Human Selfishness and Ignorance Portrayed in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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In the story Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez portrays how the bystander effect impacts the people around Santiago Nasar to act submissively revealing how people do not want to help others in difficult situations, unless it directly affects them. Marquez informs readers how individuals only see the different ways for personal gain, thereby not having “time” to help others in need. As Santiago Nasar nears his death, many of those who are informed of it do nothing to save his life, as they all rely on others to help rather than taking matters into their own hands and stepping up. Ignorance by specific townspeople, like Angela Vicario, Lazaro Aponte, Clotilde Armenta, and even a friend, Cristo Bedoya. Each person’s ignorance caused them to fail in helping a fellow citizen to their small town while some did not take enough initiative in preventing the murder. Selfish reasons forces an individual to point the finger onto to another so the focus is changed to someone else. After her newlywed husband, Bayrado San Roman, returned her to her house after finding out that she was not a virgin, Angela Vicario was interrogated by her two brothers, Pablo and Pedro, as to who was the culprit in taking her virginity before she was married off. After the severe beating by her mother, her two brothers were summoned and when they both insisted that she say the name of the man who defiled her, she “looked for it in the shadows [and] found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names…and she nailed it to the wall…” (Marquez 47). During this time period, it was considered honorable for the men in a family to regain the lost pride of the family name by any means possible, and it was true that Angela knew that. As... ... middle of paper ... ...all want to believe that the crime was truly “foretold”, and that nothing could have been done to change that, each one of the characters share in a part of Santiago Nasar’s death. Gabriel Garcia Marquez writes about the true selfishness and ignorance that people have today. Everyone waits for someone else to step in and take the lead so something dreadful can be prevented or stopped. What people still do not notice is that if everyone was to stand back and wait for others, who is going to be the one who decides to do something? People don’t care who gets hurt, as long as it’s not themselves, like Angela Vicario, while other try to reassure themselves by thinking that they did all that they could, like Colonel Lazaro Aponte and Clotilde Armenta. And finally, some people try to fight for something necessary, but lose track of what they set out for in the first place.

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