Gender Roles In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold

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Sophie Arregoces Mr. Coon English IV: Non-Linear Narratives 13 November 2015 The Impact of Gender Roles in Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1987) Every society consists of its own set of customs and traditions that vary among races, ages, and even gender. Chronicle of a Death Foretold demonstrates how disastrous and harmful the expectations and obligations based on gender can be. In the novel, men and women play distinct and rigid roles that result in the death of a seemingly innocent man, Santiago Nasar. The culturally defined gender roles contribute to the events in Chronicle of a Death Foretold when confronting matters of sexuality, the concept of honor, and an individual’s right to freedom. The novel is driven by the double standard…show more content…
Men must protect their family’s honor and reputation from those who bring disgrace or contempt. Therefore, the Vicario brothers are expected to kill Santiago Nasar for violating Angela out of wedlock. Crime, violence, and murder are justified when carried out in the name of honor as evident when the brothers defend their murderous actions by saying: “we killed him openly, but we are innocent. Before God and before men, it was a matter of honour” (Marquez 29). Despite feelings of uncertainty and doubt, the brothers feel as if they cannot back out of killing Santiago because defending honor is such a strongly enforced male obligation. Clotilde Armenia, the owner of the milk shop, stated the brother’s hesitation when she says she “was certain that the Vicario brothers were not as eager to carry out the sentence as to find someone who would do them the favor of stopping them” (Marquez 34). Moreover, it is evident that townspeople understand and submit to the extreme male expectation of defending honor as the brothers openly proclaim their intentions to kill Santiago and no one directly acts to stop them. This male expectation is a key component as to why “there had never been a death more foretold” (Marquez 30). Furthermore, the concept of honor sprouts from the idea of machismo, or masculine pride. Men strive to appear strong, aggressive, and powerful. When Pedro Vicario shaved with his butcher knife, Clotilde refers to it as “the height of machismo,” for he “looked like a killer in the movies” (Marquez
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