Religion in The Chronicle of a Death Foretold Essay

Religion in The Chronicle of a Death Foretold Essay

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In The Chronicle of a Death Foretold, religion acts as a foremost determinant of the meaning of Santiago’s murder and parallels biblical passages. Gabriel García Márquez employs religious symbolism throughout his novella which alludes to Christ, his familiars, and his death on the cross. There are many representations throughout the novella that portray these biblical references, such as the murder of Santiago, the Divine Face, the cock’s crowing and the characters, Bayardo San Roman, Maria Cervantes, Divina Flor, and the Vicario children.
Santiago is, undoubtedly, crafted as a Christ figure, from his innocence to his crucifixion. His innocence is derived from the narrator’s doubt and the doubt invoked in the reader, that Santiago deflowered Angela prior to her marriage; he is murdered for this reason. In the novella, Santiago attempts to flee from Pedro and Pablo Vicario once he realizes that they are out to kill him; unfortunately, he does not make it into the safety of his home. As the stabbing progresses, Santiago stops defending himself and lets the brothers continue “knifing him against the door with alternate and easy stabs” (Márquez 118). With the surrender of Santiago, the entire town became horrified “by its own crime” (Márquez 118).
Just as Santiago gave into his assailants the biblical Christ never fought against the will of the people in Jerusalem and in the end, all the people of Jerusalem came to see Jesus on the cross for they knew that they were at fault. Also like Christ, Santiago received stabbings “through the palm of his right hand” (Márquez 117) as well as “a horizontal slash across the stomach” (Márquez 119). Santiago wore white linen at the time of his death, to symbolize the innocence and purity o...


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...the docks” spraying those who were waiting with holy water as a sign of baptism (Márquez 17).
The biblical references throughout the Chronicle of a Death Foretold help identify the characters, Bayardo San Roman, Maria Cervantes, Divina Flor, and the Vicario children, and add depth to the death of Santiago. Without the many religious symbols such as, the Divine Face, the murder of Santiago, the cocks crowing, and the characters, there would be little weight placed on the reactions of the townspeople towards the knowledge of Santiago’s impending death. The religious symbols solidify the idea that Christ has come again in many different forms and ideas, yet dies to renew the people’s covenant with the Lord. “Give me prejudice and I will move the world” (Márquez 100).



Works Cited

García, Márquez Gabriel. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. New York: Knopf, 1983. Print.

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