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Chronicle of a Death Foretold Narration

A presentation for IB English 11
by

Victor Ying

on 23 May 2011

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Transcript of Chronicle of a Death Foretold Narration

Gabriel García Márquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold Chronicle n. a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence. (OED) a fictitious or factual work describing a series of events. Narration Jumps back and forth frequently

Switches frequently between citing and quoting the words of others and sharing his own opinions and experiences

“Journalistic” The story is being told by someone not present during the crucial events, going back and finding out what happened from other sources.

The narrator combines direct storytelling with supporting quotes and citations from other sources.

He writes with authority and an objective-sounding voice. “The narrator-investigator's total 'record' of his chronicle consists of nine citations from the written record and a total of 102 quotations from the thirty-seven characters.” (Bloom 260) Is the narrator objective? Who is he, anyways? Anonymous

Resident of the small Columbian town.

Was a college student, home on break.

Frequent patron of the town brothel, with a special ongoing relationship with the head of the brothel.



Spent some time “trying to understand something of [him]self by selling encyclopedias and medical books in the towns of Guajira” (Marquez 102).

Came back after many years to piece together the murder of his childhood friend. Does this indicate trustworthiness or objectivity? Anonymous → Not really.

Resident of the town → Not objective at all.

College student → Hardly proves competence at investigation.

Ongoing relationship at the brothel → Nope.

Had a brief career as a book salesman → Not an amazing career.

Is investigating a solved crime years later → Why? "I was recovering from the wedding revels in the apostolic lap of Maria Alejandrina Cervantes, and I only awakened with the clamor of the alarm bells, thinking they had turned them loose in honor of the bishop" (Marquez 2) The origin of
Chronicle of a Death Foretold “On January 22, 1951, Miguel Reyes Palencia returned his wife, Margarita Chica Salas, to her family on the morning after the nuptial night because she had not been a virgin. A short while later, Margarita’s brother, Victor Chica Salas, killed Cayetano Gentile Chimento for stealing his sister’s honor without an intention to marry her” (Pelayo 115).

Marquez was friends with Chimento.

Marquez “freely admits that he is the narrator who is reconstructing the story” (Pelayo 116). “Luisa Santiaga, the narrator’s mother in the novel, is the name of García Márquez’s own mother, and Luis Enrique, the narrator’s younger brother, is also the name of García Márquez’s own younger brother. Luisa Santiaga has a daughter who in the novel is a nun; García Márquez, in real life, has a sister who used to be a nun. As if that were not enough, the narrator recounts that on the night of Angela and Bayardo’s wedding, he proposed marriage to Mercedes Barcha, only to marry her fourteen years later because at the time she was just finishing primary school. García Márquez married a woman of the same name, Mercedes Barcha, to whom he proposed on the exact day of the wedding in 1951 and whom he wed fourteen years later because she, too, was just finishing primary school” (Pelayo 116). Works Cited

Bloom, Harold, ed. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. New York: Chelsea House,

          1999. Questia. Web. 2 May 2011.

File:Character Map Chronicle of a Death Foretold.jpg. Image. Wikipedia.

          By Jjmarquete. Trans. Littlebro1716. Wikimedia Foundation,

          22 Mar. 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2011.

García, Márquez Gabriel. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Trans.

          Gregory Rabassa. New York: Ballantine, 1984. Print.

Pelayo, Rubén. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion.

          Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001. Questia. Web. 2 May 2011.

Soanes, Catherine, and Angus Stevenson. "Chronicle." Concise

          Oxford English Dictionary. 2008. Print. Consider an alternative: The investigating magistrate “The novel accurately describes the routine of everyday life: the ways in which the town’s people prepare for the visit of the bishop, and celebrate at Angela’s wedding; the habit of the single young men to spend time at the bordello; and even the fact that, as a result, one of the Vicario twins is suffering from a venereal disease” (Pelayo 116). The personally interested narrator He allows deeper characterization “In real life, the returned bride continued to live alone after her return, while the embarrassed husband left the country, got married in Costa Rica, and went on to have twelve children with his new wife. In the novel, Angela stays with her mother and Bayardo goes off and is not heard of until seventeen years after the date of the wedding, when he and Angela reunite” (Pelayo 115).

Perhaps more importantly for the narrator, “García Márquez was not in town at the time of the [real] crime” (Pelayo 116). Creative additions The narrator, as somebody who knew the characters, can describe others and agree with their opinions of others, creating a sense of community experience. “They were twins: Pedro and Pablo Vicario. They were twenty-four years old, and they looked so much alike that it was difficult to tell them apart. ‘They were hard-looking, but of a good sort,’ the report said. I, who had known them since grammar school, would have written the same thing” (Marquez 16)

“[Purísima del Carmen's] meek and somewhat afflicted look hid the strength of her character quite well. ‘She looked liek a nun,’ my wife Mercedes recalls. She devoted herself with such spirit of sacrifice to the care of her husband and the rearing of her children that at times one forgot she still existed” (Marquez 33).

“Angela Vicario was the prettiest of the four, and my mother said that she had been born like the great queens of history, with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. But she had a helpless air and a poverty of spirit that augured an uncertain future for her. [...] ‘She's all set to be hooked,’ Santiago Nasar would tell me, ‘your cousin the ninny is’” (Marquez 34-35). The personally motivated narrator “The judge's name didn't appear [in the brief], but it was obvious that he was a man burning with the fever of literature. He had doubtless read the Spanish classics and a few Latin ones, and he was quite familiar with Nietzsche, who was the fashionable author among magistrates of his time. “FOR YEARS WE COULDN'T TALK ABOUT anything else. Our daily conduct, dominated then by so many linear habits, had suddenly begun to spin around a single common anxiety. The cocks of dawn would catch us trying to give order to the chain of many chance events that had made absurdity possible, and it was obvious that we weren't doing it from an urge to clear up mysteries but because none of us could go on living without an exact knowledge of the place and the mission assigned to us by fate” (Marquez 113).

“‘Honor is love,’ I heard my mother say” (Marquez 114).

“Hortensia Baute, whose only participation was having seen two bloody knives that weren't bloody yet, felt so affected by the hallucination that she fell into a penitential crisis, and one day, unable to stand it any longer, she ran out naked into the street” (Marquez 114).

“Don Rogelio de la Flor, Clotilde Armenta's good husband, who was a marvel of vitality at the age of eighty-six, got up for the last time to see how they had hewn Santiago Nasar to bits against the locked door of his own house, and he didn't survive the shock” (Marquez 114). It was a “death for which we all could have been to blame” (Marquez 94).

Everybody was “eager to show off his own important role in the drama” (Marquez 115).

We've already discussed this quite thouroughly. The personally responsible narrator The nonprofessional chronicler Begins in medias res

Outlines the perpetrators, motives, and means

Draws out explaining how the oportunity existed "There had never been a death more foretold" (Marquez 57).
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