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What information does the first paragraph of the novel give you about the story that is going to unfold? In the first paragraph, the author mentions that the victim, Santiago Nasar was going to die. Marquez states that on the day of his predisposed death Santiago Nasar woke up at five-thirty to wait for the bishop who was arriving to town that morning. Marquez also mentions that Santiago had dreams of being "spattered with bird shit" and "flying alone in an airplane." Supposedly, the mother did not notice much about her son's ominous dreams and disregarded them completely.
Why doesn't Victoria Guzman warn Santiago Nasar about the men who are going to kill him?
Victoria Guzman did not warn Santiago Nasar about the men who were going to kill him because she was filled with so much repressed rage and would do anything to protect her daughter from the likes of him.
What signs does Santiago Nasar overlook that would have forewarned him of the impending crime?
The signs that were overlooked by Santiago Nasar on the day of his death were prominent- the cooking rabbits whose guts were thrown savagely to the dogs, the front door, which remained closed and barred, the knowledge of the cooks and more.
What impression does the writer give you of the bishop and of the townspeople's relation to him?
The writer gave off the impression that although the bishop did not care much for the people of this little town, he was regarded highly by the townsfolk, otherwise, they would have not gone to such lengths to wait upon his arrival and prepare all of his favorite delicacies and meals.
How does the writer communicate the animosity of the power toward the rich in the novel?
The writer discusses the animosity of the power toward the rich in the novel in a sense of foreboding, and explains this through the characters of the Vicario twins and their need to always "live up to the expectations" of society.
Describe the character of Santiago Nasar.
Santiago Nasar is the protagonist of the story who is killed the day after the wedding between Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman. The story is centered around his death and the events leading up to it. He is accused by Angela Vicario of taking her virginity, but no evidence backs this up.
What aspects of physical violence do you observe in the activities of the townspeople?
The aspects of physical violence that a reader can observe in the activities of the townspeople are similar to honor killings, in which family members take the life of a certain individual who was claimed to have taken the purity of the female in the household.
What precipitates the murder of Santiago Nasar?
The claim that Santiago had taken the purity of Angela Vicario precipitates his murder.
In what ways are the wedding festivities both typical and unusual for the town?
The wedding festivals are typical in that the acts of gathering, socializing and enjoying the festivities were present; however it was unusual for the town when Santiago and his friends attended their "personal events," such as Maria Cervantes' prostitution house. It was also unusual because Bayardo San Roman had asked that the wedding be postponed until the arrival of the Bishop, which signifies the importance of religion and blessing.
What do you learn about the background of Bayardo San Roman?
Throughout the novel, readers discover that Bayardo San Roman is the mysterious man who marries Angela Vicario and then returns her when he discovers that she wasn't a virgin. Bayardo is the son of General Petronio San Roman, a famous civil war general, and Alberta Simonds, who many considered the most beautiful woman in the Antilles. The family is extremely wealthy, and Bayardo came to town with the sole purpose of finding a bride.
What is Bayardo San Roman's father known for?
Bayardo San Roman's father was a hero of the civil wars of the past century.
How have the Vicario sisters been raised? What is it about them that the narrator's mother notes is particularly unusual and virtuous?
The Vicario sisters had been raised based on pure virtue and honesty. The sisters had been reared to get married; they knew how to screen embroidery, sew by machine, weave bone lace, wash and iron, make artificial flowers and fancy candy and write engagement announcements. The narrator's mother would only reprimand them about the custom of combing their hair before sleeping.
What does it show about Bayard San Roman that he buys the house belonging to the widower Xius?
Bayardo San Roman's ability to buy the house belonging to the widower Xius displays a character that wants to please his wife and would do anything for her comfort. It shows his generosity and kind heart.
What do Angela Vicario's confidantes explain to her about a woman's honor?
Angela's friend confine in her ways to trick the husband into believing that their wives still had purity prior to their marriage. Angela's confidantes explain that a woman's honor is important and weighed heavily in society but is not cared for by the women themselves.
