The Effect of Machismo in Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Chronicle of a Death Foretold consists of many different themes that can be recognized by the reader. One of these themes is the topic machismo. Machismo is a strong or exaggerated sense of manliness, sense of power, or the right to dominate. This theme in turn can be related to the theme of moral responsibility. In this novel the power to dominate is aimed towards women. Machismo used in this novel can also be observed as a form of emphasis on male pride and on the characters sexual behaviour. This story takes place during a time when women were looked at and considered to be inferior to men. Women at that time were looked at as a possession. They were the possession of their fathers, husbands, and even brothers. That is considered to be machismo. Machismo-an important part of Chronicle of a Death Foretold-can be seen in the emphasis on male pride in the novel and on the sexual behavior of the male characters. The men take pride in visiting Maria Cervantes's brothel, where they use women for sex. They are not ashamed of their actions, because their society endorses such desires and deeds. When Bayardo San Roman returns Angela Vicario, he demonstrates machismo-a woman is only worth marrying, he suggests, when she is a virgin; after that she is soiled. The Vicario brothers' murder of Santiago Nasar is also a machismo act-an attempt to take back Angela's honor by killing the man who deflowered her. As the string of events in the novel shows, the severe emphasis on masculine and feminine behavior leads to injustice. One man's use of machismo commits another man's use of it -Bayardo's refusal to accept Angela leads the Vicarios to kill Santiago without trial or evidence.