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The social environment as presented by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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World Literature Assignment 2 Word Count : 1475 words The social environment as presented by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in ?Chronicle of a Death Foretold? ?Chronicle of a Death Foretold? does not merely chronicle the history of the events that led to the untimely death of the protagonist Santiago Nasar ,but also chronicles the social environment in which this event occurred. In the narrative the author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, narrates through this travesty of events the social environment that prevailed in Colombia during those times. Marquez uses the cultural setting and the values adhered in Colombia as a justification for the murder of Santiago Nasar. However it is required to understand the social environment prevailing in Colombia at that time in order to understand the reasons and the manner of the killing of Santiago Nasar. The title of the novel itself suggests that Nasar?s death was inevitable and pre-planned-his murder was considered to be a matter of the Latino cultural code of honor-to be an ?honor killing?. It is commonly believed that the reason why honor is considered a driving force in a person?s life is because it determines how the rest of the society judges that person?s honesty, sincerity and integrity. ...read more.


?The parents decisive argument was that a family dignified by modest means had no right to disdain that prize of destiny.? [2]Hence their concern was the material gain that they would receive through this alliance. Marquez portrays women as helpless creatures within Colombian society who had no say or freedom to express their opinion. Women were considered vulnerable and their aspirations were regarded as insignificant and trivial. Significantly Angela?s marriage to Bayardo because of his wealth epitomizes how commitment to a rich man was the only means by which a woman could obtain financial security in her life. Women did not enjoy any individual worth nor could they command a say in their own lives, hence they were forced to follow the dictats of the men in their parental home and later the husband, once married. Angela?s mother lived her life in a very constricted social environment and felt it is perfectly in order for Angela to follow the same norms without any questions or hesitation. Thus Marquez has portrayed women as totally domesticated creatures who have been taught to live within the confines of their homes and never to overstep the boundaries of their narrow societal beliefs. ...read more.


Thus through this event, Marquez ultimately reveals a society in which moral frameworks such as the law and religion appear to be ineffective to mentor and secure the citizens. Marquez?s portrayal of Colombian society is one in which he has depicted a very narrow-minded and petty social structure where violence predominates and social customs which have been passed down through generations are allowed to prevail. In order to practice these and uphold their values they are willing to kill in cold blood and there is no stigma attached to such killings, in fact it is celebrated as an honor killing. Such an incident as presented in the story of Nasar can only be realistically acceptable in a society such as the Colombian society. In any free thinking society, such a story of blood and gore would not be acceptable or believable. Hence, Marquez has been able to capture the essence of the story as well as the Colombian society in all its stilted detail in order to make the novel chronicle the events which he has described. ________________ [1] Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Pg 49 [2] Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Pg 34 [3] Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Pg 65 [4] Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Pg 65 ...read more.

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