Role of Religion in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Essay by fburgvaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2004

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To understand the role of religion in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, first we have to understand the setting of plot, the era where the story has been set, the society and community it deals with. The work is set in an unnamed, remote part of Colombia. The novel is considered by many to be loosely based on the killing of Kitty Genovese in New York City in 1964.

For the novella that continues to win well-deserved accolades for its multi-faceted qualities since it was first published in 1981, the plot is disarmingly and deceptively simple: narrated in journalistic investigative mode, it pieces together and recounts how the Vicario brothers set about and finally avenge the honor of their sister, Angela, who gets married to the wealthy and suave Bayardo San Roman in a lavish ceremony but is spurned on the wedding night itself and returned in disgrace to her parents because the groom discovers that she has already been "deflowered".

Pushed against the wall, Angela accuses Santiago Nasar , another wealthy inhabitant of Arab descent , of being her violator.

It is generally considered by most readers that the initial chapters lay bare the religious and spiritual makeup of the townspeople but I believe that religion is subliminally present even earlier, within the title of the novella itself. The very word " Death" is integrally and inextricably linked with matters religious. Afterall, aren't the mysteries surrounding birth and the eventual inevitability of death and its varied reasons (sudden, accidental or planned) the moot points of religion? Man, since times immemorial has looked heavenwards beseeching answers to numerous unsettling and puzzling questions with which our lives are beset with every hour of the day; from the mundane prosaic familiar everyday things to the...