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Bird Imagery in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Christian Natividad

on 5 January 2013

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Transcript of Bird Imagery in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

The Courting of Women The Taming: In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, bird imagery is initially used to portray the nature of typical romantic relationships established within the novel’s cultural setting. As the novel progresses, the symbol generates a means by which Marquez may comment upon these relationships. Bird Imagery
in Chronicle of a Death Foretold The falcon that dares
With heron to fight
Has danger in sight.
The falcon that flies
And with heron would race,
So keen on the chase
That not hidden it lies,
But still with it vies,
And fears not its might,
Has danger in sight.


That by day misery,
By night sorrows prove.
The falcon that strove
With heron in flight
Had danger in sight. Falcon and Heron Vicente (105) And the chase of love
Is high falconry, Three main aspects:
- The hunt and capture of falcon.
- The training of the falcon.
- The falcon follows the falconer's commands. Hunt and Capture: “In any case, not even [Bayardo’s] family ... [had] the slightest idea of what he had come to do in a mislaid town, with no other apparent aim than to marry a woman he had never seen.” (Marquez 87) • Bayardo san Roman chooses to become a married man; his
marriage is not a product of his love for Angela Vicario. • Angela states that she does not love Bayardo. Her family
encourages the marriage based on Bayardo's desirable
socioeconomic profile. • Relationships are established as men find a desirable woman and court
her into marriage. Aspects of love are exempted from these practices. “Any man will be happy with them because they've been raised to suffer” (Marquez 31). “[Angela and her sisters] had been reared to get married. They knew how to do screen embroidery, sew by machine, weave bone lace, [et cetera] … [and] the four were past mistresses in the ancient science of sitting up with the ill, comforting the dying, and enshrouding the dead” (Marquez 31). The Rearing of the Women • Relating to women's societal roles as mother's and wives. • Men assert dominance and control. The training of women teaches them to be submissive. • Men's mistreatment of women (such as their common lack of fidelity and sexual intentions) is seen throughout the book, although is acceptable as it adheres to the social norm. The Use of the Falcon:
The Man's Desires • The most common reasons for relationships as portrayed by Santiago
and Bayardo's interactions with women, are for pride or lust. • Upon considering Bayardo's relationship with Angela, it appears
Bayardo sought sexual fulfillment under an honourable social
form. • Angela could not fulfill this desire as she was found to be impure;
this is why the relationship irrefutably ends. Santiago Nasar "From his father, [Santiago] learned at a very early age the manipulation of firearms, his love for horses, and the mastery of high-flying birds of prey, but from him he also learned the good arts of valor and prudence" (Marquez 7) “[Divina Flor] as yet a bit untamed, seemed overwhelmed by the drive of her glands. Santiago Nasar grabbed her by the wrist when she came to take the empty mug from him. ‘The time has come for you to be tamed,’ he told her.” (Marquez 9) • Santiago's trains Divina to tailor towards his sexual desires. "[The Nasars] were never seen armed in town, and the only time they brought in their trained birds was for a demonstration of falconry at a charity bazaar” (Marquez 7). Santiago Nasar • The Nasars show off their falcons at a public event in an act of pride. “[Santiago] was a sparrow hawk. He went about alone, just like his father, nipping the bud of any wayward virgin who began showing up in those woods, but in town no other relationship ever came to be known except… Flora… [and] Cervantes…” (90) • The town represents social structure. The facade of a relationship is
established for presentation here. In secret (or from a personal
perspective), however, men will pursue their unwholesome desires. Birds of Prey • More ruthless than falconry, relates directly towards hunting. • Displays sexual approaches towards women without the illusion of a relationship. “Divina Flor went ahead of him to open the door trying not to have him get ahead of her among the cages of sleeping birds ... but when she took the bar down, she couldn’t avoid the butcher hawk hand again. “He grabbed my whole [p****]…” (Marquez 13) Non-Predatory Birds “Xius told the mayor that he’d seen a phosphorescent bird fluttering over his former home, and he thought it was the soul of his wife, who was going about demanding what was hers.” (Marquez 84) “…embroidering by machine... was [Angela Vicario] half in mourning... and hanging about her head was a cage with a canary that didn’t stop singing.” (Marquez 88) "Sanitago Nasar lost his sense the first time he saw her. I warned him, ‘A falcon who chases a warlike crane can only hope for a life of pain.’” (Marquez 65) • Represents those unaffected by the typical structure of relationships. • Despite the lack of love and typified
emotionless presented by machismo,
dominance, Xius mourns his lost wife
with great sentiment. • Angela mourns her loss of Bayardo. She, instead, seeks to court him. “[Santiago] looked like a little wet bird,"
(Marquez 114) • Prior to this, Flora Miguel had returned all his love letters and states her
wish for Santiago to die by the Vicario's hands. Immediately before,
Nahir Miguel explains that Santiago had been condemned to death. • Machismo and its ramifications fade; the worth of sexual advances is
meaningless opposing death. • Machismo played a factor in the death of Santiago. If he committed the
crime, his sexuality is at fault. If he did not, he is still thus easily blamed. • Between Flora's rejection of Santiago, and Angela condemning him by
name, the previously asserted dominance seems to fade; Santiago is
helpless and hopeless with his lack of control. • Ultimately, without the illusion of machismo or a socially instilled status, Santiago is just as powerful or powerless as the women he dominates.
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