Chronicle of a Death Foretold

by Gabriel García Márquez

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Student Question

Does the autopsy in Chronicle of a Death Foretold indicate a paradox of the Catholic Church?

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I always viewed the autopsy in both a physical and a metaphysical sense. The physical autopsy seeks to analyze the body and identify the cause of death in a quantifiable, scientific way. Everyone knows what killed Santiago but they performthe autopsy anyway, knowing full well it will not provide the additional details they are looking for. Much the same for the autopsy in a metaphysical sense. Everyone was aware (or became aware) of the cause of Santiago's murder and yet they felt the need to examine and try to explain something far more simply that they were willing to allow it to be.

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