Chronicle of a Death ForetoldYouTube
Chronicle of a Death Foretold Vocabulary
Saint Elmo's Fire
coup de grace
Name: ________________________________________ Chronicle of a Death Foretold Reading Guide Chapter 1 1. What is a chronicle? How is this work like a chronicle? How is it unlike a chronicle?
2. What details of the "death" day do various people disagree about? What does
Chronicle of a Death Foretold Jigsaw Each group of four will choose one of the following topics (via lottery). Your group will be responsible for tracking that topic throughout the novel. After becoming “experts” on the topic, you will share their knowledge with the entire class.
1. Women in the novel: their aspirations, the choices available to them, dependence on men or independence from men.
2. The code of honor that functions in this society. What are the assumptions / principles on which this code is based? The role of “honor” in the novel.
3. Physicality vs. spirituality. Show how Garcia Marquez’s language reflects both the physical and spiritual forces at work in human life.
4. Religion and superstition. What role does religion and/or the supernatural play in the lives of the villagers?
5. Imagery and Symbols. What are the most important images and symbols in the story? How are they used in the story? What effect do they have on the story?
6. Fate vs. free will. What vision of human nature does the novel depict? Are human beings in control of their destiny?
7. “Machismo” and the male role in this society. How do males themselves view this role?
8. Tragedy vs. comedy. The key element of tragedy is the inevitability of suffering (in other words, the outcome cannot be prevented). A comedy, on the other hand, often depends upon ridiculous and seemingly random coincidences (we laugh precisely because we did not “expect” such an outcome). Look at this novel as both tragedy AND comedy.
9. Surrealism and Magical Realism. What are these? How are they used in the story? What effect do they have on the story?
Each group must:
Prepare a written analysis of your individual findings. Submit this to turnitin.com
INCLUDE six IMPORTANT and SIGNIFICANT quotations that support your conclusions or illustrate your topic (include page numbers).
Present the material to the class in 6-8 minutes.
This assignment is worth a test grade.
Due on ____________________________________.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold Study Guide 1. What information does the first paragraph of the novel give you about the story that is going to unfold?
2. Why doesn’t Victoria Guzmán warn Santiago Nasar about the men who are going to kill him?
3. What signs does Santiago Nasar overlook that would have forewarned him of the impending crime?
4. What impression does the writer give you of the bishop and of the townspeople’s relation of him?
5. How does the writer communicate the animosity of the poor towards the rich in the novel?
6. Describe the character of Santiago Nasar.
7. What aspects of physical violence do you observe in the activities of the townspeople? Find examples from the book.
8. What precipitates the murder of Santiago Nasar?
9. In what ways are the wedding festivities unusual for the town?
10. What do you learn about the background of Bayardo San Román?
11. What was Bayardo San Román’s father known for?
12. How have the Vicario sisters been raised? What is it about them that the narrator’s mother notes is particularly unusual and virtuous?
13. What is shown about Bayardo San Román when he buys the house belonging to the widower Xius?
14. What do Angela Vicario’s confidantes explain to her about a women’s “honor”?
15. Why does the narrator’s mother consider Angela Vicario’s putting on the wedding veil to be an act of courage?
16. Which of the townspeople were forewarned of the murder? What are their reasons for not having spoken to Santiago Nasar about it?
17. How does the writer build suspense about the fate of Santiago Nasar? Why doesn’t it matter that you know what has happened from the beginning?
18. Describe the autopsy that is performed on Nasar. Who does it? What is the narrator’s opinion of it?
19. What is ironic about the description of Nasar’s wounds as stigmata and about the description of his brain made during the autopsy?
20. After the murder and the autopsy, how do people recollect their impression of its effect on the town?
21. Who is considered to be “the only one who had lost everything”? In what way is this accurate or inaccurate?
22. What are the fates of the members of the Vicario family after the murder?
23. What plea do the Vicario twins make at their trial? What is your assessment of the accuracy of this plea?
24. In what ways does Angela Vicario change after the murder? What does she realize about her mother? About Bayardo San Román? How does she deal with this?
25. What is the effect of the murder on the people of the town? How do those who could have done something to prevent it console themselves?
26. What are some of the coincidences that conspired to allow the Vicario brothers to be successful in their murder of Santiago Nasar?
27. What does magistrate conclude about Nasar’s implication in the crime? On what basis does he draw his conclusion?
28. What is the narrator’s assessment of Nasar’s feelings at the time of his death?
29. What other opinions are expressed on this matter and by whom?
30. What instances are given to show that the Vicario brothers do not want to carry out the murder?
31. How does Santiago Nasar learn that the Vicario brothers are going to kill him? How does he react to this information?
32. Why does Plácida Linero, Nasar’s mother, bolt the front door of the house?
33. What are Nasar’s actions after the Vicario brothers’ attack is concluded?
34. What effect is achieved by Nasar’s long walk into the house?
35. Who do you feel is to blame for the murder?
Literature Analysis Questions (Optional Review) Point of view
In what ways does the narrator’s profession influence the way in which the novel is told? Why do you think García Márquez chose to make his narrator a journalist?
Although the first sentence of the novel informs the reader that Santiago Nasar is about to be killed, the actual murder scene is withheld until the final pages.
- What takes up the intervening pages?
- What purpose is served by having the reader wait until the end to “see” the murder list?
- What effect does this have on the reader?
- In what sense is the inevitability of the murder intensified by the sequence of events García Márquez sets down?
A. Discuss the central action of the novel and the way in which the author traces its possible causes and its complicated effects on the townspeople.
B. What form of literature is distinguished by its sense of inescapable catastrophe?
C. In what way can the action of the novel be viewed as a contemporary tragedy? What aspects of Chronicle of a Death Foretold interfere with this definition?
Imagery and Symbols
Point out the way writers use patterns of images and symbols to convey a novel’s themes. Trace the images and symbols in Chronicle of a Death Foretold and discuss how each reflects an important aspect of theme. (Mention the cocks, animals, butchery, the cult of death, flowers, trees, colors.)
Research the literary and artistic foundations of surrealism and examine the way surrealistic elements abound in the novel. Have the class look for juxtapositions of unexpected and incongruous images, such as the vision of Divina Flor in which she sees Nasar walk into his room holding roses which is juxtaposed shortly thereafter with the real walk Nasar takes into the house in his dying moments holding his hanging intestines in his hands.
Research and discuss with the class the way writers use irony to comment on character and action as it is unfolding. Trace the incidents in the novel in which García Márquez used irony, and discuss his apparent reasons for doing so. Begin, perhaps, with a discussion of Bayardo San Román’s purchase of the house of the widower Xius, a house in which the widower and his wife had lived happily for thirty years.