The characterization of women reflects the typical patriarchal domination in the novel. In the 20th century Colombia, a woman’s honour was associated with her virginity before marriage, and Marquez expresses the importance of virginity through depicting the community’s reaction to the discovery of Angela’s non-virgin status. When her husband discovers this, Angela is seen as “damaged goods” and a disgrace to her family. The commodified nature of marriages is shown in the use of the word “good”, suggesting that Angela is a product purchased by her husband. The wedding of Angela was celebrated like a successful business deal where both parties were benefitted by selling and purchasing a commodity which happened to be Angela herself. The term “spirit of sacrifice” further demonstrates that women are expected to restrain themselves and sacrifice their youth hood pleasures to keep themselves well for the sake of their families’ happiness. Marquez leads the reader to confront serious questions such as the agency of women and the impositions of the social and cultural milieu. Daughters are “reared,” a word choice that evokes the breeding of animals, showing women’s inferior and almost dehumanized status. Women were completely objectified and depicted as “warm woman” and even compared with animal “insomniac leopard”. Here the word ‘warm’ suggests the usage and not nature. This indication of physical pleasure to keep the male body warm is very much brutal and yet true. Apparently, Angela Vicario is the “femme fatal” of this novel’s plot. The story does not substantiate any relation between Angela and Santiago and still, Santiago is murdered as a process of purifying the dishonour. Throughout the novel, Angela is not provided with an opportunity to speak for herself. She certainly had her own priority but she was completely prohibited to follow them. However, Angela ultimately devised her escape from the marriage out of her victimised situation. She knew it very well that if she declared her loss of virginity before her marriage and to someone other than her husband, it would definitely implode the wedding. Thus, she used Santiago’s name for carrying out this plan of escape. Clearly, Angela was quite intelligent but she was not enlightened. Her actions reflected that she broke the wedding not to rebel the traditions of society; rather it was an immature expression of a refusal to something/someone she did not like. As the story unfolds, the readers are enlightened by the fact that Angela never wants to marry Bayardo San Roman due to his excessive machismo. However, she is forced by her conservative family in the marriage. Later on, the plot further reveals that she is in love with someone and that is the reason she falsely alleges Santiago, failing to anticipate the aftermath. In the societal pressure, Angela might have survived but in the double-standard society where men are encouraged to find prostitution and simultaneously protect the honour of women, she remained as merely the secondary gender. The following section will discuss the most common explicit expression of men, machismo which mainly led the twins to plan and execute the murder.
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