Somehow I consider The Chronicle of a Death Foretold a satire, criticizing the carelessness of the whole society with a sober, objective tone. The use of animal imagery to some extent not only foreshadows the impending tragedy but also degrades human nature into animal instincts. Firstly, considering the title of the novel, especially ? ??death?? and ? ??foretold?? , the title itself is very contradictory. How can a death be foretold? So far as human basic instincts to survival are concerned, if a death can be foretold, one usually will try every possible way to prevent it from happening.
Therefore, ? ??death?? and ? ??foretold?? are like two parallel lines, which should never meet each other in the natural cycle. However, by matching these two contradictory words together, Marquez is suggesting the sickness of the society, caused by the excessive emphasis on honor and human? ??s hidden desire to be a ? ??looker,?? and the inability of the authoritarian forces, represented by government and religion. The death of Santiago can? ??t only be attributed to single person such as the Vicario twins, Angela, Baynardo or Placida.
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To be more accurate, his death is the conspiracy of the crowd and a sacrifice under the traditional encomium to family honor. The Vicario twins have to kill Santiago in order to maintain their family honor, but obviously while they are spreading the news about killing Santiago around the town, they in fact expect someone to stop them rather than just watch them conducting the killing. In other words, they are not so determined. And if somebody with power can exactly take thorough action or many ? ??nobody?? really take it seriously, get together to stop the twins, the tragedy is preventable.
Nevertheless, people with power such as Father Armenta and Colonel Lazaro, one feels this affair in not his business, but the authority? ??s and because he doesn? ??t take it seriously, he later forgets it while the other is too pride of his ability in settling down the feud so he becomes too careless and ignorant, even a owner of the milk shop is more prudent than he is. As for many other small potatoes, they enjoy to be a ? ??looker?? , stirring the atmosphere up. Few are truly helping Santiago. As they see Santiago appearing in front of them, they feel relieved and take it as an excuse that the twins are only joking.
This attitude is a common one in human nature? Xnamely, no one thinks it? ??s his business and everyone is always waiting for the other to take action; however, sometimes things can? ??t be waited. The death of Santiago reveals the truth that most people are lookers rather than doers. Also, the novel attacks town peoples? ?? overemphasis on the traditional creeds such as honor of family and honor of a woman? ??s virginity. We can? ??t deny that traditional creeds sometimes have their values. However, if we only follow the creeds blindly without thinking of the truth of life, and if the creeds can fit in nowadays society, it? s just like putting a cart before the horse; we attend to the superficial and neglect the essential. For me, traditional creeds are passed down from generation to generation and are supposed to help the descendants to have a better life. Ironically, the traditional creeds here not only deprive Angela? ??s right to marry someone she loves but also impose the unreasonable duty on the twins, while sacrificing the young, brilliant life of Santiago. What Marquez presents in the novel is the absurd choice human make between traditional creeds and the worth of lives, indicating human? s blindness. Furthermore, the use of animal imagery is also a means to attack the absurdity of human, even the degradation of human nature. While Victoria is disemboweling the rabbits, she is surrounded by the panting dogs. I don? ??t know what the symbolic meaning of rabbit and dog, but the whole scene makes me think of the town people and Santiago. Those lookers as well as the conspirators are just like the panting dogs, eager to trespass the helpless rabbits. They are the preying dog, not the honest friends of human.
Those lookers may defend themselves that they indeed want to do something for Santiago, but? K? Kand that in fact even if they don? ??t offer any practical help to Santiago, they don? ??t need to take responsibility of Santiago? ??s death. However, what distinguishes human from animals is that men have thoughts, compassion and intelligence. These characteristics actually don? ??t upgrade human? ??s living environment; instead, we human with so-called compassion, intelligence and thoughts create such an alienate world, in which everybody wildly open their eyes to let a life pass by in such a careless way.
On the other hand, corresponding to the disemboweling rabbits, death doesn? ??t endow Santiago the dignity a dead man should own; his dead body is just like an animal? ??s body, deserted and re-damaged by the unprofessional autopsy. Where is men? ??s politeness and respect to the dead? I wonder. In addition to animal imagery, the supernatural mystery is the prevailing atmosphere in the novel. Placida is an excellent dream interpreter, Santiago inherits Placida? ??s six sense, and the narrator? ??s mother somehow is also a woman able to learn something head of others.
However, their talent doesn? ??t prevent the tragedy. More ironically, it? ??s Placida who shut her son outdoors at the last moment. Those who have gift can? ??t foretell the death but common town people. The force of supernature is powerless when confronting things beyond natural cycle. The reason that gifted people can? ??t foretell the death is because the death of Santiago should be in control and able to prevent in the natural cycle. That is, it is human behavior that goes beyond the natural cycle and exasperates the outcome of the event.