This sample of an academic paper on Colonel Lazaro Aponte reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.
The novel Chronicle of a death foretold by Gabriél García Marquéz revolves around the death of Santiago Nasar, who is purported to have taken the virginity of his murderers’ sister. The way this man is treated by his killers as well as the members of the town points toward a more general phenomenon of culture that dictates how various types of people are treated in different situations. According to the events of this novel, within the Colombian context, women are treated in specific ways, as are men. The way relatives treat each other is also noteworthy, as it regards the solidarity of familial bonds and the upholding of honor within a particular family circle. The situations, issues, and coincidences of this story can be found to rely upon the policies regarding the treatment of others that tacitly yet inexorably exist within the culture of this Colombian town.
Santiago’s murder is allowed to occur because of a specific form of treatment that is accorded to him by all those who reside in the town. Santiago’s death could have been prevented, but because of the sentiments that existed toward him, he is allowed to face his attackers in ignorance and unprepared. The people in the town demonstrate a high level of complexity in their treatment of Santiago. On the one hand, several of them considered him astute and powerful enough to take care of himself. García Marquéz writes, “No one even wondered whether Santiago Nasar had been warned, because it seemed impossible to all that he hadn’t” (1984, p. 22). As a rich man, it is also possible that they treated him with respect and considered him well informed and invulnerable to attack. Both Divina Flor and Victoria Guzman, for instance, are knowledgeable concerning the impending murder and also have the opportunity to warn Santiago of his plight. However, these two women eventually do nothing, out of a belief that Santiago has everything under control.
Pedro And Pablo Vicario
On the other hand, the people of the town are also highly steeped in a culture that demands honor of all who reside in their society. The possibility that Santiago could have been guilty of taking the virginity of an upstanding female citizen places him in the position of tyrant. Murder as a form of retribution to such a man who would ruin the chances of a woman to marry well and to elevate her head in society may have been considered by all who knew as precisely what he deserved. This analysis appears to be more conducive to the facts. The author even places these words in the mouth of one character: “there were few of us who didn’t know that the Vicario twins were waiting for Santiago Nasar to kill him” (García Marquéz, 1984, p. 67). This highlights the fact that everyone in the town knew exactly what would happen to Santiago, yet not one of them makes it known to him. Furthermore, the attempts made by some of them to alert Santiago appear to be half-hearted at best. Even Colonel Lazaro Aponte who takes the knives from the young men also act in a fashion intended to deter only the most indecisive and spineless murderers. In reality, the citizens of the town treat Santiago as a convicted rapist sentenced to death, and this is proven in that they all come out to witness the murder as though they gather for an execution. In the end, Santiago is treated like an outcast against whom all of society has a personal grievance.
The events of the novel are deemed plausible because of the culture that prevailed within the society García Marquéz portrays. The events of the novel turn out the way they do because of a combination of ways in which women are regarded and treated. The twins Pedro and Pablo Vicario are incensed by the fact that someone has taken the virginity of their sister because of the importance placed upon the purity of women in that society. If a woman is somehow shown to be impure, her respectability, along with that of her whole family, vanishes. The women themselves are treated with disgrace—as is Angela when she is beaten and forced to leave the town. Indeed, she is a woman, and in such a culture “they’ve been raised to suffer” (García Marquéz, 1984, p. 34). Without this respectability, she is treated like an outcast and is left without any chance of being honored with the request of marriage. She therefore loses her ability to move upward in life and becomes an old maid who, being unable to provide for herself, becomes a burden to her family. This is the prospect that Angela Vicario faces, and the extent of the disgrace to which she as a woman is to be subjected is mirrored by the drastic nature of the act performed by her brothers in an attempt to defend her honor.
The men of the story are treated in a manner that places major responsibilities upon their heads. The responsibility for defending the honor of the family rests squarely upon the shoulders of the men within a given household. Marquéz writes of the Vicario family: “The brothers were brought up to be men. The girls were brought up to be married” (García Marquéz, 1984, p. 34). Such men who conform to what society expects of them are treated with honor. This can be seen in the way that the twins are treated before and after their murder of Santiago. These men, who know the worth of honor in their town, determine to kill Santiago. Yet, despite the fact that a murder is about to be committed, the townspeople (who believe so strongly in the need for men to defend their family’s honor) do hardly anything to prevent the fateful event from taking place. Even Prudencia Cotes vows never to marry her fiancé Pablo Vicario if he fails to go through with the plan that would regain his family’s honor. The community’s good treatment of men who defend family honor is also demonstrated by the feeble penalties granted the two youths for Santiago Nasar’s gruesome murder. They are given only three years in the local prison—a sentence that acknowledges the evil of murder, but which also lauds the defense of the honor that was the motive for the murder.
The treatment of people within Gabriél García Marquéz’s novel Chronicle of a death foretold shows the town to be occupied by citizens overcome by an old-fashioned tradition of valor, dignity and honor. The fact that Santiago may have been responsible for taking a woman’s virginity causes him to be effectively ostracized from society, so that the news known by all of his impending murder is kept from him—to his detriment. The good faith and support of the community for the Vicario twins also demonstrates that society’s treatment of men, of whom honor is expected, and to whom respect is accorded when they demonstrate themselves willing and able to defend family honor. The treatment of women in this society also demonstrates itself in the strict lifestyles to which they are forced to adhere and the extreme measures that must be taken whenever their actions (or those of another) cause them to stray.
García Marquéz, G. (1984). Chronicle of a death foretold. New York: Ballantine Books.