The Visit Chronicle Of A Death Foretold

2364 words (9 pages) Essay

2nd May 2017 English Literature Reference this

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To what extent does religion play a role in ‘The Visit’ and ‘Chronicle of a death foretold’ ‘This is what I found out about religion: it gives you courage to make the decisions you must make in a crisis, and then the confidence to leave the result to a higher power. Only by trust in God can a man carrying responsibility find repose.’

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Sociological studies reveal that religion has contributed a lot to the social, cultural and economic development of different societies. Religion can have both positive and negative effects on the society. The role of religion in moulding people’s opinions and its effect on the society will be examined in Marquez’s novel ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ and Durrenmatt’s play ‘The Visit’ In my findings, it has been suggested that in both works religion is not the prominent concern, although there is a subtle affiliation to religion. ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ is always revolving around religion, where the narrator is very cynical towards religion which is shown through his pungent tone. On the contrary the community seems to be religious. Analogously in ‘The Visit’ the author makes constant use of religious symbols, this leads to the degeneration of society and its symbols. In both the works the inadequacy in maintaining religion in society is deeply rooted. Where the author and narrator criticises religion through their satirise depiction of religious figures and character’s attitude towards religion.

Seminar religious figures are used in both works to portray the view of religion. In ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ the visit of the Bishop is exaggerated and denunciated by the narrator. On the day when everyone anticipates his arrival, the Bishop gives no consideration to the eagerly awaiting people and destroys their exhilaration by not getting off the boat and simply giving ‘an obligatory blessing’. The Bishop allegorically creates a wall of distinction between the civic and the people of the church. Moreover, he only makes contact with the town through a series of ‘mechanically driven crosses without the malice of inspiration to them’ This statement displays the arrogant behaviour of the Bishop and these actions do not earn him respect as a person but only as an empty shell of authority, another defect in the practical result of religious doctrines. Another interpretation of not leaving the boat portrays that the Bishop fails to give his words of wisdom as a spiritual leader and leaves them with only one reason to follow him, the fear of their afterlife if they do not. Overall the Bishop’s characterisation has a negative influence on the society. Another characterisation diminishes the overall positive effect, the ‘cockscomb soup’ that is the bishop’s favourite and is a symbolic representation of his arrogance and male authority of the church. The ‘cockscomb’ entails the death of a myriad of birds and therefore is a symbol representing masculinity.

A second significant representative of the church in ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ is Father Amador. This figure is used to allegorise the debased nature of the Church and it’s failure to influence the community positively. He is characterised as lackadaisical and this behaviour is rendered in his decision of not preventing the murder.

‘The truth is I didn’t know what to do…My first thought was that it wasn’t any business of mine but something for the civil authorities’ A typical Latin American religious community profoundly relies on religion to provide a moral guideline to protect its citizens. Ironically, Father Amador fails to uphold high moral standards when he does nothing to prevent the murder of Santiago, furthermore, he attempts to justify his action by saying that he forgot because he was busy due to the frenzy of the ‘bishop coming on that unfortunate day’ but how can one simply forget that a man is about to be murdered? Through these imperceptible depictions of the characters in ‘Chronicle of A Death Foretold’ sheds a criticizing light on the duplicitous Church amongst the community.

Similarly, in Durrenmatt’s play ‘The Visit’, the priest’s characterisation is used as a literary device to depict the effect of religion on the society. The social position of the Priest is undermined throughout the play and this is depicted on stage. ‘Priest raises top hat, bows’ These stage directions overtly illustrates the distribution of power on stage, the stage action of ‘bows’ signifies the social reversal where the Priest, a religious stature is less powerful than Claire, a millionaire. Durrenmatt’s literary effect of social reversal is to represent the corrupted nature of the Church, and money is more powerful than religion. The Priest falls prey to lust of money by getting a new ‘bell’ He advises Ill to leave the town to prevent the temptation of murder. This act indicates the weak facets of the Priest and as the play’s representative of religion is depicted as cowardly as everyone else in the town in what is perhaps a symbolic statement about religion. Furthermore during the crisis of the Black Panther and proposition of the murder of Ill, the Priest succumbs to the mixed ambivalence and defies all religious norms by keeping a rifle.

