How are violence and brutality used in the novel? What does their use reveal?

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold centers on the brutal and public killing of Santiago Nasar by Picario twins (Pablo and Pedro) to avenge the "honor" of their sister Angela, who is returned only six hours after her marriage to Bayardo San Roman. Violence and brutality are themes throughout the novel as the narrator tries to figure out what led to this murder twenty-seven years ago. It's not clear if Santiago was falsely accused by the Picario twins or not. The Picario twins let everyone in the town know their intentions before publicly executing Santiago on his very doorstep. The fact that nobody stopped them as a crowd gathered to see if Pedro and Pablo would actually carry out the deed and that Santiago's own family shut their doors on him shows that "honor killing" was an integral part of the society. However, it goes further than that and demonstrates a lack of resistance to violence or oppression, and aversion to the legal justice system. The lack of resistance and the presence of systematic violence is the end result of centuries of oppression faced by the people.

Apart from this violent and brutal murder, there is another subtler theme of brutality and violence that is generally overshadowed by the former: the attitude of society towards women. While men are free to visit pleasure-houses, women are grounded to home, have no choice in the selection of their husband and have to live with it throughout their lives without any resistance. 

The violence and brutality used in this novel depict the life and times of the people of that particular region. 

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