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The theme of religion as depicted in Chronicle of a death foretold
The first encounter the reader has with religion is in the 1st chapter, exactly where the villagers are awaiting for the bishop’s arrival. They made numerous preparations to honor the bishop, hoping he would get off the boat this year. Their hopes were crushed, as as soon as once more he did not get off to greet them and appreciate the gifts. The bishop’s moves although on the boat are described as “mechanic”, showing his indifference towards the modest town. This goes against the beliefs of enjoy and forgiveness of the Catholic religion. Moreover, Marquez foreshadows the fate of Santiago, as he mentions, “the men and women have been too excited with the bishop’s pay a visit to to be concerned about any other news”, meaning that even though most of the villagers knew about the Vicario brother’s intentions, they have been as well busy preparing for the bishop’s arrival, hoping that he would stop this murder from happening. The second religious figure in the novel is Father Carmen Amador, whose part is really ironic. He choses not to intervene and quit the two brothers, even even though he was conscious of the entire program. Later on, he even forgets to warn Santiago, because he was distracted by the bishop’s arrival. Father Amador even says that the Vicario brothers are “innocent…before God”. His name is ironic, as in Spanish it implies lover, even so his name is extremely contradictory, as when he is performing the autopsy on Santiago’s dead physique, he does it with no enjoy at all, in a really violent way. Because his name indicates lover, he could have been the one who took Angela’s virginity. This could be why he welcomed the Vicario brothers and forgave them in the name of God right after the murder. Moreover, getting Angela’s lover could have been the reason why he did not warn Santiago or why he performed such a violent autopsy on his physique.
1 of the most striking portrayals of religion in the novel is the similarity of Santiago to Jesus Christ. Firstly, Marquez has selected Santiago’s name very thoughtfully, as in Spanish Santo can be translated to “Saint”, quickly creating the very first connection of his death to Christ. Furthermore, Nasar sounds similar to Nazareth, the birthplace of Jesus. Santiago becoming an Arab was noticed as an outsider to the Colombian society about him, like Jesus. Some parts of the novel seem equivalent to Christ’s story according to the Bible, for instance, the cocks that started to crow in their baskets. This is related to the cocks that crowed 3 times ahead of Jesus death. According to the title, Santiago’s death was foretold, which is comparable to Jesus’ prediction of his own death. An additional way that makes Santiago comparable to Jesus, is through his death, as it resembles the crucifixion of Christ. Pedro Vicario mentions “we killed him openly”, this is a similarity amongst the two, as Jesus was also killed openly. Even although Santiago’s murder did not take place in front of absolutely everyone, it can still correspond to Jesus, as the entire town was conscious of the murder, they were all spectators, but no one was willing to act to defend Santiago. The most direct connection to Jesus is exactly where it is talked about that “He had a deep stab in the appropriate hand, it looked like a stigma of the crucified Christ”. One more similarity between Christ’s crucifixion and Nasar’s death is exactly where Marquez mentions: “the knife went via the palm of his correct hand and then sank into his side up to the hilt. Everyone heard his cry of pain”, this is extremely comparable to the moment where the Roman soldiers are nailing Jesus on the cross. Additionally, when the two brothers have been attacking Santiago, it is talked about that the knife he was getting attacked with kept coming out clean, which is an instance of magic realism that shows Santiago’s magical talents. Santiago was “mortally wounded 3 times”, the number 3 can be linked to religion as it could symbolize the three occasions Jesus was denied by Saint Peter. In this case, Saint Peter would be the people who refused to quit the Vicario brothers. An additional interpretation of the symbolism behind the number three and religion is that the devil tempted Jesus three times. Angela could be the devil, as she might have tempted Santiago to take away her virginity, indicating that possibly he is guilty in the end. Throughout the murder, Santiago seemed like he was being nailed to the wooden door, this relates closely to Christ’s nailing on the wooden cross. A lot of individuals heard Jesus’ final words on the cross, and realized their incorrect doings, similarly a lot of people heard Santiago’s screams and realized their error of getting impassive. In addition, each Christ and Santiago showed no resistance for the duration of their death. Pedro Vicario also mentions that Santiago knew why they had been going to kill him, which tends to make his death parallel to Jesus, as He also knew why He was going to be killed. In addition, Marquez points out that Santiago had a magical talent, which is equivalent to Jesus’ talents. An additional similarity of the two is that they each wore white at the day of their death. This symbolizes purity and may possibly recommend that Santiago, comparable to Jesus, was not guilty in the end and was simply paying for other people’s sins. Santiago died for Angela’s sin and Christ for the people’s sins. This is a criticism for the decision of the two brothers, as they refused to investigate Angela’s claim further and only cared about the honor carried by their family’s name.
In the novel it is ironic how all the townspeople are extremely respectful towards religion and that it plays a massive role in their lives. Firstly, Angela’s name means angelic, which is ironic as she was no angel. She was the reason for Santiago’s murder. Most of her qualities, primarily the reality that she had pre-marital sex, show that she was the opposite. This hyperlinks to the Bible’s interpretation for the creation of the world, exactly where Eve gets tempted by the snake, in this case Angela could have been tempted by Santiago to have pre-marital sex. Moreover, it is ironic how the Vicario brothers’ way of restoring their honor is by way of murder, as they are breaking one particular of The Ten Commandments that states, “Thou shalt not murder.” Proper after the murder the two brothers run to the church to confess, justifying their act as a matter of honor and the Church accepts this, hence it fails to see that a single of the Ten Commandments that they reside by is broken. This shows that honor is so crucial in their society that they fail to act morally and according to God.
To conclude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez utilizes various examples of religion all through the novel, to criticize the society’s acts. In the novel Santiago Nasar is seen as a figure with traits related to Jesus. This indicates that perhaps he was innocent in the end and he had to die for Angela’s sins, just like Jesus died for the people’s sins. In addition, the truth that the Catholic Church may pardon murder if it is a matter of honor is really ironic and judgmental, as it is a breakage of the Ten Commandments, thus it ought to not be justified. The bishop acts as a symbol showing how biased the church is and that it does not want to concern itself with unimportant matters, like the modest Colombian town, even even though it accepts all the gifts and preparations. Lastly, related to the bishop, Father Amador could be a biased religious figure, as he could potentially be Angela’s lover and he was the a single to justify and accept a murder as a matter of honor.
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