very question, the question of whether the desires of society can overshadow
the needs of an individual.
If a man cries out in a forest, and no one around him cares, does he
make a sound? In his Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia
Marquez raises that very question, the question of whether the desires
of society can overshadow the needs of an individual. In his
Chronicle, two brothers, Pablo and Pedro Vicario, arbitrarily murder a
young man named Santiago Nasar. Marquez' presented conflict, however,
is the reason that the brothers give to justify their crime: honor.
Marquez' point is that societal values, such as honor, have become
more important than the inherent good of human life. Marquez, though,
does not openly portray this message; instead, he uses satirical
literary devices. In this passage, for instance, he uses an apathetic
tone and a satirical allusion to religion to invoke his point in his
The most ubiquitous aspect of Marquez' style is his journalistic tone,
an objective, seemingly apathetic tone; ironically, it elicits a
response of bias against the societal values. The reason for this
ironic discrepancy is that Marquez' apathetic tone is obviously
satire. For example, as he unemotionally states that the brothers
"stood by the thesis of homicide in legitimate defense of honor"
(Marquez 55), he purposefully neglects to include commentary. When he
adds that this defense was "upheld by the court in good faith"
(Marquez 55), there is likewise no hint of personal opinion. It is
this very lack of emotion that produces an emotional response; his
audience, compelled by their human nature, must necessaril...
... middle of paper ...
Marquez' uniqueness stems from the fact that he forces the reader to
extract the theme for himself, rather than writing it directly, by
using an apathetic style and satire. Instead of using allegory or
metaphor, comparing some tangential story to the human condition, he
describes the human condition as it truly exists, leaving the
interpretation to he who reads it. Instead of using rhetorical devices
to describe his theme, he uses rhetorical devises to force the theme,
and uses his audience's human nature to describe it. In essence, a
person reading the Chronicle becomes Marquez'. A person immerses
himself in a world where something is amiss, and extracts some evil,
some discrepancy. That person, by deriving the evil, is Marquez' means
for conveying his theme. Therefore, Marquez is less a manipulator of
words, and more a manipulator of the human soul.
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