Why does the narrator's mother consider Angela Vicario's putting on the wedding veil to be an act of courage?
The narrator's mother considers Angela's putting on the wedding veil to be an act of courage because she was not a virgin, and was displaying to society that she was pure and untainted indeed, even though she wasn't.
Which of the townspeople were forewarned of the murder? What are their reasons for not having spoken to Santiago Nasar about it?
Many townspeople were forewarned of the murder, including the milk owner and the men at the meat market sharpening station in which the Vicario twins discussed their plans to kill Santiago. No one believe the twins for they seemed very happy and almost drunk, and did not have a reason to kill Santiago- they believed to be "drunken talk."
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?
The writer builds suspense about the fate of Santiago Nasar by detailing the story in a backwards prose- he tells the readers the fate of Santiago and then proceeds to explain how the event occurred. It does not matter whether the readers know what happens at the beginning of the story, because the readers do not have knowledge about anything else, and discover the plot as the story unfolds.
Describe the autopsy that is performed on Nasar? Who does it? What is the narrator's opinion of it?
The mayor orders that Santiago's body be refrigerated until Dr. Dionisio Iguaran, who is out of town, can perform an autopsy. Their attempts at refrigeration fail, however; Santiago's body rots until Father Amador, who had briefly attended medical school, is prevailed upon to perform the autopsy. Father Amador notes that Santiago's liver revealed a poorly cured case of hepatitis, meaning that he would only have lived a few more years anyway, an opinion later disputed by Dr. Iguaran and notes several wounds from the knife stabs of the Vicario twins. He diagnosed Santiago to have died of immediate hemorrhaging of his savagely cut organs.
What is ironic about the description of Nasar's wounds as stigmata? About the description of his brain made during the autopsy?
The autopsy of Santiago Nasar was considered ironic because Father Amador found Santiago body to have been beaten and have a stigma of the crucified Christ. Nasar's wounds were devastating and seemed to have been in areas of the body that would cause extreme pain but not immediate death, unless preformed altogether. The description of his brain signified that Santiago had superior intelligence and a bright future ahead of him.
After the murder and the autopsy, how does everyone recollect their impression of its affect on the town?
After the murder and the autopsy, everyone in the town recollects and characters such as Maria Cervantes, the Vicario twins and the narrator. Santiago's lover, Maria gorges herself- it is her way of mourning, and cannot even entice anymore of her lover, smelling Santiago on them. Similarly, Pedro and Pablo Vicario, who are in jail, smell Santiago everywhere. They are afraid to sleep, where they commit the murder again in their dreams.
Who is considered to be "the only one who had lost everything"? In what way is this accurate or inaccurate?
In the novel, the one considered to be "the only one who had lost everything" was Bayard San Roman, and this seems accurate in that Santiago had expiated his murder, the twins proved their honor as men and Angela was one again in possession of her honor- only Bayardo remained with nothing left in tenure.
What are the fates of the members of the Vicario family after the murder?
The narrator relates the fates of the Vicario family: after the debacle, they retire from the town and never return, moving to Manaure instead. The twins insist that their killing was honorable all the way up to their trial day, when they are absolved. They move to Riohacha near Manaure where Pablo marries Prudencia and becomes a goldsmith. Pedro, meanwhile, reenlists in the army and disappears one morning in enemy territory.
What plea do the Vicario twins make at their trial? What is your assessment of the accuracy of this plea?
The twins insist that their killing was honorable all the way up to their trial day, when they are absolved. In my opinion, honor killings are never the solution to any problem that may arise.
In what ways does Angela Vicario change after the murder? What does she realize about her mother? About Bayardo San Roman? How does she deal with this?
Angela tells the narrator that while her mother was beating her she realized that she loved Bayardo San Roman. One day, long afterwards she saw him in a hotel lobby in Riohacha, she "went crazy over him." She has matured and grown witty and she doesn't shy away from recounting the details of the wedding and murder, though she never tells the identity of her true lover.
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?
