boat and turn back. Marquez shows how religion has been reduced to corrupted man made traditions, customs and superstitions. The town is still revolving around communal values set hundreds of years ago, thereby showing the laxity and reluctance of the people to overcome these values, and adjust themselves to modern values. ...read more.

Conclusion

The ?foretelling? tells the negligence of the people of Columbian society. The reader is surprised to find the indifference of the people to a murder, which is yet to take place. Marquez uses an oxymoron in the very title of the novella. He fills the reader with tension and suspense, and makes him desperate to see the outcome of this threat. It is Marquez?s literary genius and powerful style that he starts the novella straightaway with the murder of the protagonist. To conclude, Marquez is very successful in showing that the Columbian society is ruled by primitive customs of virginity and honor codes. The men take advantage of religion to impose virginity on women, in order to enjoy ?fresh meat.? But the women are not to be considered less smart than them. They use ?old wives? tricks? and are dexterous enough to blindfold the men. Through the use of characters and conflict Marquez penetrates the gossamer of the farcical Columbian society with which it is woven. The novel successfully shows that Columbia is still in the specter of the Latin American culture, and the people have to pay the price of following a foreign culture blindly. ...read more.

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