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Historical background

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Danny Yoo

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of Historical background

Content Layout
1. Real-Life connection

2. Historical Background of Colombia

3. Cultural background of Colombia

4. Evidences from the Novella
Historical background
Colombian Civil Wars
Discussion Questions
Real-life Connections
- Depicts a real incident that occurred in Sucre, Colombia
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
By Anousheh Emadi, Alex Hsu and Danny Yoo

Historical and cultural background
To what extent is the novella "real" to you? How did the author establish the idea of "realness" in your mind?
From the cultural and historical background previously discussed, do you think that it was strange for the townspeople to indulgently allow the Vicario brothers to kill Santiago Nasar?
Evidences in the novella
- Time: Monday, 22, January 1951
- Marquez's himself and his family members also appeared in the novel as members of the town.
Cayetano Gentile:

Tall, elegant, wealthy son of successful Italian immigrants.
Good friend of Marquez's
Margarita Chica Salas:

22-year-old local schoolteacher
Miguel Reyes Palencia:

29-year-old scion of a landowning family and good friends with Cayetano.
Married Margarita but later returned her to her family.
Thousand Days' War (1899-1902): Conflict between Conservatives and Liberals
While the Conservatives stood for a strong centralized government and the continuation of traditional class and clerical privileges, the Liberals believed in universal suffrage and the complete separation of church and state.
Jose Joaquin and Victor Manuel:
Brothers of Margarita
Not twins
Murdered Cayetano after hearing that he had deflowered their sister
Similarities and Differences
Intention behind the murder

The Marriage
Reality: The Chica brothers pressured Miguel into marrying Margarita
Book: Bayardo San Roman chose arbitrarily whom to marry
Returning of the bride to the family
Characteristics of the people involved in the murder
Result: Conservatives technically win war. Real losers were people of Colombia, as thousands of lives were lost and country was ravaged.
Course of murder
Thoughts and actions taken by the townspeople during the murder
Columbia lost Panama-- their valuable territory-- in 1903 after USA supported the separatist movement for their imperialistic plans
Cayetano (Santiago) at the Port
Reality: He went to bid farewell to Miguel and Margarita before they go off to honeymoon
Book: He went to receive the bishop wearing white linen shirt and pants
Evidences in the novella
Family Background
Reality: Miguel Palencia is of Italian background
Book: Bayardo San Roman is of Hispanic-Arabic background
Historical Background
Birth of Latin American Culture

Magic Realism - The "coincidences"
Settled mostly by Portuguese and Spanish immigrants, Latin American culture is derived from both its European newcomers and its native inhabitants' traditions.
Spanish and Portuguese easily overcame native populations--then replaced their religions with Catholicism
Natives died from diseases brought to them by Europeans, so they were replaced by a new generation known as mestizos: a mix of male immigrants and female natives.
Book reveals the dictatorial dominance that men enjoy over women
The book also mocks the corrupted nature of religion
Arabs have a powerful influence over the Colombian society
The actual course of event itself seems just too coincidental to be true.
Why did the author base the story upon his own experiences instead of creating a fictitious one? How does this affect your perspective towards the novel?
P. 5 - "It was his attire for special occasions. If it hadn't been for the bishop's arrival, he would have dressed in his khaki outfit and the riding boots he wore on Mondays to go to The Divine Face."
P. 31 – “The brothers were brought up to be men. The girls were brought up to be married. They knew how to do screen embroidery, sew by machine, weave bone lace, wash and iron, make artificial flowers and fancy candy, and write engagement announcements… my mother thought there were no better-reared daughters. 'They're perfect,' she was frequently heard to say. 'Any man will be happy with them because they've been raised to suffer.'”
P. 39 – “The groom received a convertible with his name engraved in Gothic letters under the manufacturer’s seal. The bride was given a chest with table settings in pure gold for twenty-four guests. They also brought in a ballet company and two waltz orchestras that played out of tune with the local bands and all the groups of brass and accordion players who came, animated by the uproar of the revelry.”
P. 89 – “Her mother, in her grouchy old age, received me like a difficult ghost. She refused to talk about the past, and for this chronicle I had to be satisfied with a few disconnected phrases from her conversations with my mother, and a few others rescued from my memories.”
Mestizos, remaining natives and African slaves made up the lower class of Latin Americans.
Upper class included whites from Spain and Portugual known as peninsulares
Historical Background
When Ibrahim Nasar comes to the village after the end of the civil wars, Marquez is alluding to the Columbian wars for Independence.
Colombia--called New Granada at the time-- experienced a seperatist movement in the 1700's
Cultural Background
Cultural Background
Struggle for Independence

Colombia achieved their independence in 1810, which ultimately led to the creation of the Republic of Colombia
Regional groups

Costenos - the coastal Caribbean
- generally on the Liberals side
- racially mixed people

Cachacos - the central Highland
- generally on the Conservative side
- more racially homogeneous
Main ethnic groups

-Mestizos (58%) - people of combined European and Native American descent

-Mulattos (14%) - people of combined European and African descent


-Most Colombians consider themselves as Roman Catholics

-The Catholic Church has been very paramount to Colombians as it dealt with personal affairs such as marriages and family life

-Colombians see the Church as the centre of their communities

-The Church also has influences in areas such as education, social welfare, and union organization
Role of family

- very significant in the Colombian social structure
- sources of support and advice; family members become loyal to each other
- even extended families live very close by to support each other
- the elderly are respected for their age and experiences
Historical background
Colombian Civil Wars
La Violencia
(1948-58): Civil war between Conservative Party, Liberal Party and Communist Party
The assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a Liberal Party presidential candidate who was very popular, caused riots which arguably triggered the war

-Courtship: the period in a couple's relationship which precedes the couple's engagement or marriage
-Colombians go through courtship before deciding whether engagement or marriage will be appropriate

ex. Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman
-BSR shows his wealth to Angela by stubbonly asking widower Xius to sell his house to BSR.
The Liberal and Communist Party forces fought against the Conservatives, and occasionally against each other.
Church authorities supported the Conservative Party
Because of the civil war, there were no liberal candidates for the presidency in the 1950 elections
La Violencia
is estimated to have cost the lives of 200,000 people
Rituals (cont.)

Letter writing

- Angela writes letters to Bayardo
- the two are satisfied for different reasons

-The characters in this novella are interconnected with a powerful construction of honour

-ex. the motive behind Santiago's murder
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