Vigilantes in Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Death and the Maiden
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The Conflicting Interpretations of Vigilantes as Transgressors and as Victims as seen in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold and in Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden Since the idea of vigilante justice is a clearly relevant in today's society, it is not surprising that we find frequent references to it in novels focused primarily on crime and attempted avoidance of the legal system, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. While vigilantism is not a commonly seen idea in the majority of literature, when it is, conflicting contours and interpretations of it are extensively manifested. By gaining exorbitant amounts of comprehension regarding the subject of vigilantism, one can then undertake on the journey that is the attainment of insight into many of the ideas that the writers were originally attempting to convey. This paper will compare the ways in which different works of literature use the idea of vigilante justice to further their plot progressions. Midway through Chronicle of a Death Foretold, one of the central characters, Pablo Vicario, talks about the murder of Santiago Nasar that he and his brother Pedro have committed.
Roberto Miranda towards the end of Act III: So someone did terrible things to you and now you're doing something terrible to me and tomorrow somebody else is going to-on and on and on. This quote essentially illustrates the view that while vigilantism is a route towards the ultimate goal of remedying ones abuses that have taken place, it is subsequently leading to an endless chain of crime which will, at no time, cease to exist. Another view that Dorfman expounds can be seen in the following two quotes. He puts forth the notion that it is considered acceptable and different if inalienable rights are provided to the victim when going through the process of vigilantism. This idea is implied through the beliefs of his characters and the following quotes. He has the right to defend himself (20) This quote is spoken by Gerardo and shows the epitome of how even though vigilantism is a way of avoiding the legal system, in the eyes of Dorfman and his characters, some morality and legality needs to be present for it to be an acceptable means to a clearly justifiable resolution.
After my assessment of the two works of literature, it can be seen that Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold presents vigilantes more as transgressors, while Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden presents vigilantes more as victims who should be allowed to carry out their actions. The way that vigilantism and vigilante justice can be used as a literary effect and as a means to plot progression is clearly evident in both Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Death and the Maiden. While Marquez and Dorfman seem to have some levels of differing views on vigilantism, they both make it clear that it is an incredibly pertinent concept in today's society. They both use a method which entails of instead of describing directly what kind of character one has in the work of literature, or being straight forward and explaining how the plot is going to develop, the authors use a much more subtle approach through the views of vigilante justice to convey these ideas. It is exactly these sort of delicate literary techniques that makes these works not just great reads, but in my mind, works of art. Word Count: 1218 Solender 1
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