Santiago Nasar Dehumanization

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In order to support and feed an exponentially growing population, humanity has created a society based on foundation of massive feats of agriculture and animal husbandry, most notably the domestication and slaughter of millions of animals a year. Humans have made an art of killing animals, to the point that the most cruel and inhumane ways to murder a person are known as slaughtering or butchering. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Santiago Nasar is murdered in a manner so ruthless that it is constantly compared to the slaughtering of animals. The motifs of slaughter and animals add elements of dehumanization, a tone of viciousness, and considerations of the nature of slaughter, creating a darker mood and bringing…show more content…
The twin butchers, Pedro and Pablo Vicario, murder Santiago, using their expertise gained through their profession. The occurrence and manner of Santiago’s death is revealed almost immediately, vividly described as being “carved up like a pig.” This simile is the first comparison of many within the novel, drawing a comparison between the death of Santiago and the slaughtering of a pig. The description not only represents not only the exact method of how he was slaughtered, but also how his character is transformed by the actions. The twins treat the act much like the slaughtering of a pig, choosing their best “pig knives” and heading off to the grindstone to sharpen them. Even while committing the murder, the twins reverted to the habits of their trade, seeking out his heart, but cutting “almost in the armpit, where pigs have it.” Santiago becomes dehumanized, turned into nothing more than a pig beneath the blades of the twins. This dehumanization breaks down the barrier between animals and humans and helps show the emotional and psychological preparation the twins went through before killing Santiago,…show more content…
Both the weapons of murder and the murder itself are described with graphic detail, affecting all of the senses in order to grim and realistic tone and mood of the novel. One knife has “a strong, rusty blade,” and the other one is “broad and curved.” They are described by both their measurements and their observable qualities, even highlighting the knives purposes, “one for quartering… and the other for trimming,” bringing the knives to life as realistic tools of slaughter, rather than just shapeless murder weapons. The murder itself is detailed with precise action, broken down as though describing the process with which a pig is slaughtered. Each slash and stab is gruesomely described, from the first three strikes without “a drop of blood” to the final evisceration. Even scenes relating only to the motif of slaughter, and not directly to the murder itself, are described with the same level of vicious graphic detail. The bishop is known for his love of cockscomb soup, to the point he “cut off only the combs for soup and threw the rest of the rooster into the garbage.” The autopsy is described with the same pedantic level of detail as the murder itself, actually acting as a foreshadowing to the description of the murder. All of this imagery comes with the purpose of setting the mood of the day as tense, dark, and foreboding, bringing the feelings

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