The structure and setting in both works is used commendably to reflect the attitude towards religion and thus reveals the social context. In ‘The Visit’ the ‘Golden Apostle’ and ‘Church’ is used as the predominant setting during play. The ‘Golden Apostle’ has a lot of scope of irony. ‘Golden’ is the colour of prosperity and ‘Apostle’ has biblical allusions as it is defined as ‘a Christian missionary to people’ and suggests that it is a place of righteous. Ironically, the Golden Apostle is used as the lodging place for Claire. The fact that such a profound religious institution is used for commercial use degrades the value of religion in the western society. The ‘Church’ along with the society begins spending money in the belief that Claire’s offer will be accepted. The Priest speaks ‘Rich and powerful. Just affirming life’ This explicitly refers to the bell nevertheless is a rationalization of Claire’s conditional gift. Claire is rich and powerful, and her gift will “reaffirm life” by saving the townspeople of Guellen from their impoverishment and misery. Ill realizes that he will not find help even in the Church, a place that ought to have offered him solace and served as a check on the power of the government and the law. While it is perhaps unsurprising when institutions fashioned by men to govern society suffer from corruption, Duerrenmatt expresses the belief that the Church is just as susceptible to the temptations of wealth.

Likewise in ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ the Cathedral, which stands as the place for Christianity and Catholicism, where religious events take place. However, the Cathedral challenges all religious values. ‘around in the Cathedral. So it’s best to be armed’ This exemplifies that a revolver is kept in the Cathedral which is considered as very anti-religious. in addition, a Cathedral is a church building; where prayers and peace is encouraged so the fact that ‘it’s best to be armed’ depicts the undermining of religion. Once again this displays how religion is not maintained in society. Moreover, Marquez constantly shows oppression of religion is leaving on the living and this is publicized repeatedly when the Church turns a blind eye on murder of Santiago Nasar. The priest made it clear that it was not in his hands to prevent the murder and his role was only to save his soul in the after death. Ironically, the Priest ended up performing the autopsy and left the body in a mess.

Religion is used for structure and for plot development in ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ and ‘The Visit’ Both Marquez and Durrenmatt attain this through the employment of juxtaposition. ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ presents a very complex structure and requires many readings making it difficult to proceed. In spite of this an organised murder takes place under the veil of turmoil caused by religion through the arrival of the Bishop; the whole society gathers to honour the visit of the Bishop. Marques thus creates a celebratory mood and ambiance, conversely in the backdrop Nasar is brutally murdered. ‘Dirt that stuck to his guts’ The gruesome imagery reveals how Santiago Nasar is viciously killed amidst the celebration of a religious figure.

In Durrenmatt’s ‘The Visit’ juxtaposition is also applied in structuring the work. In comparison to ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ it is opposite as the Priest, a religious figure and the society gather to receive Claire, a millionaire. A celebration takes place for the arrival of Claire, where she gives a powerful speech and reveals her motive. ‘A million for Guellen if someone kills Alfred Ill’ This quotation reveals how Claire intends on buying justice through her proposal. Yet again this act takes place at the Golden Apostle, a place of righteous where they initially reject the offer. Durrenmatt makes use of irony again as at the denouement the townspeople decide to accept the offer and murder Ill at the Golden Apostle, itself.

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The treatment of death is very diverse in both texts namely due to the difference in religion. In ‘The Visit’ Christianity teaches forgiveness, repentance and the most terrible action against faith is considered murder. The townspeople of Guellen are a representation of Europeans and thus it can be said Durrenmatt criticises the Western Society for being too materialistic. This is justified by the actions of the townspeople, where everyone surrounds Ill and he just dies. While the individual psyche may not be able to withstand the guilt of murder, if all the townspeople come together, they can diffuse the guilt among them all, and diminish it almost to nothing. As a result Durrenmatt criticises the Western Society as they do not abide to the Western principles and religion and signifies the vulnerability of humans, in particular religious authorities like the Priest.

In ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ the Latin American culture and religion is present. The treatment of death within the Spanish culture is expressed as approvable as long as conditions are met. In this case, the Vicario brothers know in order to belong to society they must kill Santiago as he dishonoured their sister Angela Vicario. ‘Before God and before men…It was a matter of honor’ This manifests that the idea of honour can cross the confines of religion. Besides the Priest and Father Amador support the appalling actions of the Vicario brothers, it is a symbolic statement of religion that it is a set of orthodox rituals like the honour killing.

