The below content is a school work, an essay, based on the Novel of “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel García Márquez, where the objectivity of the assignment was to use the knowledge which we acquired from the course [Sociology] to analyse the relationship between individuals and the society, to see the social background of the events and to understand social change by seeking an answer for the question: “Why was Santiago Nassar murdered? Who do you think was responsible for his death?” and evaluating it from a sociological perspective.
Throughout history, from the beginning of primitive people until today’s complex organizations of society, which is a large group of people who live together in an organized way, making decisions about how to do things and sharing the work that needs to be done (Cambridge Dictionary, 2017). People could not have survived alone, therefore they had to organize themselves. According to the theory of structural functionalism, societies are seen as a social system that consists of bilateral reliant factors like roles, institutions, and organizations, where also this theory states the function of this systems. How these systems are interpreted in the society and how they come into an action.
The structure of the society is shaped by norms, which is what defines these structures in terms of positions individuals hold in the society, their obligations and what others expect from them. And by violating these norms it can lead into punishment either if it’s a shaming in a public, depriving their freedom and imprisoning or death sentence. For instance, women’s position in the society is seen only as a mother who takes care of the family, feed the children, clean and cook for her husband, her actions are very sensitive in terms of honoring her family. She cannot be in a relationship with a man who did not ask her hand from her family, and she cannot sleep with him either before marriage. If she did so, it will be a disgrace to her family, degrade their reputation in the society, dishonor her brothers and finally she will be ashamed personally. Where the man who accompanied her in this situation could be executed or long-term prison due to the aggression it will lead to her family members.
In the light of the Novel of “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel García Márquez, this girl, Angela Vicario who is the youngest daughter of a very conservative goldsmith father’s family. When Bayardo San Roman, her husband, returns her back to home telling her mom that ‘she is not virgin’, the flames of aggression touch the heart of her mom, led her twin brother in madness.
And lastly, they decided to take revenge from the one who took away their sister’s virginity and bring the honor back to their sister. And they found out that she had secret love with Santiago Nasar, one of the main characters in the novel. For this reason, I believe the murders of Santiago are twin brothers of Angela Vicario, where they finally killed him brutally with knives by leaving behind his corpse and his violation of social norms are the reason responsible for his death.
As it was brought up in the previous argument, that society’s main structures are defined and shaped by norms which is a very sensitive factor. Although it may be true, in contrast, on the other hand, there is no seeable enough equality. When we look the society more closely women are a minority, not in terms of number, but in terms of lacking power. They are the victims of patriarchal society, a man dominated society. Where they [man] are those in power who represent the society in general and the family in more specifically. The feminist theorists who get influenced by ‘Malestream Theories’ argue that patriarchal relations represent knowledge in the point of view of the man, and the power of man over women.
Such as, Santiago Nasar, who is a young, rich and powerful man, treats badly with his young servant girl Divine Flor. Once he grabs her by the wrist and says, “The time has come for you to be tamed”, as if she destined for him and she has no any choice at all. Her mother went through the same experience with Ibrahim Nasar, the father of Santiago where he had a secret relationship with her. In addition to this, the same traits of behavioral treatment could be observed easily on the face of Bayardo San Roman, another young and rich man, when he first saw Angela Vicario with her mother and asked who she was. The landlady told him she was the youngest in her family, then he said, “she is well named” and rested his head on the back of a rocker and closed his eyes. “when I wake up” he said, “remind me that I am going to marry her”.
Thereupon, women are deprived from their freedom of choice. They are ‘tamed’ when the right time comes like wild animals. Hence, that angry mother of Divine Flor with the mother of Angela Vicario might become such radical and oppressed under these men dominated town. Where they might have planned a deadly plot to get rid of these men. And finally, even though Santiago does not seem someone who slept with Angela before her marriage, but she is somehow problematic due to the other group of women’s plan and she ‘falsely’ accuses him as the one took her virginity. Thinking that both Bayardo and Santiago will have conflict and endless rivalry. But unfortunately led to the murdering of Santiago.
Moreover, Bayardo who is from elite and powerful family decides to buy the house of widower of Xius to impress his new wed, and poor residents of the town and show his wealthy. Even though Xius did not want to sell out his house, but as a result when Bayardo insisted on him and offered him a lot of money, he finally accepted it. After Bayardo won the bargain he organized a very expensive and costly wedding. In contrast, Santiago who is also from a rich background, thanks to the heritage that his father left behind for him, get annoyed from the showoff that Bayardo doing and during the night of Bayardo and Angela’s wedding.
“He didn’t seem to be chilly and was only thinking about what the wedding must have cost” said Cristo Bedoya, who was with him that night, she adds that, “He recounted that they had sacrificed forty turkeys and eleven hogs for the guests, and four calves which the bridegroom had set up to be roasted for the people on the public square. He recounted that 205 cases of contraband alcohol had been consumed and almost two thousand bottles of cane liquor, which had been distributed among the crowd”. And added, “That’s what my wedding’s going to be like,” he said. “Life will be too short for people to tell about it”. Which shows how jealous he was against Bayardo.
In the political and Capitalist theory of Karl Marx, he states that society is divided into two classes which leads into conflict, Bourgeois, and Proletariat, where proletariat are working-class (the resident of the small town) and Bourgeois are those own properties (rich young men). And in our example, both Bayardo and Santiago are one side as High-class where the rest of the city are one side too as working-class, where two young rich men are somehow against each other. The working-class community of the small town might also against them and do not want to bear seeing them as superior dominating men. So, in my opinion, I finally come into this conclusion, Santiago death is caused by either his rival Bayardo who forced Angela to falsely accuse him or by the residents of the small town, those who decided to witness the failure of Bayardo’s marriage and the death of Santiago.
- Cambridge Dictionary, dictionary.cambridge.com Online, 2017.
- M, Gabriel García, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Book.