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The Use of Birds in Chronical of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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In the novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, birds are used as motifs intentionally in the imagery of scenes to convey sentiments, ideas and messages to the reader. Some of the roles taken by the symbolism of birds include indicating signs of the future and afterlife, supporting character portrayal and development throughout the text. The symbolism of birds is discussed in the essay because the recurring images of birds have a pertinent significance to the novella.
In literature, birds are commonly viewed as signs of freedom while in flight, yet while they are entrapped in cages, they symbolize the struggle for freedom. Gabriel Garcia’s usage of birds has both common and uncommon roles in the novel. The birds play a common role when protagonist Santiago Nasar walks through his house “among the cages of sleeping birds,” (Marquez 13).In this context, the birds represent a more cultural element rather than one of struggle as they do not appear to be suffering in their sleep. Another instance in which the motif of birds illuminates a role uncommon to most literature is when Angela Vicario’s “life as a rejected wife continued; […] [making] paper birds,” (Marquez 93). The paper birds add to the gloomy tone of the scene as Angela’s love for Bayardo San Roman is prolonged by her continuing to make of paper birds which represent love and marriage. The birds additionally convey the message to the reader that Angela is forced to return to her dull, unmarried life and as a result she “became a virgin again” (93). Along with this passage, there are several other examples in the novella in which birds appear in scenes with more than one role.
Because Gabriel Garcia Marquez included birds in several parts of the tex...


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...s means the use of birds in the novel had to have been intentional just as many other elements of the text. The birds are bad omens that are associated with foreshadowing misfortune and sorrow, particularly in Santiago’s mother’s interpretations of other’s dreams. Lastly, the birds help portray Santiago Nasar’s transition in the plot from an openhearted and kind, yet predatory, “lady-killer” (76) to a “little wet” (114) oblivious individual subdued by a “bewilderment of innocence” (101). The birds effectively convey additional sentiments and subliminal messages attached to the main themes of the novel. The use of birds in Gabriel Garcia’s figurative imagery ties into “pursuit of love” being similar to falconry. After all, Gabriel Garcia Marquez would not have implemented them into his writing had he felt that the birds did not have any relevance at all to the text.



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