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

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.

Extracts from this document...


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.

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. These two short stories The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World and A Very ...

    The arrival of strangers to the people in both stories undoubtedly had a profound effect on both, and their reactions to this arrival definitely helped shape their lives. In the "Handsomest Man", by belonging to the village, the extraordinary drowned man helps make that village extraordinary, but not by any action of his own.

  2. Extended Essay

    de yasam �yk�s�n� bir tek kendisi kadar muhalif olan birine, El Saddavi'ye anlatmistir. Ayse Kulin, Adi Aylin adli romaninda k�kleri Giritli Naili Pasa kadar uzanan bir ailenin kizi olan Aylin Devrimel'in yasam �yk�s�n� anlatir. T�rkiye'de baslayan bu yasam �yk�s�nde Aylin'in Libyali bir prensle evlenip prenses olusu, tip okuyup psikiatrist olusu,

  1. A Director(TM)s Letter: To Actress Playing Mandisa

    Her background is very straight forward. She comes from a family history that does not seem to have much hope for the future, poor and not very well educated. This showed how blacks' lifestyle in South Africa had become poor under the dominant white society.

  2. Contrasting the straight forward realist drama style of "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen ...

    but she only feels the wrongness of all her previous life and that is why decides to leave her husband and her children in order to become a personality. She admitsthat she is only a blank piece of paper, that she does not know anything about religion, except what a

  1. Analysis on "So Long A Letter" by Mariama Ba

    The transition through the many grieving stages and traditional mourning events are explained, as well as a woman's place in a Senegalese society and family. According to Muslim tradition, which was the dominant tradition in Senegal, when Ramatoulaye's husband, Modou, passed away, she had to mourn over her loss for three months.

  2. African Women Opposing Gender Inequality in So Long A Letter by Mariama Ba

    In the above example of polygamy, it is shown that onlyh the men can have more than one wife, whereas if the women have two husbands, the society will consider it as an abnormal thing.

  1. So Long a Letter, by Mariama Ba, and Song of Lawino, by Okot pBitek, ...

    She seeks support in her letters to Aissatou. Like Ramatoulaye, Aissatou is a well educated woman who is aware of the traditional practices in the Senegalese culture. Aissatou is also familiar with modern Western traditions. Aissatou?s strong-minded character makes her somewhat of a radical as she rejects the idea of

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

    The most prominent divide in society is that of the genders. Angela Vicario is one such ?beautiful? entity that was ?returned? by Bayardo because she breaks out of the social norms by losing her virginity and her ?honour? (prevailing conflict and theme throughout the novel)

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