Irony and Gender Bias in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

1343 Words6 Pages
In works of literature, the best antagonists are those who surround the story and permeate the environment by being ideas, a culture, or a mindset. Gabriel Garcia Marquez accomplishes this in his short novel A Chronicle of a Death Foretold by implementing a culture that not only allows but forces a gender bias on his characters. Taking place in a small, Latin American village, his novel’s customs demand traditional, macho behavior of the male characters and submissive, delicate demeanors from women. Moreover, Marquez creates a culture in which the differences in expectations for male and female characters cause a rift between the two genders. This separation of the male and female characters in turn result in many miscommunications and conflicts, foremost among these being the primary conflict, the unnecessary death of Santiago Nasar, a popular and rich young man in the village. Gabriel Garcia Marquez condemns the repercussions of having a society in which male and/or female characters are pressured into fitting a certain mold based on their sex by implementing irony in that the gender roles that are intended to provide structure actually deteriorate the society. In A Chronicle of a Death Foretold, when culture represses women sexually, the majority of the female population slyly circumvents this cultural requirement of remaining a virgin until marriage by tricking their husbands on their wedding night into thinking it is their first sexual encounter; when this deception and lack of communication is unappealing to Angela Vicario, an already deflowered bride, she decides “that it [is] all something dirty that shouldn’t be done to anybody” and chooses to let him discover the truth (Marquez 91). Marquez uses irony to communicate the profound repercussions of this gender-based pressure on female characters, and has this culturally accepted sexism of women having to
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