Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Many authors parallel the protagonists of their novels to other figures in order to make a direct comparison. Throughout the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez forms a congruence between Santiago Naser and Jesus Christ. While parallels between both men are woven within the pages, revelations of the corrupt societies are distinguished as the deaths of Santiago and Jesus essentially epitomize the cultural traditions that were destroyed by their lives, but revived through their deaths.

The portrayal of Santiago Naser develops into a direct parallel of Jesus Christ. At the beginning of the novel “Santiago put on a shirt and pants of white linen”(5). Since white is the color of innocence, this choice of clothing promotes an innocence in Santiago Naser. Just as Jesus wore a white linen cloth before he was to die, Santiago too wears white linen the day that he is supposed to die. This immediate comparison with Jesus Christ thus sets up the rest of the novel as a symbolic reference. The most direct parallels come during the narration of the direct killing of Santiago and the description of the body after the murder occurs. Marquez explains that “The knife went through the palm of his right hand and then sank into his side up to the hilt. Everybody heard his cry of pain”(139). Once again an absolute parallel is seen here. Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross by means of the palms of his hands. And just as the soldiers stabbed a wound in His side in order to ensure He was dead, the Vicario brothers stabbed the knife into the side of Santiago. In addition to all the parallels of this single quote, the explanation that “Everybody heard hi...

... middle of paper ... honor. The society believed that if Santiago remained in the civilization he would be defying the traditional values. Jesus Christ also faced these traditional values within His society. Christ was killed to uphold the tradition of the church. By Christ claiming He was God, the church had been defied and thus became angry. Through the death of Jesus Christ though, the church believed that the traditional values could be upheld and remain unchanged. Overall, the comparisons between Santiago and Christ were uncountable. Marquez weaves the Biblical ideas throughout his novel in order to promote the destruction and recreation of cultural traditions. In doing so, the corrupt actions of the society were made known as the faults in people thoughts were confirmed.


Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. Chronicles of a Death Foretold, 1982,

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