Women In Chronicle Of A Death Foretold

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Pages: 7

In modern society, women are seen as subordinate to men, earning less for equal work, and suffering from discrimination and violence. This ideology is reflected in Colombian culture, where Machismo establishes the man as the dominant figure. In his novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, set in a rural Colombian village, Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells the story of the honour killing of Santiago Nasar, accused of claiming the virginity of the newly wed Angela Vicario. In a variety of ways, Marquez portrays women as not only lesser to men, but lacking influence or ability. Through excessive female suffering, the fact that women are ignored, and female impotence, the women in Chronicle of a Death Foretold are portrayed as powerless. First, through …show more content…
The ability to perform both basic and complex tasks is associated with the possession of power. Unable to help themselves, or even think for themselves, women are consequently seen as powerless. The most obvious example of female helplessness ties into the main conflict, regarding the confiscation of Angela's virginity, supposedly by Santiago. After receiving a vicious beating at the hands of her own mother, Angela revealed that Santiago was the culprit. Subsequently, her brothers were sent to murder Santiago. Despite the fact that they were in no way involved in the original conflict, it is them and not Angela or her mother who are sent to deal with the issue. Such action is justified by the fact that the "brothers were brought up to be men" (Marquez 31) and the "girls had been reared to get married” (Marquez 31). Since the sole objective of women in that society was to get married, and they are unable to think, care or defend for themselves, they are portrayed as powerless. Another scenario highlighting the helplessness of women involves Divina Flor, Santaigo’s young servant. She doesn’t share her mother's desire of wanting "them to kill him” (Marquez 13), and is somewhat sympathetic towards her master. Though she is fully aware of the impending murder, she doesn’t warn Santiago of his looming death. She claimed that, ”She [Divina], on the other hand, didn't warn him because she was nothing but a frightened child at the time, incapable of a decision of her own.” (Marquez 13). As long as one is able to speak, they are capable of passing on a message. However, Divina is unable to warn someone who is living in the same household as her, about something as serious as his planned murder. This illustrates the degree of impotence and thus powerlessness felt by women in their society. Hence, since women are shown to be extremely helpless at several points throughout