Gabriel García Márquez and Chronicle of a Death Foretold Essay

Gabriel García Márquez and Chronicle of a Death Foretold Essay

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Although prostitution may be one of the world’s oldest professions to this day it is seen as a degrading and disrespectful career especially when regarding female prostitutes. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, the town is very critical and strict about chastity and premarital sex. Maria Alejandrina Cervantes is the town madam which by society’s standards makes her to most marginalized, but ironically she is not brought down by her society’s rules. Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses characterization and irony to demonstrate Maria Alejandrina Cervantes’s contradictory role and to develop the theme of going against society in Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
Garcia Marquez presents Maria Cervantes as highly respected and a powerful woman through the use religious allusions or references when developing Maria Cervantes. In the beginning of the story the narrator says that he was sitting “in the apostolic lap of Maria Alejandrina Cervantes” (5). By referring to Maria Cervantes’s lap as apostolic Garcia Marquez creates situational irony. The apostles were the disciples of Jesus Christ so by giving Maria apostolic qualities creates irony mainly because Maria Cervantes’s profession is more than often condemned by religion. By having the narrator on Maria Cervantes’s lap like a child the author creates the presence of dominance with Maria Cervantes because she shaped the lives of the men in the town. Another religious allusion is Maria Alejandrina Cervantes’s name. Her first name Maria is a reference to the Virgin Mary which creates more irony given Maria’s career. Despite the town’s use of religion as reasoning to their critique they failed to realize their hypocrisy because Jesus Christ was known to show compassion towards prostitutes like Mary...


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...is in an extremely vulnerable state which creates irony because she is in the opposite paradise because of Santiago’s death. Her mourning creates more sympathy within the reader and creates more depth.
Maria Alejandrina Cervantes is a rare dominant female in the novel who by society’s standard should be marginalized due to her career and gender but she refuses to conform and chooses to go against her society. She is shown to be headstrong and fiercely protective of her friends and always accepting others. Through his use of situational irony and characterization, Gabriel Garcia Marquez portrays the town’s madam, Maria Alejandrina Cervantes, as a contradictory character and her fight against her society’s restricting beliefs.



Works Cited

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Trans. Gregory Rabassa. New York:
Vintage International, 2003. Print.

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