How Honor Is Valued in Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Essay Preview: How Honor Is Valued in Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Report this essay
In García Márquezs novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, the moral value of honor is highly regarded in the Colombian town in which the chronicle is set. The protagonist, Santiago Nasar, is accused and murdered due to not obeying this law of honor that is established in the town, as he participates in intercourse and takes the virginity of a woman who has yet to marry. This is seen as an unfathomable crime in the community, as the town is greatly influenced by the Catholic Church, which does not allow the practice of sex prior to marriage. In a way, this displays how hypocritical this society is, because it is said that a woman must remain a virgin until after marriage, while there are many unmarried whores who work at the local brothel. Additionally, there seems to be no ramifications for a mans premarital sexual actions, as it is said that a substantial amount of men attend this brothel. Although Santiago is the alleged criminal in this situation, it is never really truthfully exhibited who committed the crime on Angela Vicario. When Angela is questioned regarding the subject of her loosing her virginity, she results in saying that it was Santiago. This is solely due to Santiagos social status and reputation in the town, as Angela did not expect any action to be taken upon such a marveled individual. The outcome of this is Angelas two brothers murdering Santiago, however, although all of the towns members are aware of the murder that will take place, no enforcing actions are implemented to stop it. This displays how Santiagos death was not just merely some murder, but instead a representation of how the town cherishes honor.
Angela Vicarios brothers, Pedro and Pablo, display their dedication to the towns respect of honor when they take the responsibility to kill Santiago Nasar for the crime he has committed. There intent for murder was solely based on “a matter of honor” and doing their duty, but not as a result of anger (49). This is displayed because it seems that the Vicario brothers have no real interest of actually killing Santiago, and with so many people informed about the murder, they are in essence, asking to be stopped. While sharpening the knives that are used to kill Santiago, Pablo Vicario confesses to a group of butchers “Were going to kill Santiago Nasar” (52). This again represents how the brothers have no intent of concealing what will occur, as if they wanted others from preventing it from occurring. Regardless if they desired to or not, there was a sense of duty and responsibility involved in the motivation of this murder. Prudencia Cotes, Pablo Vicarios wife, told the narrator that “I knew what they were up to and I didnt only agree, I never would have married him if he hadnt done what a man should do” (62). This furthermore emphasizes the sense of obligation that the brothers have to reinstate their sister and familys honor. It is clearly understood that honor in this society is regarded as the high holiest of values and that if Pablo and Pedro had not attempted to murder Santiago; they may have perhaps been scolded by the townspeople.