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Attacks on Religious Figures in Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Decent Essays
In Columbian culture, society is hierarchical in which authority figures, mainly those involved in religion and justice, are considered to have a great deal of influence and responsibility towards the town they preside over. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Marquez attacks this idea and suggests that these figures are superficial and unimportant. He does this mainly through the religious and judicial figures of the Bishop, priest, police officer and the colonel as authority figures that ignore their duties, thus making authority in the village in illusion.

Catholicism plays an important part in Columbian society as it influences a number of its actions and beliefs. Thus, prominent religious figures,
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The self-centeredness of the village is displayed through them attempting to gain personal benefits from the bishop. Moreover, the village’s church ‘looked like a trash heap’ (13). Marquez’ use of a simile linking the description of the church with a trash heap suggests that the townspeople have no respect for Catholicism. As the bishop hasn’t been making any attempt to convey the Catholic ideals onto the village, the villagers have abandoned them, which thus has caused them to become selfish. This shows how corrupted authority figures can have negative impacts on the village.

Another religious authority figure in the novel is the priest, Father Carmen Amador. Father Amador gets the opportunity to inform Placida Linero about her son’s impending death, however he does not, and in doing so he’s made to seem irresponsible and careless. The excuse he gives is that ‘you have to understand that the bishop was coming on the unfortunate day’ (71). Much like the rest of the village, Father Amador is awaiting the bishop’s arrival in the hope that the bishop will bring gifts to him. His occupation in attempting to receive gifts rather than saving someone’s life symbolises how authority figures in Columbian society are egotistical and easily corrupted. Moreover, this also reveals the amount of influence authority figures have, as the bishop has made the priest
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