Symbolism In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold

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Walking around with one's intestines hanging out is not the greatest way to start one's day, yet this was the very situation Santiago Nasar finds himself in at the opening pages of Gabriel Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold, for reasons he does not really understand. However, through exploring the text of Chronicle of a Death Foretold, we find that Santiago's death is the result of multiple complex factors. These factors range from Santiago's own unconfirmed actions, to the stigmas impressed on him and his community by what used to be cultural norms of Colombian society. The novel is set in Columbia , roughly around the year 1951, in a society heavily dominated by machismo and lawlessness. In Gabriel Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold, …show more content…
Upon finding out that Angela didn't retain her premarital virginity, Pura vicario beats Angela and takes her into exile. A quote that comes before this incident still indicates the sort of person Pura is, "Pura Vicario had finished drinking, dried her lips on her sleeve, and smiled at her from the bar with her new glasses. In that smile, for the first time since her birth, Angela Vicario saw her as she was: a poor woman devoted to the cult of her defects. "Shit," she said to herself." (Marquez, 30) In this instance, Angela notices something about her mother she had never truly seen before. Here, the "cult of her defects" refers to the way that women are kept under the thumb by the machismo of cultural stigmas. Women in this society are held to a much higher and unfair standard then men are, this much is very clear. However, as a direct result of this, women are suddenly put in a position where they aren't able to truly form a moral code or set of opinions for themselves. As such, they become "slaves" to cultural stigma that leaves them fragile and vulnerable to sexual situations that are not culturally appropriate such as the allegation of Santiago Nasar sleeping with Angela Vicario. The fact that women are told these thing spurts of encounters are culturally unacceptable and dishonorable puts them in positions to harm those they sleep with. Men are not held to the same standards as women, but in some strange way, are still expected to avoid sexual relations with unmarried women who intend to marry at some point. For this reason, men can sleep with the town whore, but not with women such as Angela Vicario. This mindset of feminine fragility being pushed by a machismo dominated narrative is another indirect cause of Santiago's