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1.1. Magic realism

1.1.1. Realistic narrative technique, combined with surreal elements of dream or fantasy

1.1.2. Although the whole story is told from the Narrator, the narration seems to flitter between 3rd person narration, resembling a detached observer, when he describes an incident and 1st person narration. reflecting dream-like quality of being in the dream but being an observer as well ""One night he asked me what house I liked best," Angela Vicario told me [Narrator]. "And I answered, without knowing why, that the prettiest house was the farmhouse beloning to the widower Xius." I would have said the same." (Narrator/Angela, pg 35)

1.1.3. Blurring the line between fiction and reality: "Many knew that in the confusion of the bash I had proposed marriage to Mercedes Barcha" (Narrator, pg 43) Mercedes Barcha is Márquez's wife and in the text, the narrator's wife. In 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold', it is the narrator who is telling the story of the death of Santiago Nasar and the events leading up to it. This reflects onto Márquez, since he is the author and in reality, he is the one who is telling the story as well. Luisa Santiago is the narrator's mother, as well as the name of Márquez's mother. This further underlies the narrative style that Márquez uses, almost as if he himself is a character in the text. Márquez's choice to incorporate his wife's and mother's real names into the text make it seem like he is projecting his voice directly into the novel.

1.2. Journalistic

1.2.1. Márquez's detached observation of the townspeople and their personal lives "She [Purísima del Carmen] 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." (Narrator, pg 31) "And they taught her old wives' tricks to feign her lost possession, so that on her first morning as a newly wed....linen sheet with the stain of honor." (Narrator, pg 38)

1.2.2. Strict timeline further advocates the journalistic style that Márquez uses "the Vicario brothers were there and they were drinking and singing with Santiago Nasar five hours before killing him." (Narrator, pg 45) "Pura Vicario told my mother that she had gone to bed at eleven o'clock" (Pura Vicario, pg 45) "Around ten o'clock, when there were still a few drunkards singing in the square" (Narrator, pg 45) "Only Pura Vicario knew what she did during the next two hours" (Narrator, pg 46) "The twins returned home a short time before three" (Narrator, pg 47)

1.2.3. Investigative terms used since this is an investigation by the Narrator about Santiago Nasar's death "She confessed to me that he'd managed to impress her" (Narrator, pg 29) ""I never did find out how he knew that it was my birthday," she [Angela] told me." (Narrator, pg 30) ""He was weeping with rage," I was told by Dr. Dionisio Iguarán" (Narrator, pg 36)

1.2.4. Márquez is always concerned with showing us who, when, what, where, how.

1.3. Objectivity

1.3.1. The whole text is a reconstruction of the events that occurred which led up to Santiago Nasar's death, told by the unnamed son of Luisa Santiaga.

1.3.2. Usually first person narrators tell the sequence of events from their point of view, and in this case the narrator has made a point in going around asking the townspeople questions regarding the murder. Even so, a typical first person narrator does not usually know what other characters are thinking. It is often the third person narrators that have an insight to the other character thoughts. However, this is not the case in this text.

1.3.3. In the text, the whole story is told from the narrator, yet he manages to relate everyone else's thoughts as well.

1.3.4. Question: Is the narrator truly reliable? = the unreliability of the narrator reflects the nature of the murder and how everyone didn't believe the twins when they said they were going to kill Santiago. It also reflects how the townspeople themselves were all unreliable in warning Santiago about the murder.

1.4. Non-chronological order

1.4.1. Despite it being called 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold', the whole text is not in chronological order of the events that led up to Santiago Nasar's death.

1.4.2. Márquez summarizes the whole text and reveals the plot in the opening sentence of the text. "On the day there were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on." (Narrator, pg 3)

1.4.3. The text is told in a fragmented, repetitive way, investigating the death of Santiago Nasar from various vantage points.


