The Chronicle of a Death Foretold Essay

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• ‘Women in Marquez’s ‘Chronicles of a Death Foretold’ • The representation and characterization of women in Marquez’s “Chronicles of a Death Foretold” provides an understanding of the varied ways in which patriarchy gets constituted, constructed and re-invented in the Latin American context and experience. Marquez’s women characters in the novella reflect not just the extent of women’s internalization of this hierarchy or their exploitation under this unequal gendered system, but his characterization also reveals the diversity of women’s subversions and resistances to this oppressive subjugation. • • Patriarchy in Latin America is unique in its assertion as it works in a society where indigenous cultural practices have been rooted in a celebration of and openness about sexuality. This stood in direct opposition to the orthodox Catholic ideals of chastity and purity that penetrated into the local tradition during colonization under a patriarchal state apparatus. Patriarchy also worked closely through intersecting oppressions of class and race with the advent of Spanish and Portuguese claiming the “New World” from these early indigenous societies[1]. Through the character of Angela Vicario, Marquez presents to us these various dynamics at work in assertion of patriarchy and exploitation of women; the complex links between gender, class and violence; and the trajectories of resistance that women adopt to build an independent space for themselves under such an oppressive system. Angela’s situation raises questions of class exploitation and the position of women under the Christian value system. For Bayado, it is merely a matter of ‘conquest’ of the woman he chooses. Angela Vicario becomes the passive object of her sexual desire. His class position and wealth allowed him this privilege. Bayado becomes representative of the foreign imperialist presence in Latin

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