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Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Ewoud R

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Context
Ewoud , Ana, Joo Yeon, and Ibrahim

During the 1950's, urban migration occurred and Colombia sees it's first middle class emerge. The elite class is made up of mostly non-Colombians. They are usually born into power and have financial security and political power
-rituals of Latin American marriages

Machismo& Honor
1849, Colombia developed into 2 political parties:
Liberals vs. Conservatives

both are repressive
both are corrupt
both abuse power
Marquez's family's influence
Racism and Arab-Spanish Mixture
unloaded gun(106), 7 minutes(110)
A period of time that Márquez lived through is a horrible episode of Colombian history called la violencia, or "the Violence." The Violence had its roots in the banana massacre
In the setting of the novel, formal education such as reading and literacy was not prevalent. Thus,
with no word to express emotions, violence or a form of action became a means to send messages.

Garcia Márquez identifies himself as a mestizo and a costeño.
Costeños are one of Colombia’s main racial groups.
They are racially mixed and very superstitious.
Omen& Superstition
Márquez, just like 90% of Latin Americans, is a Roman Catholic Christian.
This is why there are such a large number of allusions to Christianity.
Inspiration for Chronicle of a Death Foretold
“On the day they were going to kill him, Cayetano Gentile Chimento got up without realizing he was going to die."

- Sound familiar?

The Real Story
Chimento had deflowered Margarita Chica Salas before her marriage to Miguel Reyel Palencia.
When Palencia found out, he returned Margarita to the Chica Salas family.
Two brothers from the Chica Salas family stabbed Chimento to death.
About the Author:
Gabriel Garcia Márquez
Marquez is Roman Catholic
Immigration in Colombia when Marquez was a teenager
Supernatural tales, omen, and fate are a very big part of Colombian and Latin culture
Marquez grew up listening to his grandmother’s tales about ghost and supernatural things which helped shape who he is as a person
Born in Aracataca, Colombia
Mother of Narrator and Márquez’s mother are both called Luisa Santiaga.
Throughout Discussion, Keep These Questions in Mind:
In what ways do time and place matter in this work?
What was easy to understand and what was difficult in relation to social and cultural context and issues?
What connections did you find between issues in the work and your own culture and experience?
What aspects of technique are interesting in the work?
When do you think this event happened?
How do time and place matter?
Does it shock you that this actually happened?
What is real and which "magical" elements did Márquez add?
Classism Corruption Racism and
Arab-Spanish Mixture
Too much of a coincidence to be an incident?
Warning note
the day of the death
What do you think is the role of fate?
Show off wealth and power
tool to financial and social success
rituals related to the 'purity'
Many Muslim Arabs immigrated to Colombia from places such as Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine during early 1900s due to oppression by Ottoman empire during 1940s.
Over many years, there is a gradual loss of knowledge of Arabic culture and a loss of Arabic tradition.
In Colombia, less Arabic being spoken amongst Arabs is partially caused by them converting from Islam to Catholicism.
Most Colombians are Catholic, and the strict Spanish-Catholic churches were narrow-minded especially when it came to those who were of different faiths.
Arabs had to conform to the Spanish Society and this also included a language change.
Beneficial for Arabs to conform, as it would have spared them from discrimination and being judged by Colombians.

Community and Time
In Márquez’s hometown Aracataca, just like in any other small village anywhere else in the world, everybody knows each other, and most people are each other's relatives.
How do classism, corruption, and racism (Arab-Spanish mixture) appear in the novel?
Are these topics different now as compared to when the events of in the novel took place?
Any connections to our modern-day society?

Discussions Qs: Classism, Corruption, Racism
Time is non-existent: nobody is busy with an important job and everybody seems to have plenty of free time on their hands
What role does honor play in cultural aspect
How have the roles of men and women changed from Márquez's time until modern-day society?
Is the crime justified in the cultural context?
What aspect influenced Marquez to use this theme?
-His grandmother had a great influence on Marquez-
constant storytelling of superstitions ,folk beliefs,
premonition, omens etc..

-He believed them to be the 'source of magical, superstitions
and supernatural view of reality'

Márquez's grandfather was Colonel Nicolás Ricardo Márquez Mejía, a Liberal veteran of the War of a Thousand Days.
He is one of the founders of Aracataca.
The Colonel was an excellent storyteller with an intriguing life
When he was younger he shot and killed a man in a duel
He experienced the banana plantation massacres first-hand
He would speak of his wartime exploits as if they were "almost pleasant experiences -- sort of youthful adventures with guns."
He told his young grandson that there was no greater burden than to have killed a man, a lesson that García Márquez would later put into the mouths of his characters.
How is violence different now and when Márquez grew up?
For which reasons is murder justified? Is it ever?
Do you think that Colombia's long history of violence has affected Márquez's writing style?
How have improvements in technology (such as the internet) changed our sense of community?
What effect do the other themes (racism, classism, corruption, superstition) have the sense of community in the novel?
Full transcript