Essay on Savagery in Chronicles of a Death Foretold and Candide

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Savagery is when people revert back to their lost human instincts and is often found in situations where people are under extreme circumstances. Savagery can be found in literature especially in the novels Chronicles of a Death Foretold and Candide. Though, both authors are from different time periods and cultures, both utilize the concept of savagery in both their novels, to present problems in their specific societies. The novel Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, tells the murder of Santiago Nasar by twin brothers in a small Colombian town. The Colombian author wrote the novella based on true events which occurred in his hometown in the 1950’s. The novel Candide is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, the novel is a clever story of a naïve young man whose misadventures lead him from a dull life of study to one of adventure, misery, and temporary fortune (“Voltaire”). In Chronicles of a Death Foretold and Candide both authors use descriptive imagery to contribute to the tone of savagery to criticize the social norms and culture of the perspective societies.
In both novels descriptive imagery contributes to the tone of savagery to evaluate the social norms and cultures of the societies in terms of the butchery of the deaths. In Candide, the female protagonist Cunegonde sees her family ravaged by the Bulgars, as she saw the Bulgar army “butcher” (31) her father and brother, and cut her “mother to pieces” (31). The intention of the descriptive imagery of the death of Cunegonde’s family is to show that the behavior the Bulgars consider normal as savage. Cunegonde did not know that everything happening at her father’s castle, which was the murdering and raping, was “quite customary” (31). The dict...

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...t that the essential good of human life. In Candide, the protagonist was thrown into the world of the Avars and Bulgars, where he witnesses the most inhumane behavior by both. Voltaire then critiques that to savagely kill everyone was pointless and without sense as the Bulgars and Avars used insignificant reasoning to kill by thus exposing the silliness in all parts of society. Both authors in the end used descriptive imagery to contribute to the tone of savagery to criticize the social norm and cultures of their perspective societies.

Works Cited

García, Márquez Gabriel. Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Trans. Gregory Rabassa. New York:
Ballantine Books, 1984. Print.
Voltaire. Candide. Trans. Lowell Bair. New York: Bantam Classic, 2003. Print.
“Voltaire.” Gale Online Encyclopedia. Detriot: Gale, 2010. Literature Resource Center. Web. 14
April 2010.

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