Chronicle and politics. For men, honor was considered
Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel García Márquez, is a novella full of many different cultural nuances and history that affect the lives of the townspeople. The establishment of honor and shame culture in the town affects the entirety of the novella, impacting all aspects of a family’s social status and behavior. By discussing honor and shame culture, our class was able to gain a deeper understanding of the effect of culture on the townspeople. Honor and shame culture play a crucial role in the history of Latin America, influencing all aspects of society – social standing, economy, and politics. For men, honor was considered an outlet for one’s social stature. Honor is gained through social status and behavior – the higher the social status meant equalled more honor. For example. a wealthy men possessed more honor than poor men, as they had a higher social status. Honor is also a man’s capacity to control and obtain dominion over the women he claims.If a husband’s daughter or wife were to be raped, assaulted, or have sexual activity, this brings dishonor and shame to the entire family. Unlike a man’s definition of honor, woman’s honor was their capacity to act with shame, as they were forced to be conformed and submissive to men. Humiliation is crucial to all aspects of honor, and as Historian William Ian Miller states, “honor is that disposition which makes one act to shame others who have shamed oneself, and to humiliate someone who has humiliated oneself.”Honor plays a significant role in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. In the Colombian town in which the story takes place, all the townspeople are heavily affected by this powerful construction of honor. Honor and shame culture is taken as law, and no action would be questioned if it was for the sake to protect one’s honor. When Santiago Nasar is suspected of being guilty for taking Angela Vicario’s virginity, in order to rid their sister of this shame, the Vicario brothers murder Santiago Nasar as a sacrifice. Angela dishonored her family by marrying Bayardo San Ramon, when she had already slept with someone else. In order for this lost honor to be redeemed, her brothers must kill Santiago in order to restore this honor. Ironically, before Nasar’s death, the Butcher. Faustino Santos, and the other townspeople didn’t expect that the brothers would kill him, “‘I thought they were drunk,’ Faustino Santos told me, ‘They had forgotten what time it was'” (59). Despite the Vicario brothers clearly saying they were going to kill him, majority merely let the event unravel, believing that the crime deserved a punishment.