Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Angela Vicario was a strong person who raised voice against the exploitation of women. In the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold the social system is patriarchal and the women’s role is to respect their family and to get married. The women of this society knew the way of screening embroidery, sewing, ironing, washing, weaving and making artificial flowers. The novel revolves around the character of Angela Vicario, who was strong woman of the society. She was a perfect girl to marry with. Her mother said that any man will be happy with Angela because she is nurtured to suffer. On the other hand, the sisters of Angela were very different from her because they were the victims of this cruel society. Women of the society were used as wives; they were prohibited to talk about money and had to do what they were ordered to. Anything besides these would be unacceptable and against the norms of the society.

The characterization and representation of women in the book provide understanding of different ways through which the patriarchy gets constituted, assembled and remade in the experience and context of Latin America. In the novel, Angelia Vicario’s character reflects the exploitation of women; complex connections between gender, violence and class; and the resisting power which is being adopted by the women in order to create a space for freedom in such cruel system. Angelia was the target of the sexual desire of Bayardo. It was very clear from the beginning of novel that Angela had no interest in Bayardo, nor she felt any desirability towards him. Marquez criticizes this type of a system where the exploitation of women is very common and leaves no space for woman to contend or even raise her voice in order to advocate her choice. The parents of Angela made a decisive squabble that “a family distinguished by unpretentious means doesn’t have right to contempt that destiny’s prize”. The line of her mother crushed her “The feel of love can be acquired by learning it” (Elizabeth and Maxine, 2000). Hence, women are taught and conditioned to notify their emotions and feelings and also their sexuality according to norms of a conservative patriarchal society. It has also been depicted in the novel how the sisters of Angela were given scrupulous training on understanding their role as future wives. It is said that, “Girls are nurtured to get marry”.

This represents the extremity of lives women experience in the restrained Colombian town’s culture. Marquez describes the well being of Angela Vicario along with her sisters. Women were forbidden to do jobs or to fulfill their dreams; their whole life is bounded by culture of the society and the marriage mission. They were taught to do daily life tasks which includes washing, ironing and household works. A value of women as a wife was calculated according to her beauty and at the same time to her potential of smoothly running every aspect of household. The view that a married woman is presumed to suffer is important; none of the women who get married is concerned to be happy until she is lucky enough to get married with the one whom she loves.

The character of Angela Vicario is the strongest character of the novel because she went against the norms and traditions of society. She denies to be treated like other women. She had sex before getting married and she claimed that it was Santiago who was responsible for her virginity loss. However, no one believed that Santiago was responsible for this as both of them hardly meet each other. Angela disgraced her family by losing her virginity before her wedding night, but she didn’t tell this secret to anyone. She never disclosed the identity of her secret lover unlike other women did. Generally, women don’t held secrets from their husbands and their family because a personal life of woman is considered to be not only her deal. Bayardo San Roman who loved Angela very much, no longer had interest in her. Moreover, in more than 17 years she wrote him almost 2 thousand letters begging to come back to her life. Angela’s actions were the reason why her family was disgraced. Thus, she got beaten by her mother but didn’t give up and did embroidery work which bought her a house.

The men of this society do not experience what women do. Santiago was a superlative person having strong and attractive personality. The narrator declared that “there couldn’t have been a better catch than Santiago”. On the other hand, females represented in this novel had to face lots of problems; they had to manage a family and to do household tasks. They cannot do any job nor can earn for themselves, whereas the situation for men was different. When Angela got married, Santiago discovered her lack of virginity so she returned back to her family. She was badly beaten by her mother on her return. Her brother tries to know the truth but she did not tell anyone. Her brothers murdered Santiago in return; the family was proved shunned and guilty, still Angela did not tell her secret to anyone because she knew what could be done with her.

Marquez explores the resisting dimensions as well in terms of the characters of women. Marquez does not allow degeneration of Angela’s character after her embarrassing experience of being refused by Bayardo. The character of Angela was built in a way that she doesn’t drop into repentance of despair under clichéd notions of fallen women’s response, but she strongly charts the path of her personal life. She turned into overbearing, lucid, mistress of her own desire, she didn’t recognize any other authority except her own, nor any service than of her own passion. She appeared as a self-governing individual who did not only assert freedom of finance but also managed to accomplish her feeling for the Bayardo ultimately through her persistent pursuits (StudyMode, 2011).

Angela Vicario was a strong female who raised voice against the discrimination of women. She was the only women, who denied the sexual desire of Bayardo. Despite of her family being a cruel one, she manages to have a free space for herself just by resisting the cruel society through her strong will power. She did not go with the trick given by her friends to reveal the loss of virginity before her marriage and instead sympathizing macho and powerful Bayardo as a poor person who had poor luck of marrying her, she again acts in a subversive and unconventional way. Angela also had to face loneliness because of her pre-marriage virginity loss.

Despite the interviews of the narrator with the residents and analytical report of magistrate, even in twenty years after the accident, any new idea on the murder of Santiago emerges. The failure of narrator to completely explain the events happening represents that entity of inspection to be not the truth’s discovery, but rather resolution of how such announced death could happen. It remained unclear in the whole novel that how Angela lost her virginity. In the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold the social system is patriarchal and the women’s role is to respect their family and to get married. In the context of the novel, Angela is both the most powerful and the least powerful woman. Her power is in her will to act the way she prefers; though, being restricted by the frames of the society in which she lives, Angela has not enough power to be totally different from the other woman in the novel.

Works Cited

Elizabeth, Dore and Maxine, Molyneu. Hidden Histories of the State and Gender in Latin America. 5th Edition. 2000. Print

StudyMode. Women in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. 2011. Web. 27 March 2015

June 16, 2022
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