The narrator and author in both works make references to biblical allusions in a very subtle manner. These allusions generate a very profound effect as they are employed solely for the criticism of religion. In ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ in the ordered religious setting, San Roman brings in the complications through his anti-religious attitude. The narrator characterises San Roman using grotesque imagery. ‘He reminded me of the devil’ This certifies the biblical references where San Roman is directly compared to the devil: Lucifer, who destroys the peaceful society created by Jesus.

Similarly in ‘The Visit’ Claire can be directly contrasted to Lucifer. The millionaire enters the impoverished town, Guellen as the last hope of the town; however she has motives of ruining the town. Durrenmatt characterises her as ”monstrous” and ”artificial”. ‘She pulls up her skirt, displays left leg’ The fact that Claire’s body is largely artificial is symbolic of her personality on an ethical level, she is not fully human and it mirrors her utter disregard for the plight of the poor, for the men she marries (and inevitably divorces after scamming them), and even for her hometown. Her portrayal generates a grotesque effect and her evil intentions suggest she is the devil: Lucifer of Guellen.

In Marquez’s ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ the narrator tells the story in the first person, as a witness to the events that occurred. Yet the narrator is recounting the tale years later from an omniscient point of view, sharing all of the characters’ thoughts. Marquez employs this technique of narrative voice to express his feelings towards religion. Constantly, the narrator unfolds deep subversive attitude towards religion. The narrator disregards religious figures such as the Bishop and gives more reverence to Maria Cervantes even though she is a prostitute. Her name Maria also implies Virgin Mary which is ironic as she is not a virgin and has helped many characters lose their virginity. She is a magnificent, animalish whore whose lap is ‘apostolic’ in that it carries a religious overtone message of erotic faith to the town.

Sacrosanct

(should I add this point?)

‘it appeared at the bend in the river, snorting like a dragon’ in this they’re talking about the boat which the Bishop was on and it uses similie to compare how the bishop’s boat is like a ‘dragon’; proud and the fact that it’s ‘snorting’ shows how the Bishop regards the community as of a low standard, however, in religion it’s not supposed to be like that

To what extent does religion play a role in ‘The Visit’ and ‘Chronicle of a death foretold’ ‘This is what I found out about religion: it gives you courage to make the decisions you must make in a crisis, and then the confidence to leave the result to a higher power. Only by trust in God can a man carrying responsibility find repose.’

Sociological studies reveal that religion has contributed a lot to the social, cultural and economic development of different societies. Religion can have both positive and negative effects on the society. The role of religion in moulding people’s opinions and its effect on the society will be examined in Marquez’s novel ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ and Durrenmatt’s play ‘The Visit’ In my findings, it has been suggested that in both works religion is not the prominent concern, although there is a subtle affiliation to religion. ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ is always revolving around religion, where the narrator is very cynical towards religion which is shown through his pungent tone. On the contrary the community seems to be religious. Analogously in ‘The Visit’ the author makes constant use of religious symbols, this leads to the degeneration of society and its symbols. In both the works the inadequacy in maintaining religion in society is deeply rooted. Where the author and narrator criticises religion through their satirise depiction of religious figures and character’s attitude towards religion.

Seminar religious figures are used in both works to portray the view of religion. In ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ the visit of the Bishop is exaggerated and denunciated by the narrator. On the day when everyone anticipates his arrival, the Bishop gives no consideration to the eagerly awaiting people and destroys their exhilaration by not getting off the boat and simply giving ‘an obligatory blessing’. The Bishop allegorically creates a wall of distinction between the civic and the people of the church. Moreover, he only makes contact with the town through a series of ‘mechanically driven crosses without the malice of inspiration to them’ This statement displays the arrogant behaviour of the Bishop and these actions do not earn him respect as a person but only as an empty shell of authority, another defect in the practical result of religious doctrines. Another interpretation of not leaving the boat portrays that the Bishop fails to give his words of wisdom as a spiritual leader and leaves them with only one reason to follow him, the fear of their afterlife if they do not. Overall the Bishop’s characterisation has a negative influence on the society. Another characterisation diminishes the overall positive effect, the ‘cockscomb soup’ that is the bishop’s favourite and is a symbolic representation of his arrogance and male authority of the church. The ‘cockscomb’ entails the death of a myriad of birds and therefore is a symbol representing masculinity.