For years after, no one in town can discuss anything but the murder. They become obsessed with the number of coincidences that aligned in order to make the murder possible; some are never able to forgive themselves for their part in the murder.
What are some of the coincidences that conspired to allow the Vicario brothers to be successful in their murder of Santiago Nasar?
Readers learn that the twins tell Santiago's good friend Indalecio Pardo, about their plan. Indalecio loses the nerve to warn Santiago when he sees him. On the morning, Santiago walks with Cristo Bedoya, who notices strange looks among the crowd but is not yet aware of the plan. The crowd parts for them, not wanting to touch a man who will soon die. After Cristo and Santiago part, Yamil Shaium warns Cristo of the plot, but Cristo is unable to find Santiago again. Cristo goes to Santiago's house, where he tells Victoria of the plot (she already knows); when he cannot find Santiago he leaves without telling Placida, for want of frightening her.
What does the magistrate conclude about Nasar's implication in the crime? On what basis does he draw his conclusion?
The magistrate concludes that Santiago Nasar did not understand why he was being so forcefully attacked and was unaware of the entire plot throughout the story. The magistrate bases this conclusion on the knowledge of the conversation that Santiago and his fiancé's father had the morning of his death. Upon seeing his fiancé burst out in anger at his "supposed" affair with Angela Vicario, Santiago turns to her father- Nahir who explains the plot of the twins. Santiago is totally confused, and thus clearly innocent, so Nahir tells him to hide in their house or take a rifle for protection.
What is the narrator's assessment of Nasar's feelings at the time of his death?
At the time of his death, the narrator assess that Santiago did not understand why the Vicario twins were after him, and why their sister had chosen Santiago as the perpetrator.
What other opinions are expressed on this matter and by whom?
Other opinions expressed on this matter are those by the narrator's mother and Nahir- the father of Santiago's fiancé; neither believed that Santiago committed the alleged crime.
What instances are given to show that the Vicario brothers do not want to carry out the murder?
The judge determines that the Vicario brothers don't want to murder Santiago-they even tell Indalecio Pardo, a good friend of Santiago Nasar's, about their plan to kill him. At every step they try merely to enact their vengeance-without ever having to fulfill it. They hang out at the milk shop, more or less waiting to be stopped; then they wait in front of Santiago's door-the last place anyone would have thought he'd go.
How does Santiago Nasar learn that the Vicario brothers are going to kill him? How does he react to this information?
Santiago Nasar learns that the Vicario brothers are going to kill him through Nahir, the father of his fiancé, Flora, who knew of the plot. Santiago is totally confused, and thus clearly innocent, so Nahir tells him to hide in their house or take a rifle for protection. Santiago, however, leaves without the rifle, afraid and baffled-unable even to find his own house.
Why does Placida Linero, Nasar's mother, bolt the front door of the house?
Placida Linero bolts the front door of her house out of fear for her son. Victoria had finally told Placida about the murder plot; Placida asks Divina if her son is at home, and when Divina swears that he is, she locks the door, seeing the Vicario brothers running at the house with their knives out.
What are Nasar's actions after the Vicario brothers' attack is concluded?
Santiago, shut out of his own house seconds too late, is killed. The twins stab him repeatedly, including a horizontal slash across his stomach that releases his viscera. Santiago stumbles into the house through the back door and dies in the kitchen.
What affect is achieved by Nasar's long walk into the house?
The affect that is achieved by Santiago's long walk into the house is ironic because the murder itself took such a short amount of time, and the actual act of dying took longer as if to fortify that Santiago anguished in pain on the account of what most likely was, a lie. It extends the emotions of the readers to feel as though he truly suffered for nothing.
Who do you feel is to blame for the murder?
Can we truly blame anyone for Santiago Nasar's death? Perhaps only the idea of honor killings presented in the book are completely blameworthy. Marquez dramatizes the double standard of sexuality in this society: premarital sex is an offense against society for a woman, while it is allowed for men. In the end, everyone had some part that can be held accountable for the murder of Santiago- even Santiago himself.