Garcia Marquee paints a meaningful image of 20th century Colombia by employing several literary techniques that enhance the meaning of the text. Perhaps the most obvious way that Garcia Marquee engages his audience is through the use Of so-called “magical realism. ” The author elaborates on many details that some readers might not even care to know about, but somehow it drives the point home. The descriptions of Santiago corpse become ingrained into the memories of readers due to their graphic nature.
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Even the murder weapons seem to be significant merely because of the way that Garcia Marquee describes them: “One was for quartering with a strong, rusty blade twelve inches long and three inches wide… The other one was shorter, but broad and curved… This one looked like a miniature scimitar. ” By using such powerful descriptors, the author foreshadows the gruesome nature of the crime, despite the fact that he has already told the reader how it will end. He creates a sense of suspense in an otherwise predetermined plotting.
Garcia Marquee uses his own experiences growing up in Colombia to provide a glimpse into the culture of the city. Of course, with the exact dates of the murder being unknown, the specific decade is unclear. Still, he captures the essence of the atmosphere in several sentences: “Twelve days after the crime, the investigating magistrate came upon a town that was an open wound. In the squalid wooden office in the town hall, drinking pot coffee laced with cane liquor against the mirages of the heat, he had to ask for troop reinforcements to control the crowd.
Evidently, the so-called “magistrate” was in way over his head. Garcia Marquee describes him as a recent graduate who wore a freshly pressed suit and a golden class ring. Despite having “the airs and the lyricism of a happy new parent,” the magistrate was unprepared for the high-pressure nature of the surrounding environment. Garcia Marquee was able to display the mood of the setting because of his own background, having grown up in Colombia himself.
Similar to his spot-on portrayal of the culture, Garcia Marquez’s descriptions f the corpse serve as points of interest within the story that keep the reader engaged. When discussing the body that was returned after the autopsy had been completed, he writes: “They gave us back a completely different body. Half of the cranium had been destroyed by the trepidation, and the lady- killer face that death had preserved ended up having lost its identity. ” In doing this, Garcia Marquee does two important things.
First, he emphasizes the crude methods that were used in the autopsy-?and in the rest of the evolve, for that matter. The differences between the original corpse found at the crime scene and the corpse post-autopsy are marked. Secondly, he personifies the desiccated body that lies in front of the narrator. By mentioning the victim’s “lady-killer face”, Garcia Marquee projects the memories of Santiago romantic affairs into the minds of the readers. These images, combined with the use of magical realism, as well as in-depth cultural implications, serve to make the novella memorable.