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Chronicles of a Death Foretold

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on 20 December 2013

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Transcript of Chronicles of a Death Foretold

Chronicles of a Death Foretold
Major Themes
Poncio Vicario
The Style of Text
Violence & Peace
The novel inherently focuses on cultural violence--the rationalization of the townspeople that the twins were not actually going to kill Santiago, or the overwhelming conclusions that Santiago's murder was just and the twins were justified in killing him.
Class Consciousness
There is the representation of different classes, such as Santiago and Bayardo, who are of a high, rich class, and Clotilde Armenta or even Angela Vicario, who are from working classes. The differentiation between classes is self-recognizable, as people from the working class like the Vicarios do realize that someone like Santiago is of a higher class than them.
Legal Authority
There happens to a dearth of necessary legal authority in the novel, as many legal actions that could have been done to prevent the murder were not completed.
Meaning of Poncio Vicario
Poncio, derived from Pontius, refers to Pontius Pilate
Most known for the authorizing the crucifixion of Jesus and refusal to take responsibility for this death
Angela as saint, role of "handing over"
Poncio also means seaman, or of the sea
Vicario, from vicar and vicarious
Substitute
Representative of bishop
My Role
My role in the novel is as an intermediary. Though I am blind through my previous work as a goldsmith, I am still the head of the house, and I allow Angela to get married, handing her over to Bayardo. Unfortunately, this triggers a chain of events leading to the death of Santiago Nasar, and my two sons are sent to jail, while I brood over the turn of events and how this terrible tragedy could have been caused by the marriage I had authorized.
Reliability of Poncio
No spoken lines in the book
Newfound blindness in the party
State of obliviousness
"His moral pain carried him off."
Reliability of Narrator
The narrator is mostly collecting accounts from other characters--it is from these accounts that he bases his own conclusions.

It could be said that the reliability of the narrator depends on the reliability of the other characters.

However, what we are told by the narrator we ultimately believe, similarly to how magical realism causes the reader to simply accept strange occurences
A Favorite Sentence
"She [Angela Vicario] became lucid, overbearing, mistress of her own free will, and she became a virgin again just for him, and she recognized no other authority than her own nor any other service than that of her obsession."
Page 93
Cliffhanger
He stumbled on the last step, but he got up at once.
"He even took care to brush off the dirty that was stuck to his guts," my Aunt Wene told me. Then he went into his house through the back door that had been open since six and fell on his face in the kitchen.
Page 120
Pastiche
The sight was greeted by Placida Linero with a cry. My aunt Wene told me: "Never is there a more heartwrenching sound than the cry of a mother when she finds her dead child." Later, Placida Linero recounted to me her regret of closing that door, and the lack of attention she had paid to Santiago Nasar's dream that day. "And good riddance," Victoria Guzman told me when I visited her one day.
No one had known what to do with the body, as the guts laid around Santiago Nasar almost neatly, as if he had folded them himself. The dogs had never stopped their howling, and Divina Flor had taken to warding them off with a stick. Eventually, they moved Santiago Nasar's corpse into the living room, and the place smelled of him for a long time after. "Everything smelled of Santiago Nasar," Divina Flor told me. "It was as if he was always there and had never left." Colonel Lazaro Aponte had given the order for Father Amador to perform the autopsy so that they could finally bury the body.
It generally represents a good relationship, as Santiago Nasar is friends with many of the working class, though at the same time the Vicarios do not hesitate to kill him, even though he is of a higher class.
Many of the characters who have potential to take legal action choose not to, often more involved in a less important activity that they prioritize over a murder.
"'When I [Colonel Lazaro Aponte] saw them I thought they were nothing but a pair of big bluffers... because they weren't as drunk as I thought.' Nor did he interrogate them concerning their intentions... He treated them with the same self-assurance with which he had passed of his wife's alarm." (Page 56)
Religious Authority
Similarly, there is a fault of religious authority in taking action against the crime being committed. The priest does little to nothing before and after the crime, and it wholly dedicated to meeting bishop--so much so that he chooses not to take any action to prevent the murder.
"Nonetheless, Father Amador confessed to me... that he had in fact received Clotilde Armenta's message... Yet when he crossed the square, he'd forgotten completely. 'You have to understand,' he told me, 'that the bishop was coming on that unfortunate day.'" (Page 69-70)
After times passes since the murder, the community seems at peace again, though it is a sort of negative peace, as many are still suffering from the effects of the murder, and none of the violence has been cured.
Magical Realism
Magical realism is blended seamlessly into the novel itself, allowing the reader to accept events in a realistic fashion though they would not occur in real life.

It contributes to the plot and tone of the novel as a whole--the flashbacks of a warped timeline turning into police account of the event, and provides unreasonable but accepted explanations to occurrences throughout the book, such as the reason why Santiago keeps his gun unloaded, or the reason why Widower Xius dies after he sells his house.
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