The significance of virginity in Chronicle of a Death Foretold as a reflection of the hypocrisy in the society

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Tittle: Significance of Virginity as a reflection of the hypocrisy in the society

Word Count: 1497

        The novella “Chronicle of a Death Foretoldby Gabriel Garcia Marquez is part fiction part history, and is based on an incident that took place in Sucre in 1951, where Marquez had been living with his family. In this melodramatic incident, a landowner, Miguel forsook his wife, Margarita, when he found on his wedding night that she was not a virgin. Through a journalist style, and the genre of magic realism, Marquez blends facts and fiction to show the farcical honor codes and double standards of the people of the society. This novel is a reflection of a society wherein every one is closely related to the other, yet the people are indifferent and elusive to the moral and ethical actions that are violated in the name of honor, religion and double standards. The use of the setting, characters and conflict help Marquez lash upon the virginity paradox, the hypocritical thinking and superficial religious values prevailing in Columbia.

        To begin with, Marquez chooses the Columbian town, which is deeply engulfed in the Latin American culture to show the poignancy of the importance of virginity and honor codes. The setting of this town is very instrumental in understanding the cultural and societal norms prevailing here. Through the setting, Marquez speaks of the people whose lives are filled with alehouses, whorehouses and gambling places. Marquez uses the natural setting of Columbia to establish surrealism, and also gives the reader a sense of what Latin culture is, which makes the death of Santiago  much more personal. Marquezs focus is on the cultural setting of the town rather than the historical setting. The quote On the upper deck, beside the captain's cabin, was the bishop in his white cassock and with his retinue of Spaniardsindicates that the Bishop, although a 20th century priest, is still wrapped in the vestiges of Spanish culture. He has his retinue and dress code, everything of which is a reminiscent of the long gone Spanish colonization. The Bishop is a man of authority for the people gathered around to welcome him. The reader does not understand why the Columbian people are still living in the shadows of the culture of the colonist country, although Columbia has long been liberated from the clutches of Imperialism. The setting shows that the people of the town are zealot catholic Christians, who wait on the river bank for the arrival of Bishop on every festive occasion.

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        The novel is a strong depiction of a society that has stereotyped values and sets for men and women. Man is the breadwinner. He has every right to enjoy his life, and  exercise his prerogative to choose from plenty of girls for marriage. Every woman in the society is earmarked as a conventional bride from her very childhood. The role of the women is confined to sewing,” “stitchingand embroidering. In contrast to this, The brothers were brought up to be men but the girls had been reared to get married.The quote claims that men are the rulers of the ...

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