Chronicle of a Death Foretold

by Gabriel García Márquez

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Student Question

How does Márquez explore the theme of fate in Chronicle of a Death Foretold, specifically regarding Santiago, the twins, and their society?

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In Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez, the theme of fate appears in Santiago's apparently destined death, and the author provides sharp messages about the nature of the society in which the characters live. Let's look at this in more detail to help you get started on this question.

The twins are the brothers of Angela Vicario, a young woman who is returned to her family after her new husband discovers that she is not a virgin. In the society in which the family lives, a young woman is expected to be a virgin when she marries. Otherwise, her reputation is ruined. In this case, Angela's brothers are determined to rescue her honor by killing the man who violated their sister. They believe that it is their duty to protect their family at all costs, and the patriarchal society in which they live seems to agree.

Pablo and Pedro are not quiet about the fate of Santiago Nasar, who supposedly violated Angela. It seems that Santiago is destined to die. Hardly anyone believes that the brothers really mean to kill him. Even Santiago's mother misinterprets a dream that could have predicted his death and perhaps saved him.

Fate seems to catch up with Angela and her brothers, too. The family leaves town after Pablo and Pedro are found innocent of Santiago's murder (because it was in defense of honor). Angela, who never cared much for the husband who rejected her, actually falls in love with him and spends years writing letters to him. Eventually he comes to her, and we might assume that the two of them finally unite, although we do not know for sure.

Finally, we might think of the role of the Catholic faith in this tale. Angela's family is strictly Catholic, but Angela and her brothers certainly deviate from the faith, as do others in town. Think, for instance, of the wild party for the wedding of Angela and Bayardo. Pablo and Pedro are more interested in vengeance than mercy and forgiveness. We do not ever find out for sure if Angela willingly lost her virginity or not (or if it was even to Santiago), but we get the feeling that she has something of a wild streak of her own.

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