Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cast of Characters in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

We are not told his name. He is a longtime friend of Santiago Nasar and Pedro and Pablo Vicario. He was a college student at the time of the murder, but a journalist years later when narrating the story. (Gabriel García Márquez also began his career as a journalist.)

Age 21. Only child of Ibrahim Nasar, an immigrant from Syria. Family owns a cattle ranch and is wealthy. His father taught him about guns, horses, falconry, and prostitutes. His parents have arranged for him to be married to Flora Miguel. He is fascinated by church rituals. The night before he is murdered he dreams of walking through a grove of pine trees in light rain.

Mother of Santiago Nasar. Interpreter of dreams and omens. Cynical about religion. Her marriage to Ibrahim was arranged and she never loved him.


A very wealthy young man who moves into town suddenly and mysteriously, marries Angela Vicario, and buys the house of the widower Xius. His father, General Petronio San Román, fought in 19th century civil war and was an enemy of the Buendía family (from One Hundred Years of Solitude). His mother was a mulata from Curaçao.


The cook in Santiago Nasar’s house. She was raped by Santiago’s father when younger; now she hates Santiago as well, fearing he will do the same to her daughter, Divina Flor. Denies knowing about the planned murder, but years later Divina Flor admits that they both knew.

Youngest, and last unmarried, daughter in a large family. Beautiful but weak-spirited. Her parents force her to marry Bayardo San Román, whom she finds arrogant. After being rejected by her husband on her wedding night, she remains single the rest of her life, but comes to love Bayardo San Román retrospectively, and writes him hundreds of love letters which he never answers. She never wavers from her allegation that it was Santiago Nasar who deflowered her. “He is my perpetrator.” ["Fue mi autor."]

Twins, brothers of Angela, 24 years old at time of murder. Butchers by profession. Friends of the narrator since childhood. Pedro was in the military and is more decisive. He suffers from blennorrhea, which he caught in the military. After their three years in jail, Pablo gets married, and Pedro rejoins the military, and his entire troop disappears one day. Their father, Poncio, was a goldsmith but is now blind and cannot work.

Mother of Angela Vicario, very religious and traditional. Taught all her daughters sewing and calligraphy. She was a schoolteacher before marrying. She beats Angela when she is returned by her husband, and she orders her sons to redeem the family honor by killing Santiago Nasar.


Owner of a dairy shop / bar across the street from the Nasar house. She tried to get the mayor to stop the Vicario brothers, and exhorts Cristo to warn him.

Owner of a brothel, “The House of Mercies”, where many men went on the night of the wedding. She relieved a generation of young men of their virginity. Her doors are always open.

The town priest. He was busy preparing for the bishop on the morning of the murder and so did nothing to prevent it. He performed the autopsy.

Mayor of the town, and unenthusiastic about his position. He takes away Pedro and Pablo’s knives but does not arrest them, and does nothing when he learns that they acquired a second pair of knives.

A friend of Santiago Nasar and the narrator. Medical student. He was one of the last people to see Santiago, since he was taking a walk with him that morning. He is the only one who tries to do something to help Santiago.

Doctor and man of letters. Witnessed Bayardo trying to buy a house from the widower Xius He was out of town at the time of the murder, so he could not perform the autopsy.


Anonymous said...

In 1947, Garcia Marquez entered the National University of Columbia, in Bogota, to study law.
He had to transfer to the University of Cartagena when civil
war erupted, and closed the University of Bogota.
There he began his work as a journalist. He dropped out of college to work as a reporter for,
El Heraldo, in Barranquilla and began writing short stories. His writing reflects the influences of his grandmother's story telling as
well as the myths,superstition and lifestyle of the people in Aracataca.
His works have won numerous awards,
including the 1982 Nobel Prize of Literature.
Do you think that he's one of the greatest storytellers ever lived on the face of the earth?

Anonymous said...

Chronicle of a death Foretold relates the events leading up to and, to a lesser degree, those that follow the murder of Santiago Nasar, a twenty one year old Columbian of Arab descent. He is killed by the Vicario brothers to avenge the loss of their sister's honor. Told after twenty seven years after the crime by an unnamed narrator (arguably Garcia Marquez himself) who returns to the village where he once lived to put back together "the broken mirror of memory", the story is constructed from the fragmented and often conflicting versions of events as they are remembered by the townspeople and by the narrator himself.
Do you think that Santiago was the one who took the virginity of the Vicario's sister?

Anonymous said...

I don't think he did. All evidence is to the contrary and despite being a ladies man he seems like a decent man. Considering there is no proof, and its not unlikely that it was someone else who did it, I think Nasar is definitely innocent.

Anonymous said...

It is not a matter of who did what in the novel. Is Santiago Nasar guilty? No one knows. The novel is supposed to test the reader's personal convictions and judgments. Everything in the novel is ambiguous, for example: the narrator's identity, the weather, and the plot. It also challenges the idea of social conventions, such as being a virgin until marriage. All the women tell Angela how to fake it, and that they all have faked it. Since no one seems to follow the custom, why still keep it? The novel uses ambiguous symbols as well; the brothers' knives: is slaughter heinous or necessary? Santiago's dream: is it foreshadowing future events or merely a dream? It's up to the reader to decide.