A second significant representative of the church in ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ is Father Amador. This figure is used to allegorise the debased nature of the Church and it’s failure to influence the community positively. He is characterised as lackadaisical and this behaviour is rendered in his decision of not preventing the murder.

‘The truth is I didn’t know what to do…My first thought was that it wasn’t any business of mine but something for the civil authorities’ A typical Latin American religious community profoundly relies on religion to provide a moral guideline to protect its citizens. Ironically, Father Amador fails to uphold high moral standards when he does nothing to prevent the murder of Santiago, furthermore, he attempts to justify his action by saying that he forgot because he was busy due to the frenzy of the ‘bishop coming on that unfortunate day’ but how can one simply forget that a man is about to be murdered? Through these imperceptible depictions of the characters in ‘Chronicle of A Death Foretold’ sheds a criticizing light on the duplicitous Church amongst the community.

Similarly, in Durrenmatt’s play ‘The Visit’, the priest’s characterisation is used as a literary device to depict the effect of religion on the society. The social position of the Priest is undermined throughout the play and this is depicted on stage. ‘Priest raises top hat, bows’ These stage directions overtly illustrates the distribution of power on stage, the stage action of ‘bows’ signifies the social reversal where the Priest, a religious stature is less powerful than Claire, a millionaire. Durrenmatt’s literary effect of social reversal is to represent the corrupted nature of the Church, and money is more powerful than religion. The Priest falls prey to lust of money by getting a new ‘bell’ He advises Ill to leave the town to prevent the temptation of murder. This act indicates the weak facets of the Priest and as the play’s representative of religion is depicted as cowardly as everyone else in the town in what is perhaps a symbolic statement about religion. Furthermore during the crisis of the Black Panther and proposition of the murder of Ill, the Priest succumbs to the mixed ambivalence and defies all religious norms by keeping a rifle.

The structure and setting in both works is used commendably to reflect the attitude towards religion and thus reveals the social context. In ‘The Visit’ the ‘Golden Apostle’ and ‘Church’ is used as the predominant setting during play. The ‘Golden Apostle’ has a lot of scope of irony. ‘Golden’ is the colour of prosperity and ‘Apostle’ has biblical allusions as it is defined as ‘a Christian missionary to people’ and suggests that it is a place of righteous. Ironically, the Golden Apostle is used as the lodging place for Claire. The fact that such a profound religious institution is used for commercial use degrades the value of religion in the western society. The ‘Church’ along with the society begins spending money in the belief that Claire’s offer will be accepted. The Priest speaks ‘Rich and powerful. Just affirming life’ This explicitly refers to the bell nevertheless is a rationalization of Claire’s conditional gift. Claire is rich and powerful, and her gift will “reaffirm life” by saving the townspeople of Guellen from their impoverishment and misery. Ill realizes that he will not find help even in the Church, a place that ought to have offered him solace and served as a check on the power of the government and the law. While it is perhaps unsurprising when institutions fashioned by men to govern society suffer from corruption, Duerrenmatt expresses the belief that the Church is just as susceptible to the temptations of wealth.

Likewise in ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ the Cathedral, which stands as the place for Christianity and Catholicism, where religious events take place. However, the Cathedral challenges all religious values. ‘around in the Cathedral. So it’s best to be armed’ This exemplifies that a revolver is kept in the Cathedral which is considered as very anti-religious. in addition, a Cathedral is a church building; where prayers and peace is encouraged so the fact that ‘it’s best to be armed’ depicts the undermining of religion. Once again this displays how religion is not maintained in society. Moreover, Marquez constantly shows oppression of religion is leaving on the living and this is publicized repeatedly when the Church turns a blind eye on murder of Santiago Nasar. The priest made it clear that it was not in his hands to prevent the murder and his role was only to save his soul in the after death. Ironically, the Priest ended up performing the autopsy and left the body in a mess.

