What part does ritual play in the novel?
The ritualistic nature of acts in Marquez's "Chronicle of Death Foretold" depict the life of a deeply oppressed society. The manifestation of love is ritualistic; Bayardo courts Angela by bringing her expensive gifts, not as a demonstration of his love but rather to demonstrate his affluence and power.
Angela Vicario's two thousand letters are a ritual in themselves as she does not care about the content but rather the act of writing and ensuring their delivery.
The novel's central theme is the ritualistic murder of Santiago, an honor killing, committed in front of townspeople on his own doorstep, with his family shutting the doors on him; this affirms the deeply rooted sense of honor, oppression and machismo within Latin-American society. The novel exposes the violence inherent in the society through the absurdity and senselessness of a crime in a society more concerned with ritualistic marriage and the Bishop's arrival—a society marked by many years of exploitation and violent oppression.