2.1. Symbolism

2.1.1. Santiago's white suit on the day that he is murdered White: Symbol of purity and innocence Throughout the text, we learn that Santiago is far from pure and innocent. Although it is unclear whether he took Angela's virginity, it is evident that he has had his way with many women before. His white suit is also a symbol representing sacrifice. Ultimately, someone has to take fault for claiming Angela Vicario's innocence and although that is no sure way of finding out if Santiago Nasar is guilty of doing so, he is the sacrifice. As white symbolizes innocence, the choice made by Márquez to have Santiago don white clothing on the day he is murdered makes us wonder about the innocence of Santiago. Did he really take Angela's virginity, or has he been wronged?

2.1.2. Angela Vicario In various cultures, the name 'Angela' refers to angel. Angel: Innocent, purity, love, faith, courage Similar to the symbolism of Santiago's white suit, as we venture further into the text, we learn that Angela Vicario is clearly not pure or innocent and she lacks love in her life, as well as courage. ""The only thing I prayed to God for was to give me the courage to kill myself," Angela Vicario told me." (Narrator, pg 37) "She only took the time necessary to say the name...found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names from this world." (Narrator, pg 47)

2.2. Foreshadowing

2.2.1. Throughout the entire text, there are incidences where Márquez foreshadows Santiago's tragic fate. Since we know what will eventually happen to Santiago, we are able to pick up on these little bits that Márquez plants within the text. “Santiago Nasar put on a shirt and pants of white linen, both items unstarched, just like the ones he’d put on the day before for the wedding. It was his attire for special occasions.” (Narrator, pg 3) The special occasion: his death/wedding. "...the two women who were disemboweling the rabbits on the stove" (Narrator, pg 9) Foreshadowing the scene of his death, where his guts are exposed. "she pulled out the insides of a rabbit by the roots and threw the steaming guts to the dogs." (Narrator, pg 10) After Santiago is killed, the dogs make many attempts to eat his guts.

2.2.2. The scene of Santiago's death is strategically placed at the very end of the book (last 4 pages), hence, the whole book is foreshadowing Santiago's inevitable death.

2.3. Irony

2.3.1. The reason why the whole conflict of Baryado returning Angela due to her virginity being lost prior to marriage, is based on societal views that a woman should remain pure until her marriage. However, it is ironic that according to society, it is alright for men to sleep around with women, resulting in them taking womens' virginity. "Santiago Nasar and I, with my brother Luis Enrique and Cristo Bedoya, went to María Alejandrina Cervantes' house of mercies." (Narrator, pg 45)

2.3.2. Márquez's choice of words, such as in chapter 2, page 47: "...when the disaster had already been consummated" Instead of Baryardo and Angela's wedding being consummated by their first time making love with each other, it is the disaster of Angela being returned to her family and the plotting of Santiago's murder that has been consummated.

2.4. Juxtaposition

2.4.1. Márquez places the court's decision that the twin's crime of murdering Santiago was just, beside their evident declarations of what would be considered guilt in most societies. "The lawyer stood by the thesis of homicide in legitimate defense of honor, which was upheld by the court in good faith, and the twins declared at the end of the trial that they would have done it again a thousand times over for the same reason." (Narrator, pg 48) ""We killed him openly," Pedro Vicario said, "but we're innocent."" (Pedro Vicario, pg 49)

2.5. Euphemism

2.5.1. Márquez uses euphemism throughout the text, showing how the various characters downplay or cover up what is blatant and in doing so, they delude themselves into thinking that what they are doing is not wrong. "childhood accidents" (Narrator, pg 38) = premarital-sex "barbarous work of death" (Narrator, pg 49) = murder


3.1. Chapter 2 of the text focuses on Baryardo San Román, allowing us as readers to understand his character more. Márquez diligently describes Baryardo, not only giving us a visual on how he looks like, but also how his personality is as well as how the townspeople view him. The significance of the appearance of his character in Chapter 2 instead of Chapter 1, suggests that Baryardo may not be as important a character, but more of a catalyst that eventually leads to Angela being returned to her family, sparking the murder of Santiago Nasar.

