After our class discussion, I now understand the significance that cultural background has on our understanding of the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
One of the most intriguing topics I found is the idea of honour. Nowadays, we rarely speak of ‘defending our family honour’ or going as far-fetched as to killing someone to avenge one’s family name. We discussed the importance of family and honour in Latin American culture. During our discussion, we agreed that the killing of Santiago Nasar to regain the Vicario’s honour is highly improbable. However, after putting it into context with the strongly held sense of honour prevalent in Latin American society, allowed us to really grasp the credibility of this event occurring.
Another aspect which altered my understanding of the text was discerning who the real victim of the crime was. Initially the majority of our group (including I) insisted that Santiago Nasar was the culprit for the ‘deflowering’ of Angela Vicario. As ambiguous as it was, I came to realise that no single person was purely responsible and that Marquez makes every character in the novel a partial victim. This idea links to the apathetic society that exists in all cultures where everyone shares a collective guilt for not taking any action after learning about information that could have potentially avoided a murder.
Despite the differences in the twentieth century Latin American culture and our contemporary culture, I have also…