Theme Of Gender Roles In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold

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The Cultural Value of Gender Roles and Honor as a Motivating Force
“The ends justify the means” – Niccolo Machiavelli. This is a quote we often hear, meaning the end results will compensate for our actions. In the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, this is the general mindset of several characters because honor is their priority. Honesty, fairness and integrity in one’s beliefs and actions are qualities that one must acquire to be honorable. Often, these values and desires to be honorable originate in the cultural values of society. Gabriel Garcia Marquez puts these values on display in Chronicle of a Death Foretold; this is achieved by the establishment of the strong connection between honor and gender roles. The connection acts as a major
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Values of society can likely cause individuals to fall into defined roles. These roles are one of the main motivations behind some of the character’s actions. For both males and females, they must make choices that will honor their family. Several women in Chronicle of a Death Foretold are placed into situations where they must put their family’s honor before their own desires. The Vicario family, Angela, as well as her sisters “had been reared to get married” (31). Marquez shows this to be the “purpose” of women in society. In spite of what the woman may want, she is put into the role of being a child bearer and is raised her whole life to be married. Likewise, Prudencia Cotes is an example of a woman’s life revolving around marriage. She “wait[ed] three years without a moment of discouragement until Pablo Vicario got out of jail and became her husband for life” (63). Prudencia Cotes is a minor character in the novel, however, Marquez’s choice to include her additionally emphasizes that marriage is a woman’s “calling.” The relationship between Bayardo San Roman and Angela Vicario makes the limited authority of a woman apparent. The courting period of their relationship is very brief. Pura Vicario admires the high social status and wealth of Bayardo and quickly agrees when he asks for Angela’s hand in marriage. Marquez seemingly displays the traditional…show more content…
Females are expected to be pure and to follow the wants of the males. Men have the obligation to obtain authority and to demonstrate machismo, when this role is fulfilled, they are seen as honorable. The actions of characters such as Bayardo and the Vicario brothers, their actions are all very prompt. Marquez’s choice to do so can highlight the pressing obligation on males as well as their power and authority. Upon arriving in the town, Bayardo quickly chooses Angela and decides that he would like to marry her. With a very brief courting period and virtually no consent from Angela, Bayardo asserts his dominance over her and is able to make the marriage a reality. Additionally, the act of returning Angela home - with force - portrays Bayardo’s authority; after the revelation of Angela’s impurity, Bayardo is able to simply return her home. Following Bayardo’s assertiveness, Marquez transitions into Pedro and Pablo Vicario’s machismo. Pedro’s past experience prove him to be an authoritarian figure that is an ultimate demonstration of machismo. Pedro Vicario spent a period in the army and this is typically, seen as a highly honorable action. When Angela is returned home, the brothers receive the duty of re-establishing their family’s honor; carrying out this responsibility is seen as an honorable act. During the execution of the Vicario brother’s plan, they are
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