Chronicle of a Death Foretold

chronicle of a death foretold cover

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez, is an exciting yet complex book about solving the mystery of the death of a man called Santiago Nasar. Though the killers were revealed from the beginning, the narrator reflects on this event years later and tries to discover the true murderers behind the scenes. Support for different suspects sometimes overlaps and contradicts each other but below are some ideas and evidence that can be used.

I personally believe that the Vicario twins, Pablo and Pedro, are the most responsible not only because they physically killed Santiago, but also for other factors. Pablo was motivated by his fiancée, Prudencia Cortes, who later threatened to break up with him if he did not do it. With a family burden and his urge to show his dignity as a man, Pablo becomes radical and makes the final decision to kill Santiago mercilessly. On the other hand, Pedro’s imperative personality (developed from his years of service on the police patrol) caused him to lose control of his anger and convinced Pablo to join in the effort. Pedro’s dislike for dishonor as a soldier, especially to his family, is even stronger than Pablo; thus, he is credited as the motivator and the first strategist.

Other suspects, in fact the whole entire town, can be blamed, but I will analyze some more main characters. First of all, Angela Vicario starts this whole conflict when she tells her brothers that it was Santiago Nasar who took her virginity; therefore, leading to his death. Keep in mind that the town thinks that it is unlikely for Santiago to have committed it; consequently, most concluded that Angela was lying. If everybody’s assumption is true, then we can debate that Angela is a selfish girl who does not value another human being’s life; her immaturity prompts her to blame someone innocent.

One more main defendant is Purisima del Carmen, the mother of Angela and the twins. After Angela was returned home from her husband in shame, her mother beats her; thus, causing her to be delirious and to possibly say “Santiago Nasar” in a state of confusion. Purisima also demands her sons to come back home in order to help solve how to regain the family’s honor. In this way, she acts as the background commander giving the twins the idea of killing Santiago Nasar.

Through this book, Márquez demonstrates a negative but important trait in our society today. When there are a lot of people witnessing a crime, we tend to think that someone else will stand out. Compared to when there are less people, individuals are more likely to avoid being bystanders. In this case, the whole town did not warn Santiago of this murder and they all watched the twins stab him to death helplessly.


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