3.1.1. "He was about thirty years old, but they were well-concealed, because he had the waist of a novice bullfighter, golden eyes and a skin slowly roasted by saltpeter." (Narrator, pg 25)

3.1.2. ""He looked like a fairy," she told me. "And it was a pity, because I could have buttered him and eaten him alive." She wasn't the only one who thought so, nor was she the last to realize that Baryardo San Román was not a man to be known at first sight." (Narrator, ph 26)

3.1.3. "My mother wrote to me [narrator]...said in a casual postscript: "A very strange man has come."" (Narrator, pg 26)

3.1.4. ""People like him a lot," she told me, "because he's honest and has a good heart..." (Luisa Santiaga, pg 27)

3.2. From Chapter 2, we also understand that Baryardo San Román acts as a catalyst to the plot. It is he who initiates the marriage between him and Angela Vicario and he is also the one who returns her to her family, kickstarting the plot to murder Santiago Nasar when Pedro and Pablo Vicario question Angela upon her return.

3.3. We are also able to gain greater insight about Angela Vicario, as the narrator converses with her and she reveals her thoughts and feelings about Baryardo's courtship, the events prior to the wedding and what happened after she had been returned.

3.4. Márquez reveals two different sides of the characters, such as Baryardo and Pura Vicario.

3.4.1. Throughout Chapter 2, we gain the impression that Baryardo is a man of high confidence and self-esteem, as well as wealth and power. This is because of the way he carries himself and how he uses his wealth to get what he wants. However, in the scene where he returns Angela, we see a different, gentler and more subdued side of him. ""Thank you for everything, Mother," he told her [Pura Vicario]. "You're a saint." (Baryardo San Román, pg 46)

3.4.2. Bayardo San Román calls Pura Vicario a "saint" and treats her like one, showing her the deepest respect even when returning her tainted daughter. He also called her by the title "Mother", portraying her as a kind, loving figure. However, as soon as he leaves, Pura Vicario transforms into something unlike a saint, instead being vicious and brutal, even beating her own daughter behind the back of the Vicario family. "Only Pura Vicario knew what she did during the next two hours, and she went to the grave with her secret." (Narrator, pg 46) "But even that [beating Angela] she did with such stealth that her husband and her older daughters, asleep in the other rooms, didn't find out about anything until dawn" (Narrator, pg 46)


4.1. Not much is said about the setting of the novel, however from Chapter 2, we know that gender differences are very prominent in their society.

4.1.1. Gender inequalities are seen again and again throughout the text and the biggest incident where gender inequality is prominent is when Baryardo returns Angela to her family because she isn't a virgin anymore. Females are required to remain virgins till marriage, whereas males are not. Males are allowed to do whatever they want and we also see this when the narrator, along with Santiago Nasar and friends go to the whorehouse after the wedding.

4.1.2. Men certainly have more power over women in this Columbian town. They are given more freedom as compared to females. They suppress women, resulting in females resorting to tricks to bypass the rules set by society. "they taught her old wives' tricks to feign her lost possession, so that on her first morning as a newlywed she could display open under the sun in the courtyard of her house the linen sheet with the stain of honor." (Narrator, pg 38) Author's choice to use certain phrases such as 'display open under the sun' 'stain of honor' suggests that everyone (society) would be looking out for the stain that showed her purity as a virgin up till her marriage, everyone was expecting the stain because that is what is expected of females in the society.

4.2. The exchange and buying/selling of the house between the widower, Xius and Baryardo is also a representation of the rich suppressing the poor in that time period. It also shows the different mentality of the older and younger generation.

4.2.1. Despite Xius constantly refusing to sell his house, Baryardo stubbornly ignores Xius and goes ahead and offers him increasingly large sums of money to buy over his house, pushing aside the fact that the house itself holds much sentimental value to Xius.

4.2.2. ""I'm sorry, Baryardo," the widower said, "but you young people don't understand the motives of the heart."" (Xius, pg 36)