Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Chapter Notes - Chapter 2
· Introduction of Bayardo San Roman as a good-looking man who appears to be perfect (wealthy, handsome, intelligent and able). However the narrator’s mother later says that he had reminded her of the devil and the narrator’s impression of him was that Bayardo had had a hidden side to him.
· Bayardo first sees Angela with her mother when he was half-awake from his nap and tells the landlady to remind him that he was to marry Angela Vicario.
· To impress Angela, Bayardo buys all the raffle tickets during a charity bazaar and wins the expensive, beautiful music box, which he then gives to Angela.
· Introduction of Angela and her family. Her father, Poncio Vicario, her mother, Purisima del Carmen/Vicario two older sisters, a middle sister who had died, and two older twin brothers (Pablo and Pedro).
· Introduction of Bayardo’s family. His father, General Petronio San Roman, his mother, Alberta Simonds, and two sisters.
· Angela doesn’t actually want to marry Bayardo, but is pressured by her family and social obligations and expectations.
· Bayardo forces Xius to let him buy his house for Angela.
· Angela was not a virgin and was taught “old wives’ tricks” to fool her husband into believing that she was and to produce a stained sheet that she could display.
· In the middle of the night, after the wedding, Bayardo returns Angela to her home after he finds out that she was not a virgin.
· Angela is beaten by her mother and tells Pedro that the man who took her virginity was Santiago Nasar.
Themes and Motifs:
· Pg 28+34 – The ritual of courtship. Bayardo keeps buying Angela gifts to win her affection.
· Pg 30 – “The girls had been reared to get married.” Another ritual that appears to be just for show.
· Pg 34 – The ritual of an engagement is supposed to be long but theirs was only for months.
· Pg 38 – Bayardo San Roman wanting to postpone the wedding so the bishop could marry them. This shows the desire to carry out the ritual of being married by a bishop although the bishop’s blessing was not necessary (all for show).
· Pg 27 – “contract of love”. Implies a social obligation to get married. A formal ritual that involves no feelings.
· Pg 30 – Angela’s mother (Pura Vicario) has a social obligation to take care of her family to the extent that her life was pushed into the background.
· Pg 33 – The narrator’s mother defies social obligations as it is considered common courtesy to greet and shake hands with someone but she refuses to shake hands with Bayardo’s father due to the fact that he had gotten Gerineldo Marquez shot.
· Pg 34 – Angela was pressured by her family to marry Bayardo. She had an obligation to marry a wealthy man as her family was of “modest means”. This shows that although she does not want to marry someone that she has no feelings for, her obligation to her family is more important.
· Pg 36 – Xius the widower is obligated to take the money from Bayardo.
· Pg 37 – Virginity symbolises virtue and honour and is viewed as important in society. It is expected by society that a woman is a virgin when she is married.
· Pg 38 – Displaying the stained sheet. The union of newly-weds is supposed to be a sacred, personal affair and yet Angela feels the need to show the village the stained sheet. This shows society’s expectations of the marriage and her being a virgin before marriage.
· Pg 41 – It was and is considered embarrassing to be jilted on your wedding day and shows a breaking of society’s expectations.
· Pg 47 – When Angela’s brothers found out why Angela was “returned”, they immediately wanted to know who had taken her virginity as they have a social obligation to uphold their sister and family’s honour by making Santiago pay the price. Even if they didn’t want to, they were obliged to.
Inevitability/Foretold/Fate/Lack of freedom
· When the brothers return the music box to Bayardo, it is foreshadowing Bayardo “returning” Angela later on. The brothers, however, had failed to return the box and this might foreshadow the failure of the return of Angela.
42 – “I don’t want any flowers at my funeral.” This shows dramatic irony and
45 – “for as long as our lives would reach”. This again foreshadows
47 – “like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written”.
This shows the inevitable death of
· Pg 27+28 – “It had never been too well established.” The narrator is reconstructing the story of how Bayardo first saw Angela and this adds the element of uncertainty and unreliability to the story.
· Pg 32 – Mystery about Bayardo’s background. Rumours told by the villagers make it even more uncertain as it is constantly being reconstructed.
· Pg 37 – Angela’s friends tell her that most women lose their virginity in childhood accidents. However, this is ambiguous as this could mean, straight forwardly, that most women lose their virginity through simple accidents or it could mean, more sinisterly, that most women were victims of abuse in their childhood, which would have caused them to “lose their virginity”.
· Pg 43 – The narrator is piecing together the memories of the festival by asking other people and this makes the story more unreliable.
· Angela said that her mother beat her severely after Bayardo left but we are only given a one-sided account, which may be unreliable, as Angela might have been traumatised by her wedding night and being returned by Bayardo and this may have affected her perception of that night.
· Pg 46 – “they had that strange touch of bad news”. This line gives the story a sense of mystery but also a sense of ambiguity, as we do not know how Angela’s mother could tell that the knocks sounded like they brought bad news as knocks do not convey feelings. She had told this to the narrator’s mother after the death and the death could have affected the way she told her account and therefore makes it slightly unreliable.
47 – There is a vagueness of who Angela lost her virginity to and the fact that
she had to search for the name suggests that
Responsibility (as a society or individual)
· Angela had the responsibility to give the right name when asked whom she had lost her virginity to but there is the possibility that she may have picked a name at random, fully knowing the consequences.
· Pg 40 – Reference to tamarind trees suggests a peaceful setting at the wedding.
· Pg 46 – “He had that green colour of dreams.”
· Pg 26 – “communion”. A ritual that is done for show.
· “Swimming in gold”. This gives us the impression that Bayardo is very wealthy.
· “Helped her make cloth flowers”. The cloth flowers symbolise a faking of something natural and as Angela’s confidantes are helping her make artificial flowers, we can parallel this to the way they are helping her make an artificial impression of being a virgin on her wedding night.
a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written”. The word
“butterfly” brings to mind innocent and oblivious connotations and we can
parallel these same oblivious connotations to
Bayardo San Roman
· In this chapter, Bayardo is described as being very wealthy, handsome, and powerful. He is also very clever and advised the townspeople on the things they could do to improve their standards of living.
· However, he also has an underhand and devious side to him as we can see when he buys all the tickets in the raffle just to win the music box and when he forces Xius to accept his money and give up his house.
· We also see him being slightly arrogant when he casually tells his landlord to remind him to ask Angela to marry him when he wakes from his nap. This display shows an unfavourable, overly confident and egoistical side of Bayardo.
· Towards the end of the chapter there is a change in Bayardo’s personality as he is no longer the arrogant man we saw before. When he returned Angela, he wasn’t insanely angry or abusive. He had kissed Angela’s mother and spoke in a “very deep, dejected voice”.
· Angela is described as being weak and perhaps fits society’s expectations and views of women: weak, helpless and ideally virginal; spending their whole lives preparing for marriage. However, she may not be as weak as we think as she defied society’s expectations of a virginal bride.
· She had no feelings for Bayardo and yet she went along with the marriage. This shows that she was weak and succumbed to the pressure from her family to marry Bayardo. It also shows how important it was for her to not defy society’s expectations.
· Angela had said, after her mother beat her, that she was no longer frightened and all she wanted to do was to go to sleep. This put her back into society’s stereotype of women and showed her immature thinking of wanting everything to “be over quickly”. She appears to not know the consequences of what had happened.