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Transcript of ~Meaningful Names~
Gabriel Garcia Marquez utilizes symbolism on every page. Even the names of the characters are symbolic, relating to the actions they take--or, in some cases, the actions they do not take.
Santiago: Saint James, the patron saint of Spain
Nasar: Help and Support
Saint James was executed with a sword, just as the Vicario twins execute Santiago with their knives. Though his surname means "help," Santiago receives none.
Angels are common symbols of purity within the Catholic Church. However, Angela defies Catholic tradition and teaching of purity, instead losing her virginity before marriage.
Purisima is a very strict mother and raises her children to perfectly fit the roles of marianismo and machismo. When Angela defies Purisima's teachings, Purisima spends the rest of her life punishing Angela for being "impure."
As with Pedro and Pablo, the meaning of "Vicario" applies to her. She does everything on behalf of her family, to the point that others sometimes forget she exists.
Bayardo San Román
San Román: Saint Roman
A member of Saint Roman Adame's church betrayed him to Colonel Quinones, who imprisoned Adame and demanded a large payment. He received the payment but executed Adame anyway.
Similarly, Angela betrayed Bayardo, so the exorbitant sum spent on the wedding went to waste, just as the bribe payed to Quinones was ineffective.
When Pedro and Pablo come to wait in Clotilde's shop, Clotilde sells them liquor in an attempt to deter them from killing Santiago, and she asks everyone to warn him. In a way, she attempts to herd the twins away from murder and Nasar away from death.
Nahir: "clear, bright"
Miguel: "he who is like God"
Nahir Miguel warns Santiago of the Vicario twins' plan and attempts to keep him safe. He remains clearheaded while warning Nasar, whereas everyone else who does the same panics and shouts.
Divina: Divine, Heavenly
Flor: Flowering or in bloom
Divina is described as beautiful. At the time of Nasar's murder, she is youthful and "in bloom," and Nasar suggests "the time has come for [her] to be tamed" (García Márquez, 9).
Victoria: Victory; Saint Victoria
Victoria hates Santiago because he is like his father and harasses her daughter, Divina. Thus, Victoria is victorious when Santiago dies, as he can no longer harm Divina.
She is named after a Catholic saint, like many others in the town. Like those others, she does nothing to help Nasar.
Pedro y Pablo Vicario
Pedro is in the army. He has the idea to kill Santiago.
Pablo: Small or Humble, Saint Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church
When Pedro begins to change his mind about killing Santiago, Pablo insists they go through with the murder.
Vicario: a status name for an official who carries out duties on behalf of an absentee officer
The brothers kill Santiago to return their sister's honor, thus they kill him on behalf of their family.
Every character's name connects to their role. Besides the eleven examples given, numerous minor characters are named after saints or other religious topics but, ironically, do not do the "Christian" thing and help Santiago.
Why did Garcia Marquez choose a meaningful
name for every character?
Indalecio Pardo--A friend of Santiago's, whom Pedro and Pablo challenge to warn Santiago of their plan. He is ultimately too scared to do anything. St. Indalecio was a disciple of St. James
Faustino Santos--the butcher who warns a police officer of the Vicario twins' plan. "Faustino" means "lucky," and "Santos" means "saints"
Father Amador--the local priest who rings the church bells to warn Santiago. "Amador" means "love"