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This essay will focus on the presentation on the Happily ever after notion and marriage in the Columbian culture in Gabriel Marquezs Chronicle of a Death Foretold in comparison to Mariam Bs Senegalese one in So Long a Letter.

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UNMASKING THE "HAPPILY EVER AFTER" FACE OF MARRIAGE ; AS PORTRAYED BY GABRIEL MARQUEZ IN CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD AND MARIAMA B� IN SO LONG A LETTER. In the early years of one's life, fables and fairly tales introduce marriage as glamorous, captivating and more often than not ending with the notion "happily ever after"1. In So Long a Letter and Chronicle of a Death Foretold marriage plays a pioneering role in the story-lines thus the corresponding and different views on this institution. Marriage, classified as an institution implies that it is an important system of organisation in society that has existed for a long time2. From reading various world literature texts it is noticeable that each and every culture and society has their own ways of organising and interpreting the institution of marriage by giving this famous union rules and statutes and understanding the flaws and benefits that idealize it. This essay will focus on the presentation on the "Happily ever after" notion and marriage in the Columbian culture in Gabriel Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold in comparison to Mariam B�'s Senegalese one in So Long a Letter. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold marriage is brought out as a special occasion, one which is to be celebrated and rejoiced over. Gabriel Marquez shows us this view by his continuous exaggeration of the marriage ceremony between Bayardo San Roman and Angela Vicario. ...read more.


Gabriel Garcia Marquez describes Angela Vicario as "perfect" and "reared to get married" (pg 31) and goes further to suggest that any man will be happy with her and her sisters because "they've been raised to suffer". Gabriel Marquez uses first person narration to his convenience here as these statements are derived from the narrator's mother giving the sentimental and motherly conviction needed to project what men expected after marriage. This is ironic as the novel is written by a man who noticeably admits the dominance of the male society and the sacrifice women have to give in marriage. The male chauvinism is constantly brought about in the text. In particular, when women are not virgins at the time of marriage it is regarded as a taboo as in the case of Angela Vicario (pg37) however men could be sexually active before marriage. This is brought out as in the case of Santiago Nasar where he constantly visits the brothel of Maria Alejandrina Cervantes (pg78). The author uses magical realism here by describing the whore house in a manner that makes it appear beautiful and the whore, Maria, as "elegant" and "warm" (pg77). And thus, in my opinion this glamorisation is a tragic oxymoron, with the same society unwittingly dehumanised by its propagation of prostitution and men's' sexual freedom. Ramatoulaye says "I loved him, I compromised with his people. ...read more.


Angela's parents' argument in favour of the marriage is that "a family dignified by modest means had no right to disdain that prize of destiny"11. Had Angela suggested that she had no love, her mother would have shot down her thoughts with the phrase "love can be learned to." This event which corresponds with the marriage of Binetou in So Long a Letter shows that for wealth, the daughters are 'sold' by their families into marriages without love for the ' happiness' of their families. "Happiness" in marriage in both So Long a Letter and Chronicle of a Death Foretold refers to the wealth and financial stability the respective families will get from marrying their daughters off, thematically emphasizing the varied selfish interests driving the attraction to marriage. In conclusion one can see the various similarities and differences in the portrayal of marriage in Gabriel Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Mariam B�'s So Long a Letter. The two authors show immaculate literary skills such as the use of symbolism and in the case of Gabriel Marques, magical realism, to expose the painful charade and fa�ade behind the 'happily ever after' mask in marriage. 1 Sierra, Judy. Cinderella, Page 140. 2 Hornby, A.S.Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English (5 ed.) 3Marquez, G.G. Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Page 3. 4Marquez, G.G. Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Page 43. 5Ba, Mariama, So Long a Letter, Page 17 6ibid, Page 17 7 Ba Mariama, So Long a Letter, Page 19 8Ibid Page 12 9Ibid Page 13 10Ibid Page 36 11Marquez, G.G. ...read more.

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