Throughout Chronicle of a Death Foretold, a fictional novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you meet a lot of characters. In truth, you meet the whole town in the first chapter. This tight knit community is devastated by Santiago’s murder, and are all so interconnected that it is hard to know one without the other. It is odd though that in this tight knit community where everyone knew a murder was going to be committed, that no one did anything to stop it.
This is realised in the first chapter. The first people you meet are the people who are closely tied to Santiago Nasar.
Victoria Guzmï¿½n is one of the first characters you meet. She cooks for the Nasar family. She is introduced as she is removing rabbit guts from a rabbit in the kitchen. After Santiago grabs her daughters crotch Victoria reveals that she was once Ibrahim Nasar’s mistress. She still hates Ibrahim for keeping her as his mistress and does her best to keep his son, Santiago, away from her daughter, Divina Flor.
Victoria learns early on the morning of the murder that Santiago is going to be murdered, but says nothing to him. Another character that is directly tied to Santiago is Cristo Bedoya. Cristo is a friend of Santiago and of the narrator. Cristo is one of the only people who attempts to find Santiago the day of the murder after they part ways, but does not find him in time due to the mistake of him going to the narrator’s home thinking Santiago may be there.
He is Santiago’s best friend. One of the last main people you meet in chapter one that is directly tied to Santiago is his fiancï¿½e Flora Miguel. She is Santiago’s fiancï¿½e through their parents’ arrangement. Flora learns early on the morning of the murder that Santiago is going to die, however she is afraid that if Santiago lives he’ll have to marry Angela. Flora invites Santiago to her home so she can vent her frustration to him. This is when Flora’s father tells Santiago of the plot; however Santiago does nothing to hide because he finds it so important to see the bishop. Maria Alejandrina Cervantes is an important character who ties in to Santiago. She is his lover and is known as one of the only people that Santiago has ever truly loved however because of social status he could never marry her. She is crushed by his death. Maria Alejandrina Cervantes owns the local whorehouse so she is well acquainted with most of the men in the town, including our narrator.
Our narrator is not ever named, but he is important in the story, not only in talking about the murder but the effect it has on the town. The main character that is related to the narrator is his mother Luisa Santiaga. On the morning of the killing she finds out from Margot, her daughter that Santiago is going to be killed. Since Luisa is Santiago’s godmother she goes to warn Placida, however as she is leaving she finds out it is too late, and Santiago has been murdered. Luisa is also a relative of Pura Vicario, Angela’s mother. Angela is the main reason that Santiago is murdered in the first place. She has been humiliated when she marries Bayardo San Roman and he finds out she is not a virgin. When her brothers ask her who stole her virginity she says it was Santiago. This is the motive for her brothers, Pedro and Pablo to go seeking his blood for their family’s honour. Pedro and Pablo are twin brothers of Angela. They are the ones who commit the murder of Santiago. The twins do everything possible to avoid having to murder Santiago, but eventually they do on his front doorstep. After meeting the Vicario family and members of the Nasar family there are a few names that stand out in the town.
Clotilde Armenta makes an attempt to save Santiago’s life. She tries making the twins drunk, and she tries to get people to tell him or his family to save him. However none of her messages get through. The only other person who makes a very pitiful attempt at saving Santiago is Colonel Aponte. He first hears of the twins’ plot to kill Santiago after Leandro Pornoy, tells him. He does not take the threat too seriously, because when he sees the twins, they seem fairly sober. He takes their knives away and feels assured that they will not carry out their plan. However the twins just go get new knives, sharpen them, and carry out the deed.
In a town so small, and so interconnected, how would such a well publicized murder is carried out? Either they believed that the twins would not carry out the deed, or that they had a personal problem with Santiago. The people who tried did very pitiful attempts with the exception of Cristo Bedoya who does everything he can to save Santiago. In a town where everyone knows each other, it is hard to believe that even 27 years later, they still do not know all the facts. After reading the first chapter of Chronicle of a Death Foretold you realise that although this town was so close, no one cared to save one of their own.
A murder is committed at the beginning of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s fictional novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Santiago Nasar is murdered because he allegedly deflowered Angela Vicario. Angela Vicario is returned home on her wedding night when her new husband, Bayardo San Roman, finds out she is not a virgin. Her brothers, Pedro and Pablo find out it is Santiago who deflowered her and decide that to avenge their family honour they must kill him. However on the day of the murder, they both stall as much as they can to avoid having to actually murder Santiago. The morning of the murder shows that they actually do not want to kill him.
On the day of the murder Pedro and Pablo go to the pigsty and take their two best knives, then go to the butcher’s to sharpen them. At the butcher’s they announce to everyone that they are going to kill Santiago Nasar. If the twins had actually wanted to kill Santiago they would not have been openly announcing it. By announcing it they basically asking to be arrested or stopped. Then they go to Clotilde Armenta’s cafe and drink cane liquor and announce there that they want to kill Santiago. They keep asking for drinks and sit watching Santiago’s house waiting for him to come to or leave his home. By drinking so much they are impairing themselves. Then they go Maria Cervantes’s whorehouse. They are doing everything to prolong the time before they go kill Santiago. After a while Colonel Aponte takes their knives away, thinking this is the responsible thing to do and that now they won’t go after Santiago. However he is foolishly mistaken, as the twins go right back home and get two more knives, sharpen them, and go after Santiago. They find him at the dock, awaiting the visit of the bishop.
When Santiago sees the Vicario brothers news has already reached his ears so he runs home. Plï¿½cida Linero is mistaken and thinks that Santiago is already inside and sees the Vicario brothers coming so she locks the door. This is Santiago’s last chance and as soon as he reaches the door he is stabbed. They stab him through his hands, just like Christ was at his crucifixion. They are merciless and continue stabbing him and then leave him to die. They seem unnerved by the fact they just killed Santiago and walk with their bloodied knives down the street.
After murdering Santiago San Roman they go in front of a judge and say that they were justified. “”We killed him openly,” Pedro Vicario said, “but we’re innocent.””(pg.49) this quote from the book indicates that the brothers felt that the death was justified because they were doing it for honour. And in this Latin American country they were allowed to because of gender and religious roles. After spending a mere three years in prison Pedro joins the army again and is never to be seen from and Pablo marries Prudencia Cotes. Neither of the twins seems to feel long term repercussions due to the fact they murdered someone.
When Pablo and Pedro murdered Santiago, they felt fully justified in what they did. Based off their sister’s words they killed Santiago because they believed he deflowered their sister, whether this was truth or not is never known. The gender and religion roles in the area give them the right to carry out the act and live guiltless for the rest of their lives. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s fictional novel, Chronicle of a Death Foretold Pablo and Pedro are innocent, before God and before man according to themselves. They defended their family honour and therefore will not be punished. They are two innocent men. After stalling the whole morning the rest of their lives they live guilt free. They’re free of everything, even though the blood of someone is on their hands. The blood of someone, who may have been innocent all along.
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