Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Analytical Questions

I created two analytical questions to guide my upcoming essay on Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

My first question is: Does this foundation of honor prevent them from intervening between the Vicario brothers and murdering Santiago? or Why are most people in the story indifferent about the fact that Santiago is about to be murdered?

My second question is: Why does Bayardo San Román come back for Angela after returning her?

My third question is: Early in the story, how do Santiago’s dreams foreshadow his upcoming death?

Bayardo San Román – Characterization

Determine two character traits that you think are most important to his or her characterization–the traits that most make the person who he or she is–and support your choices with specific evidence.

Bayardo San Román plays a special and important role in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. The two traits that shape his character are his appeal to so many people and also his respect for their culture. What makes him so likeable is how he interacts with others. He offers to participate in a swimming race with the others, and be a part of their lives and making himself heard but not in such a pretentious manner. In a way he is a bit cocky, however very politely. For example, on page 27, the narrator’s mother describes Bayardo, “‘People like him a lot because he’s honest and has a good heart…the mass in Latin” (Márquez 27). It is a fact that he is very likeable by most and that his cockiness does not really affect him badly. He is a well-mannered man that is confident about what he plans on doing, like marrying Angela. His second trait is his respect and responsibility for their culture. When he marries Angela and finds out that she is not a virgin, he seems to know exactly what to do. Bayardo is responsible and well-mannered when he returns Angela to her home. The narrator says, “Bayardo San Román didn’t enter, but softly pushed his wife into the house without speaking a word. Then he kissed Pura Vicario on the cheek and spoke to her in a very deep, dejected voice, but with great tenderness. ‘Thank you for everything, Mother. You’re a saint'” (Márquez 46). Not only is Bayardo San Román calm and respectful about the whole situation, but he returns his wife in such a proper, mannered way. It is brought to such an extent that he kisses Angela’s mother on the cheek and thanks her, calling her a saint. This is a perfect example of how he respects their culture. He knows Angela is not “pure” and does not harm her in any way, but “softly pushed” her into her house. His respect for tradition and others’ admiration of him form his character in this book, playing an important part of the mystery.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Topics/Subjects

After reading the first two chapters of Chronicle of a Death Foretold, what do you think the book is about? I don’t mean the plot, but the broader “topics” or “subjects” that we might have called themes before this year. Identify one or two such topics or subject with reference to specific textual evidence.

After reading the first two chapters of this book, I noticed a recurring topic which is the uncertainty of the characters’ facts. Leading on to this is how the reader cannot completely trust the narrator because the narrator gets his information from other people, and how do we know that those other people are not bias or have certain opinions. Therefore, the facts may be changed from what they really are to what the characters wanted to see instead of what really happened. On page 4, the author writes, “Many people coincided in recalling that it was a radiant morning… but most agreed that the weather was funereal… his dream grove” (Márquez 4). This quote is an example of how the characters in the story are uncertain about many things, and in this case the weather. So far, this topic repeats itself throughout what I have read in the novella. Another example is after Bayardo sees Angela, “Three people who had been in the boardinghouse confirmed that it had taken place, but four others weren’t sure” (Márquez 29). This uncertainty of the story’s facts drives the novella in being even more of a mystery. In a way, it makes the story more entertaining, yet frustrating to the point where it would drive one crazy to find out exactly what happens.