1,373 words Tessa Browne
29/04/10 English A1 HL
The murder scene in Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a very significant scene. In this scene, the Vicario brothers kill Santiago Nassar for allegedly taking Angela’s virginity. Though the reader knows from the beginning that Santiago dies, they do not know how he dies. In this ending scene, it revealed to the reader exactly how he dies in great detail. This short extract not only provides the climax of the novel, but also the anti-climax. This reflects how the murder of Santiago did not take very long in the story. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s word choice in Chronicle of a Death Foretold enhances the effect of this scene on the reader as it heightens the imagination. Marquez also builds up the tension in this scene very effectively. He makes use of bathos in this last scene, which further enhances the effect on the reader. The murder scene answers all the questions the reader has had from the beginning of the novel. It is for this reason that the murder scene is so imperative.
Marquez makes use of bathos in the murder/ending scene of his novel. Early on in the passage, the Vicario twins claim they were ‘scared when [they] saw him face on’ (p. 119). Because the reader views Santiago as the protagonist of the novel, they are relieved when it is implied that he has a chance with not being killed (even though they know he dies). This is taken away when he dies at the end. The Vicario brothers very brutally murder Santiago Nassar, ‘Pablo Vicario gave him a horizontal slash on the stomach, and all his intestines exploded out.’. This is very shocking to the reader; it is very intense. At this point, the reader is very excited and eager to read on. However, after Santiago was near death Argenida Lanao stated that ‘Santiago Nassar walked with his usual good bearing, measuring his steps well…handsomer than ever…smiled at them…’ (p.122). This proves the anti-climax of the novel. After all the excitement, he does not die in a very dramatic way. He is very calm, which contrasts with what has happened to him. This confuses the reader and forces him or her to switch from being excited to being calm, just like Santiago has to do in the novel. At the very end of the passage, Poncho Lanao says ‘What I’ll never forget was the terrible smell of shit’ (p.122). After all the fighting and all the suspense, all he remembers is this smell. It is through this that Marquez makes the greatest use of bathos in the novel. It is almost a letdown; the only thing that Santiago is remembered for by this man is the fact that he smelled extremely bad. This also reflects Santiago’s character. Instead of screaming in pain, he is smiling and polite as ever after everything that has happened. ‘They’ve killed me…fell on his face in the kitchen.’ (p.122) This is how he dies. It is not big or exaggerated; it is calm just like his personality was.