Of Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Fortold, by Gabriel Marquez, is concerned with death in
life and life in death. It was rainy on the day of Santiago Nasar’s murder,
and yet by the account of others, it was not. His death is so mingled with
illusory images that everything seems mystified: much like death itself. The
fact that the story is about how a death consumes the lives of the entire town
as well as the victim, shows that it is concerned with death in life and asks us
to evaluate our own views. Not only is the story concerned with death in life on
the literary level, but the people of the town feel obliged to honor and offer
gifts to a bishop that doesn’t even like the town. It is perhaps because they
fear if they do not keep their faith, they are putting in jeopardy their fate
after death; this is the primary concern of all religions, life after death and
fear of the unknown. "For years we couldn’t talk about anything else..
.and it was obvious that we weren’t doing it from an urge to clear up
mysteries but because none of us could go on living without an exact knowledge
of the place and the mission assigned to us by fate"(113). "‘All
right, girl,’ he said to her, trembling with rage, ‘tell us who it was’..
.’Santiago Nasar,’ she said"(53). Whether or not Santiago Nasar was the
reason behind Angela Vicario’s lost honor, his death shapes and defines her
life afterwards. Many in the town describe her as being a woman half in mourning
and the narrator is amazed at how she ends up understanding her own life despite
how much she was made to die in life(101). Chronicle of a Death Fortold makes us
look at life and death and face uncertainty about our future. Because it
questions death and our belief in religion, it depreciates, in a sense, our
strong belief in the glories of afterlife. Like the narrator, maybe we,
"couldn’t bring ouselves to admit that life might end up resembling bad
literature so much"(102). It makes us think that we should be content now,
and not later, and that the intermingling of life and death is not purely
coincidental, but perhaps one is no greater than the other.