Gender Roles In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold

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As Jim Hightower once put it, “the opposite of courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.” In Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold, as the novella’s protagonist, Santiago Nasar, falls victim to an honor killing, the inhabitants of his community fall victim to the bystander effect. The unfortunate turn of events was sparked by rumors alleging him guilty of raping a local girl. Throughout the novella, Gabriel García Márquez suggests issues of social marginalization, voicelessness, and exclusion are reinforced by people’s tendency to accept and conform to social convention. Gabriel García Márquez suggests that small societies pressurize their people to conform to certain social conventions.…show more content…
In Latin America, dominant conceptions of femininity and masculinity, referred to as marianismo and machismo respectively, dictate norms and behavioral expectations for men and women. Essentially, marianismo is the veneration of feminine virtues like purity, while machismo is a strong and exaggerated sense of manliness. In the novella’s patriarchal community, a woman’s value is reduced to her embodiment of marianismo virtues. After all, “the brothers were brought up to be men” and “the girls had been reared to get married” (p. 3_). Since Angela Vicario was not a virgin, her personhood in that community was impaired. During Angela’s confession, the narrator explains that Santiago’s name was picked from “the shadows” and Angela Vicario “nailed it to the a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.” In order to redeem her personhood for not upholding values of purity and virginity, Angela needed someone to blame, and the first name that comes to her is Santiago’s. Furthermore, the image of a butterfly along with the evocation of living and dead names in Angela’s thought process is rather fantastical. Gabriel García Márquez’s use of magical realism in this excerpt obscures the reality of the situation, leaving the reader with a surreal version of what Angela thought, but not actually revealing the truth about the alleged crime. This event marks the commencement of escapist
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