The concept of fate is embedded in the very title of the novel, and introduced again in its first sentence: “On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on.” Santiago Nasar’s death is “foretold” in two senses. First, Pablo and Pedro Vicario announce their intentions —literally “foretelling” the death— to anyone who will listen, and soon…(read full theme analysis)
If the primary drama of Chronicle of a Death Foretold is the murder of Santiago Nasar, the secondary drama is the Narrator’s work of researching, recollecting, and representing the murder. His narrative style is journalistic: after many years, the narrator is attempting to put together a comprehensive account of Santiago Nasar’s murder. Structurally the novel resembles a documentary film: a dramatization or reconstruction of the murder is framed and informed by a huge…(read full theme analysis)
Violence, of course, is a persistent theme throughout this crime story. The violence that Santiago Nasar suffers is—for Márquez and his characters—both familiar and entirely alien. The Narrator, and through him Márquez, asks dogged questions pertaining to violence: What does violence do to its victim? What does violence do to its perpetrator? More pressingly, what is the place of violence within a community? How can a community knowingly allow violence to occur, and, further…(read full theme analysis)
So much of daily life in the Narrator’s community is governed by ritual and routine. In a simple sense, the population consists mostly of tradespeople, whose lives consist of repetitious tasks: Clotilde Armante sells milk to the same people every morning; Pablo and Pedro Vicario raise and slaughter their pigs. Time has a cyclical, repetitive quality in the town: every day, the same steamboats pass on their way upriver.
Perhaps more importantly, though…(read full theme analysis)