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Communal Guilt

Communal Guilt

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Communal Guilt

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  1. Communal Guilt Chronicle of a Death Foretold Bartu Kaleagasi

  2. Contributing Themes • 1. Honor Crime (justification) • 2. Ambiguity of Judgment (rational factor) • 3. Implication of Fate (supernatural factor) • 4. The Smell (metaphorical guilt)

  3. Honor Crime • Colombian culture -> honor crime perceived as “justified” • “I knew what they were up to, and I didn’t only agree, I never would have married him if he hadn’t done what a man should do.” (Chapter 3, page 62) • Mitigation of extent of potential guilt of villagers • They personally held nothing against Santiago

  4. Honor Crime • Vicario brothers’ motif is clear • Culture accepts honor crimes to be dealt internally • Village is aware of everything beforehand, why?: “[Clotilde] was certain that the Vicario brothers were not as eager to carry out the sentence as to find someone who would do them the favor of stopping them.” (Chapter 3, page 57)

  5. Ambiguity of Judgment • “He died without understanding his own death.” (Chapter 5, page 101) • No substantial evidence of Santiago’s alleged actions • Possible “need” for someone to be punished (from brothers and public) • Santiago most likely used as a scapegoat

  6. Ambiguity of Judgment • He ends up as a victim of both fate and of the culture • Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman: • Victims (deceit, loss of opportunity, public shame) • Also products of their culture (honor killing, machismo, religious obedience)

  7. Implication of Fate • “ ‘There’s no way out of this,’ he told him. ‘It’s as if it had already happened.’ ” (Chapter 3, page 61) • "No one even wondered whether Santiago Nassar had been warned, because it seemed impossible to all that he hadn't" (Page 20)

  8. Implication of Fate • “They had done so much than could be imagined for someone to stop them from killing him, and they failed” (Page 49) • “There had never been a death more foretold” (p50)

  9. The Smell • “The Vicario brothers could smell him in the jail cell where the mayor had locked them up” • “No matter how much I scrubbed with soap and rags, I couldn’t get rid of the smell” (Chapter 4, page 78) • “Persistence of the smell” • “It smelled like him”

  10. End Bartu Kaleagasi