Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chaos Theory Revisited

A seemingly factual account of a murder story opens with a rendition of a dream. The chronological order of the story is skewed so that the aftermath is rendered even before the murder has taken place. The addition of the narrator’s own stylistic and flowery language–Angela as the dart who nails Santiago, the butterfly–furthermore makes the Chronicle less chronicle-like. In the novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel García Márquez utilizes narration, magical realism, dreams, and superstitions to minimize the credibility of the narrator and adds stylistic elements to create the ironically non-journalistic narrative. The resulting blur between fantasy and reality makes the account of events as unbelievable as Santiago’s guilt itself and reveals the cultural chaos and absurdity of the Colombian world.

The simple crime story unfolds in five unmarked chapters of the Chronicle in reverse order. The reader discovers the imminent murder with the very first sentence: “On the day they were going to kill him…” (García Márquez 1). The townspeople report the murder throughout the book: “ ‘They’ve already killed him’ ”(26), at the end of chapter one and “ ‘They’ve killed Santiago Nasar!’ ”at the end of chapter three (82). The autopsy of...

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