Chronicle of a Death Foretold In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez ridicules the hypocrisy of the church, which is central to the life of the village. While the townspeople celebrate the arrival of the Bishop; sex, alcohol, and murder coincide with the supposedly sacred event. Marquez reveals hypocrisy through biblical allusions, the villages hedonistic lifestyle, and the murder of Santiago Nasar. The bible is often used as source of divine inspiration, but in Chronicle of a Death Foretold biblical stories are satirized to reflect the hypocrisy of the church.
For example, many of the town’s people are named after biblical characters, such as Maria Alejandra Cervantes and Pedro and Pablo Vicario, while they act in the most unchristian way. Maria Alejandra Cervantes is named after the mother of God, Mary, but is herself a prostitute, the exact opposite of Mary who was the eternal virgin. Pedro and Pablo Vicario are named after apostles, but are portrayed as alcoholics and murderers. Peter did not directly kill Jesus, but denied Christ three times before his death. Pedro denies Santiago’s innocence before the cock crows three times.
Marquez portrays biblical allusion by relating each character to one who played a similar role in Jesus Christ’s life. The small Colombian town is filled with many Christians, yet through the course of the novel, Marquez reveals that the denizens of the town only care about virtues which are contradictory to those of Christianity. The three day festivals which mark Angela and Bayardo’s marriage the party, “had sacrificed forty turkeys and eleven hogs for the guests, and four calves which the bridegroom had set up to be roasted for the people on the public square.
He recounted that 205 cases of contraband alcohol had been consumed and almost two thousand bottles of cane liquor, which had been distributed among the crowd. ” (Marquez 18). The sheer amount of goods that Bayardo purchased for the party shows that some Christian’s value gluttony and greed. The town’s people failed to warn Santiago about his murder and showed little to no or care. They had audacity to gather around Santiago’s home to witness the crime, as if they did not care.
Instead of following the Christian rule their determination to stick to hypocritical honor codes results to consequences such as the loss of innocent lives. Marquez compares the lifestyle of Jesus Christ to the life of Santiago Nasar. “Santiago put on a shirt and pants of white linen”(page 5). Like Jesus, Santiago wears a white linen shirt on the day he is supposed to die. White is symbolic for innocence and this choice of clothing promotes Santiago Nasar’s innocence. The nature of Santiago’s death is similar to the crucifixion of Christ.
Santiago is stabbed through his hand against a wooden door by Pedro and Pablo Vicario, similar to Jesus being nailed to a wooden cross. The knife “went through the palm of his right hand and then sank into his side” (Marquez 117). Christ nailed to the cross is a stigma, or “the bleeding of hands”. While Father Amador performs the autopsy, he discusses Santiago’s wounds and compares Santiago’s wounds to the wounds of Jesus Christ. Father Amador says, “He had a deep stab in the right hand, it looked like a stigma of the crucified Christ”(Marquez 75).
Gabriel Garcia Marquez creates a society that is based on the morals of Christian values. All citizens of the town believe in living honestly, loving, and faithfully, but they seem to believe in values that contradict Christianity. Marquez compares Santiago Nasar physically and ideologically to Christ Jesus. Marquez reveals the social corruption in the town through Santiago’s death. Santiago died for the sake of the Vicario reputation. He died in a way of honor and respect like Jesus. He sacrificed himself for the “greater good” by dying for others’ sins.
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