Religion is used for structure and for plot development in ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ and ‘The Visit’ Both Marquez and Durrenmatt attain this through the employment of juxtaposition. ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ presents a very complex structure and requires many readings making it difficult to proceed. In spite of this an organised murder takes place under the veil of turmoil caused by religion through the arrival of the Bishop; the whole society gathers to honour the visit of the Bishop. Marques thus creates a celebratory mood and ambiance, conversely in the backdrop Nasar is brutally murdered. ‘Dirt that stuck to his guts’ The gruesome imagery reveals how Santiago Nasar is viciously killed amidst the celebration of a religious figure.

In Durrenmatt’s ‘The Visit’ juxtaposition is also applied in structuring the work. In comparison to ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ it is opposite as the Priest, a religious figure and the society gather to receive Claire, a millionaire. A celebration takes place for the arrival of Claire, where she gives a powerful speech and reveals her motive. ‘A million for Guellen if someone kills Alfred Ill’ This quotation reveals how Claire intends on buying justice through her proposal. Yet again this act takes place at the Golden Apostle, a place of righteous where they initially reject the offer. Durrenmatt makes use of irony again as at the denouement the townspeople decide to accept the offer and murder Ill at the Golden Apostle, itself.

The treatment of death is very diverse in both texts namely due to the difference in religion. In ‘The Visit’ Christianity teaches forgiveness, repentance and the most terrible action against faith is considered murder. The townspeople of Guellen are a representation of Europeans and thus it can be said Durrenmatt criticises the Western Society for being too materialistic. This is justified by the actions of the townspeople, where everyone surrounds Ill and he just dies. While the individual psyche may not be able to withstand the guilt of murder, if all the townspeople come together, they can diffuse the guilt among them all, and diminish it almost to nothing. As a result Durrenmatt criticises the Western Society as they do not abide to the Western principles and religion and signifies the vulnerability of humans, in particular religious authorities like the Priest.

In ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ the Latin American culture and religion is present. The treatment of death within the Spanish culture is expressed as approvable as long as conditions are met. In this case, the Vicario brothers know in order to belong to society they must kill Santiago as he dishonoured their sister Angela Vicario. ‘Before God and before men…It was a matter of honor’ This manifests that the idea of honour can cross the confines of religion. Besides the Priest and Father Amador support the appalling actions of the Vicario brothers, it is a symbolic statement of religion that it is a set of orthodox rituals like the honour killing.

The narrator and author in both works make references to biblical allusions in a very subtle manner. These allusions generate a very profound effect as they are employed solely for the criticism of religion. In ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ in the ordered religious setting, San Roman brings in the complications through his anti-religious attitude. The narrator characterises San Roman using grotesque imagery. ‘He reminded me of the devil’ This certifies the biblical references where San Roman is directly compared to the devil: Lucifer, who destroys the peaceful society created by Jesus.

Similarly in ‘The Visit’ Claire can be directly contrasted to Lucifer. The millionaire enters the impoverished town, Guellen as the last hope of the town; however she has motives of ruining the town. Durrenmatt characterises her as ”monstrous” and ”artificial”. ‘She pulls up her skirt, displays left leg’ The fact that Claire’s body is largely artificial is symbolic of her personality on an ethical level, she is not fully human and it mirrors her utter disregard for the plight of the poor, for the men she marries (and inevitably divorces after scamming them), and even for her hometown. Her portrayal generates a grotesque effect and her evil intentions suggest she is the devil: Lucifer of Guellen.

In Marquez’s ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ the narrator tells the story in the first person, as a witness to the events that occurred. Yet the narrator is recounting the tale years later from an omniscient point of view, sharing all of the characters’ thoughts. Marquez employs this technique of narrative voice to express his feelings towards religion. Constantly, the narrator unfolds deep subversive attitude towards religion. The narrator disregards religious figures such as the Bishop and gives more reverence to Maria Cervantes even though she is a prostitute. Her name Maria also implies Virgin Mary which is ironic as she is not a virgin and has helped many characters lose their virginity. She is a magnificent, animalish whore whose lap is ‘apostolic’ in that it carries a religious overtone message of erotic faith to the town.

Sacrosanct

(should I add this point?)

‘it appeared at the bend in the river, snorting like a dragon’ in this they’re talking about the boat which the Bishop was on and it uses similie to compare how the bishop’s boat is like a ‘dragon’; proud and the fact that it’s ‘snorting’ shows how the Bishop regards the community as of a low standard, however, in religion it’s not supposed to be like that

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