Example Reflective Statement – Chronicle of a Death Foretold


Social expectations and obligations play a role of paramount influence in Marquez’s Chronicle Of A Death Foretold. The interactive oral discussed the roles of females in society and machismo, specifically the notion that women in the text, serving as a reflection of Columbian society, unconsciously internalize and adopt the chauvinistic values of society, while men are expected to epitomize machismo in their daily philosophy.


This discussion allowed me to further understand the roles the characters play in the novel. Women in the text have unconsciously accepted themselves as the ‘inferior’ gender, and conform to the expectations of society rather than their individual desires. Society has normalized a chauvinistic attitude, leading women to intrinsically accept the values of society as their own. This is seen through Angela’s mother, Pura Vicario, who “devoted herself with such spirit of sacrifice to the care of her husband and the rearing of her children that at times one forgot she still existed” (31). The discussion contextualized Pura’s situation as a mother in Columbian society, providing reason for the extent of her sacrifice. It became clear that she assumed the societal values impressed upon her. This notion also explained why Angela’s confidantes helped her hide the loss of her virginity. Society upheld the value of virginity and chastity, and so the women wished to help Angela hide her impurity. It was society’s belief, and therefore their own, that women had to enter marriage as virgins. Thus, Angela embodied something shameful that needed to be hidden.


In contrast, men are expected to embody an aura of machismo. The discussion of this idea provided insight to why Angela’s brothers, Pedro and Pablo Vicario, killed Santiago Nasar, despite the fact that he was their friend. It was not merely the defending the honour of the family, but also the expectation that the men of the family to take it upon themselves to right such wrongs. This provides validation for the theory that Pedro and Pablo were announcing their intentions to murder Santiago in the hopes that someone would stop them. Their murderous intent stemmed from societal obligations and reflected the macho ideal rather than an actual desire to kill Santiago. This is also identified through Poncio Vicario sacrificing his sight through his fine work with gold in order to defend the family’s honour. Society obliges men to assume a masculine role and defend the family regardless of the sacrifice.