The Themes Honor Duty Shame and Fate

The Themes Honor Duty Shame and Fate

"Chronicle of a Death Foretold" is a fiction novel written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Colombia in 1981. It was originally written in Spanish and later translated into English. Marquez started working as a journalist before he became a writer. In this particular work you can see his skills as a journalist, as well as a novelist. Using magical realism throughout his book he adds unnecessary details to each character, which are not essential to the plot but makes the characters more realistic. I found the themes of honor, duty, shame, fate, and ritual to be important as they all intertwine with one another under the ruling of theocracy. In the setting of this novel, which is in Colombia during the 1950's, honor and ritual are taken extremely seriously. Within each family each member has the duty of protecting and cherishing the family name and keeping out of scandals and embarrassment. When Angela Vicario is returned to her parents' home on the night of her honeymoon after her husband, Bayardo San Roman, discovers that she is not a virgin the family is humiliated and Angela brings great shame to the family.

"The only thing I can remember is that she was holding me by the hair with one hand and beating me with the other with such a rage that I thought she was going to kill me"

In this quote Angela Vicario is describing what she remembers from the night of her wedding after her husband returns her to her parents. Her mother, Pura Vicario, viciously beat her daughter to the point of near death. Angela says that this is the only thing she can remember as she had already been beaten by her husband. Angela Vicario was the prettiest of all four sisters and I think part of the punishment, apart from the pain, was depriving her of her beauty. Taking away her attractiveness and leaving her damaged, just as she was already thought of for having premarital sex.

"Bayardo San Roman grabbed her by the arm and brought her into the light. Her...

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