Essay on Honor in Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Essay on Honor in Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, the theme of honor is one that presents itself throughout the novel by having a major role in the plot. In a small town in Colombia, honor is taken very seriously. Angela Vicario, a young bride, is returned to her family for not having her virginity intact. When her twin brothers find out about their sister’s dishonorable actions, they set out to murder the man who they believe did this.
“On the other hand, the fact that Angela Vicario dared put on the veil and the orange blossoms without being a virgin would be interpreted afterwards as a profanation of the symbols of purity” (Márquez 41). From the quotation, it has been revealed at this point in the novel that Angela is not a virgin. As a bride in the small town, one is expected to have chastity which is why they have the veil and orange blossoms to represent the purity a young bride should have. However, Angela is not a virgin and is dishonoring the veil and orange blossoms by using them when she is not known to be pure. Therefore, after the revelation of this, the act is seen as a defiance of the glory of purity.
On the whole account, however, Angela is a dishonor as herself, especially in the small town of Colombia that the novel is set in. Pura Vicario, Angela’s mother, would not let the girl out of her sight with Bayardo San Roman, her fiancé, as to “watch over her honor” (Márquez 37). Angela’s two confidantes tell that the linen sheet upon the bed would be enough to show Bayardo that she was a virgin if she herself stained it with something that represents the blood of lost purity. If she followed her friends’ advice then “on her first morning as a newlywed she could display open under the sun in the courtyard of her house the linen s...


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... with. The author portrays that the townspeople believe that as long as one justifies themselves rightfully with doing their actions in honor than they should do no wrong. Pura protects her daughter from further shaming herself by covering her in dressings that do not show the perhaps mourning of her secret lover.
In conclusion, the theme of honor affects the plot from beginning to end. All of the characters are highly influenced by it. Without the author’s careful construction of the theme, the supposed justification of the murder of Santiago Nasar and other actions in the novel would be inapplicable and pointless. As the judge is shown to be portrayed in his notes “there should be the untrammeled fulfillment of a death so clearly foretold” (Márquez 99).



Works Cited

Márquez, Gabriel. Chronicle of a Death Foretold . New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1982. Print.

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