Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Symbols to Foreshadow and Characterize Santiago Nasar’s Death 12th Grade

Gabriel Garcia Marquez incorporates and emphasizes different symbols such as the falcon, linen and boat to help foreshadow and characterize the murder of the main character, Santiago Nasar, in the novella “Chronicle of a Death Foretold”. Even if the readers know that Santiago Nasar will be murdered from the first sentence of the book, they are always searching and believing that something will prevent his death from occurring. The author uses symbols present in the Latin American culture to build up tension and suspense in the novel as they reaffirm that his death was destined and nothing or no one could have prevented it, destroying the readers’ hope.

The first symbol readers are confronted with is an animal, the falcon, which appears in the epigraph. The falcon in Christian tradition is a symbol which represents evil. The wild falcon is a predator that attacks other birds. Garcia Marquez uses lines from a poem of a 16th century’s poet, Gil Vicente, as the epigraph to the novel: "The hunt for love/is haughty falconry". These verses are a summary of the entire novel and serve to foreshadow Santiago Nasar’s death as his alleged love story with Ángela Vicario provokes his assassination by her brothers to defend the...

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