“Chronicle of a Death Foretold” Journal #1
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the author of “Chronicle of a Death Foretold”, illustrates his two male main characters with alarmingly similar details and significant differences. These commonalities as well as their detractions outline some of Marquez’s own feelings toward the character types they portray. Both characters, Santiago Nasar and Bayardo San Roman, star in the novella on opposite sides of a very dramatic scene over the honor of a family neither claim heritage to. Both also highlight parts of a social class and act as hyperboles of sorts to demonstrate some of Marquez’s personal views. Some such impactful points of interest include the descriptions of each character, their personalities and their social standing.
Marquez starts both Chapters 1 and 2 by describing either Nasar or Roman in great detail. Marquez describes Nasar as “slim and pale and [having] his father’s Arab eyelids and curly hair” (172). He also goes into great depth in Santiago’s background including his relationship with his father. Santiago can clearly be seen as the main character and protagonist of the novella in the first chapter through the inclusion of his routine, traditions and past. On the other hand, Marquez begins Chapter 2 by indirectly describing the mysterious Bayardo San Roman through the words of others. Great care goes into the descriptions of the wealthy Roman’s wardrobe and physique. He attracts the attention of the villagers instantaneously with his “waist of a bullfighter, golden eyes, and a skin slowly roasted by saltpeter” (184). The description of Roman arrives at the behest of other villagers instead of the narrator, giving his character a much more distant and immediately strange quality as the outsider in the village. Though the detail in Marquez’s illustration of Roman gives a much more descriptive image of his character, he turns Roman’s image into a deeper characterization by...