Analysis of – Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Chronicle of a death foretold is a unique novel. Its uniqueness is its narrative and in the way it successfully unites all the elements of storytelling in a powerful inextricable web to recount how justice is rightly dispensed, in a story where the murder of the protagonist is known beforehand by almost all of the people except the victim. It is the story of the murder of Santiago Nasar, and how destiny brought it about.
Marquez is the detective who tries to reconstruct the murder and its happenings as they occurred in his native town over twenty years before, hence the use of the term chronicle in the title. The theme of the story is how love and hate are interlinked with human destiny. Marquez uses the setting as the foundation of the story. It takes place in a small Columbian town, traditional in its values and beliefs where honor and its upkeep are the most important things. Hence, when Bayardo San Roman discovers that Angela Vicario was not a virgin before her marriage, he brings her back to her parents’ house and to salvage her honor, the Vicario brothers have no recourse save to murder Santiago though they had all drunk together at her wedding the night before. The setting is one of the most crucial elements in the story and crucial to the credibility and believability of the story. Characterization is also intricately detailed, especially that of Santiago, Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman. Symbolism is also used to reinforce the forcefulness of the story, especially when Santiago’s mother wrongly interprets his dreams before he leaves the house that fatal morning.
All in all, this novel is without equal, in the uncommonness of the story and the recounting of it.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Trans. Gregory Rabassa New York: Ballantine books, 1984
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