Chronicle of a Death Foretold

by: Gabriel García Márquez

Honor

Quotes Honor
The parents’ decisive argument was that a family dignified by modest means had no right to disdain that prize of destiny.

When Bayardo San Roman sets his sights on Angela and asks her parents for her hand in marriage, she tells her parents that she does not wish to marry him. Yet her parents, as explained here by the narrator, insist that she must, as being his wife will raise the status of their family. For the characters in this novel, their reputation and sense of being honored by the rest of their community seem more important than their own family member’s happiness.

Even when it was less than two months before she would be married, Pura Vicario wouldn’t let her go out alone with Bayardo San Roman to see the house where they were going to live, but she and the blind father accompanied her to watch over her honor.

The narrator reveals that throughout Angela and Bayardo San Roman’s engagement, Angela’s parents never allow the two to be alone together. The fact that Angela’s blind father is tasked with the duty of watching “over her honor” shows that their concern focuses more on keeping up appearances than actually making sure Angela remains chaste until their wedding day. Angela’s parents want to make sure that others know they are preserving Angela’s honor, even though her father is not the most reliable guardian.

Nevertheless, it seemed inconceivable to her that they were going to kill Santiago Nasar, but on the other hand, it occurred to her that they would force him to marry Angela Vicario in order to give her back her honor.

After Flora Miguel, Santiago Nasar’s fiancée, hears the rumor that the Vicario brothers plan to kill Santiago, she feels less concerned with the fact that her husband-to-be might be murdered and more worried about whether the Vicario brothers will force Santiago to marry Angela in order to make his previous sexual encounter valid. Even though marriage would not change the fact that Angela supposedly slept with Santiago out of wedlock, to Flora, such a solution to restoring at least the appearance of Angela’s honor seems perfectly natural.