In Chronicle of a Death Foretold," how are Santiago Nasar and Christ similar?  

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Some important attributes make Santiago a credible Christ figure. First, he is innocent of the "crime" for which he has been accused. In fact, the story hints that he was not the man who deflowered Angela Vicario. In a bid to spare herself recriminations from her strict community, Angela had desperately seized upon Santiago's name.

She only took the time necessary to say the name. She looked for it in the shadows, she found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names from this world and the other, and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.

...she would recount it in all its details to anyone who wanted to hear it, except for one item that would never be cleared up: who was the real cause of her damage, and how and why, because no one believed that it had really been Santiago Nasar. They belonged to two completely different worlds. No one had ever seen them together, much less alone together.

Second, Santiago is the main figure of interest among members of his community, just as Christ was. Throughout much of the story, he remains the focal point of drama. While the Vicario brothers plot to kill him, others strive to save his life. Yet, the manifest conflict and sense of doom somehow fails to touch Santiago. Like Christ, he remains detached from it all.

Third, the author provides us scant information about Santiago's early childhood years. Like Christ, Santiago is a predominantly adult figure in the story.

Fourth, Santiago never behaves in a guilty manner. Even when he finds out that the Vicario brothers are waiting for him, he exhibits no more than mild surprise. Like Christ, Santiago seems to question the hatred directed at him. After all, he has given no one any cause to suspect him.

Besides, when he finally learned at the last moment that the Vicario brothers were waiting for him to kill him, his reaction was not one of panic, as has so often been said, but rather the bewilderment of innocence.

Santiago's attitude demonstrates that, much like Christ, he has two identities: one as a typical youth and another as a larger-than-life character who simultaneously inspires unity and division.

reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez, Santiago Nasar is representative of a Christ figure. First of all, he is sacrificed in order to save the honor of Angela Vicario. Ironically, on the day of his death, he dresses in white linen, not his usual attire. The white linen is much like a shroud, a burial cloth, and it is believed Christ was buried in a white shroud.

Furthermore, during the report made at the autopsy, it is discovered that Nasar "had a deep stab in his right hand"; this wound was said to look "like a stigma of the crucified Christ" (chapter 4). This wound becomes a symbol of Christ sacrificing himself for the sins of mankind while Nasar is sacrificed for an act he didn't commit.

Lastly, Nasar's autopsy becomes a spectacle witnessed by the townspeople. The body of Nasar is "exposed to public view" and the people crowd around the school house windows to watch the "massacre." This incident also relates to Christ's crucifixion, which was witnessed by many people.

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The name Santiago means "saint". Nasar is a Semitic name and even though he is Arab, his name suggests a mideastern origin, like Jesus Since he is not thought of as a native Colombian, he is considered somewhat of an outcast, like Jesus.In addition, Santiago's death is foretold, just as Jesus foretold His own death. Most importantly, Santiago is an innocent victim killed not because he had sexual relations with a young girl, but because he was an outsider and therefore an easy target. Finally, like Jesus, the town sanctions his death because someone has to be the scapegoat and take the blame Angela Vicario's loss of virginity. Thus Santiago becomes what is known in literature as a Christ-figure.

cheeselover | Student

If you look at the way that they both died, it was similar. Santiago was killed against a wooden door, like Christ died on a wooden cross. When they pierced Santiago's side, the knife was clean, showing purity in Santiago. Santiago was killed in white clothing also showing purity. The townspeople were unwilling to really step in and save Santiago, then they felf bad afterwords and that is like when the Jews cursed Christ when he died and they felt horrible afterwards. Then when Santiago was walking around he held his intestines, having God like strength because no one can walk around smiling, holding their intestines.

treecake | Student

Also, Santiago had seven fatal wounds. This alludes to seven deadly sins. When Santiago dies in the kitchen, it resembles the eating of the body of Christ in mass. Just as there were three men on a cross, there were three involved in Santiago's murder.

When Santiago died, he died for the sake of the Vicario reputation. He died for his belief in the importance of a woman's purity. In this way, he sacrificed himself for the "greater good" by dying for others' sins.

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Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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