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Racial Influences in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Clara Batchelder

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of Racial Influences in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

"'Let go of her, white man'" pg. 9

"Ibrahim Nassar arrived with the last of the Arabs at the end of the civil wars..." pg. 11

"His mother Alberta Simonds, a big mulatto woman from Curacao, who spoke Spanish with a mixture of Papiamento..." pg. 33

"Bayardo San Roman went to the social club and sat down at the widower Xius's table to play a game of dominoes" pg. 35

"'Besides, I thought he was a Jew'" pg. 30 m

"Bayardo...got out of the car with Angela Vicario to join the whirl of the
dance." pg 44

"They burst into the parish, closely pursued by a group of roused-up Arabs" pg. 48

"Santiago had an almost magical talent for disguises and his favorite sport was to confuse the identities of the mulatto girls." pg. 65

"She was squatting like a Turkish houri on her queenly bed, across from a Babylonic platter of things to eat."

"The Arabs comprised a community of peaceful immigrants..." pg. 81

"'He thought his money made him untouchable...just like all Turks.'" pg. 101

"He was one of the last Arabs who had come with Ibrahim Nasar, had been his partner in cards until death, and was still the hereditary counselor of the family." pg. 103

"Nahir Miguel, the father, with his red beard, and the Bedouin caftan he had brought from his homeland" pg. 113

Race in Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Brief History of Race in Colombia
-Indigenous peoples live throughout Colombia

-1500s: the Spanish begin to settle throughout Colombia.
Arabs in Columbia
-Most from Syria and Lebanon (Decline of the Ottoman Empire)



-Loss of language

-Solidarity and community

Race in
-Greek or Chinese?

Interactive Oral Presentation by Clara Batchelder and Nicole Philp
Racial Influences in Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Inquiry Question
In what ways does Chronicle of a Death Foretold portray tensions and differences between various cultural groups and are these portrayals congruent with what history tells us?
Groups Represented in the Book
Race in Colombian Culture
"Most Colombians continued to identify themselves and others according to ancestry, physical appearance, and sociocultural status. Social relations reflected the importance attached to certain characteristics associated with a given racial group. Although these characteristics no longer accurately demarcated distinct social categories, they still helped determine rank in the social hierarchy."

-1810: Colombia is made independent from Spain

-1848: Slavery is abolished

"Probably more than any other Latin American people, Colombians remained conscious of their Spanish heritage."

"The proportion of white ancestry has been an important measure of status for the mixed groups since the colonial era, when each degree of mixture was recognized as a distinct category."

Mulattoes in Colombia
"Once a person was considered mestizo, his cultural identity automatically became that of the dominant white group, whereas mulattoes often exhibited black cultural and social traits that made upward social mobility more difficult."
-65% of Sucre's population is of African descent
-Treatment of Colombian slaves was generally less brutal

"Some historians have argued that, because of this combination of economic, cultural and legal factors, Colombian authorities and slave owners were more ready to accept slaves as human beings with – albeit not equal – at least some basic rights."

-Blanqueamiento Policy

-A unified mestizo nation

-Focus on Hispanic cultural contributions
"From the earliest years of the colonial period, miscegenation among whites, Indians, and blacks occurred so much that people of mixed origin soon came to outnumber all other groups combined. In fact, racial mixing was so great that Colombians usually referred to themselves as a mestizo nation--in this case meaning simply "mixed"--despite the absence of a significant cultural synthesis."
The conflicting portrayals of race in Colombian history reflect the tension that lies under discussions of racial issues. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold Marquez's depictions of racial tension in a small town reveal that the idea o ethnicity is very present in the minds of the people, despite sources that attempt to emphasize the benign aspects of Colombia's experience with race.
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