Honor in Gabriel García Márquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Values are a vital part of any community. They shape the identity of a culture and help to form the identity of each individual in that society. Sometimes these embedded values have more power over a person than anyone would like to admit. Gabriel García Márquez shows the power of the value of honor in his book, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. In García Márquez’s writing, the theme of honor shows to have control over most of the characters. Through the many characters in García Márquez’s book, we can see that the heavy burden of one’s honor is portrayed as the reason for Santiago Nasar’s unfortunate homicide. Pedro and Pablo Vicario, being the ones who held the knives that murdered him, are the direct cause of Santiago …show more content…

This feeling of obligation that comes from maintaining honor is supported by the pressure of those in the community who also uphold the value. Pablo’s wife, Prudencia Cotes, shows the pressure the boys were under by saying, "I never would have married him if he hadn’t done what a man should do” (72), when referring to Santiago Nasar's death. Throughout the novel, many characters demonstrate the pressure honor holds as a value in the town’s culture by failing to inform Santiago Nasar of Pedro and Pablo Vicario’s plan. This shows their idea that honor must be sustained within a family. It is true that there are the few towns people, like Clotilide Armenta, who try to directly warn Santiago, but most fail to involve themselves in any way. In the case of Santiago's fiancée, instead of warning her soon to be husband, she only thinks about herself and her own honor; “she went through a crisis of humiliation” (133), ashamed, thinking that Santiago must marry Angela to uphold Angela’s and the Vicario family’s honor because he had taken her virginity. We can further see the support by the town of these values by the fact that the Vicario twins only spend three years in jail. When the boys go to speak to the priest, they say that they have committed murder, but that there is no crime. In court, “the lawyer stood by the thesis of homicide in legitimate defense of honor” (55). Because of the short time the boys

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