Chronicle of a Death Foretold

It Takes a Village: The Role of Provincialism in Chronicle of a Death Foretold 11th Grade

In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel García Márquez creates a set of characters who each represent a certain aspect of close-minded human nature as a whole. It is this style of character development that allows the reader to understand that, despite the fact that the two actual murderers of Santiago Nasar are Pedro and Pablo Vicario, each individual townsperson plays his or her own role in the murder. When looked at from afar, it becomes clear that Santiago is not murdered by Pedro and Pablo, but by the town as a collective being influenced heavily by provincialism.

On the morning of Santiago’s impending death, the entire town is bustling with excitement because the bishop is coming. When the bishop finally comes, however, and all he does is stay on the boat, making the sign of the cross, and keeps “doing it mechanically...without malice or inspiration” (17), the townspeople feel slightly let down. When the author says later that this is only “a passing annoyance” (17), however, it becomes clear what this event reveals about the characters in the town and, by extension, human nature by and large. Based on general knowledge of Latin American culture as well as the preceding and subsequent events of the novel, the reader can...

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