In the twentieth century, South Americans faced a dilemma: to succumb to the capitalist ideals of the western world or to surrender to the communist beliefs of Marx and Engels. Through symbol-laden texts, writers communicated their beliefs concerning the two economic ideologies. In his acclaimed novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel García Marquez vindicates Marxist ideals through his portrayal of the Catholic Church as a manipulative hegemon that cripples its people. These townsfolk become drones because of the local bishop’s stranglehold on his followers. By portraying the townspeople as desensitized drones, Marquez characterizes the town as the novel’s most corrupt regime through the inevitable death of his protagonist, Santiago Nasar.
In defense of his socialist beliefs and Marxist ideals, Gabriel García Marquez creates a capitalist villain in the town’s bishop to illustrate the unjust hegemonic nature of the Catholic Church with respect to its treatment of the townspeople. Marquez posits the idea that although it had humble beginnings during the time of Christ, the Church has grown to be the most influential force in history, accruing monetary aid from its worldwide followers. Marquez strongly criticizes the Church’s affluence and its resemblance to a hierarchical corporation, characterized by a few dominant figureheads and masses of bottom feeders. The first and most obvious condemnation of the Catholic Church occurs with the arrival of the bishop. Santiago Nasar’s mother, Placida Linero, is the moral compass of the novel and serves as a vessel to relay the views of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She symbolizes integrity and traditional morals and “shows no sign of interest” in the bishop’s arrival, claiming he will “give an obligatory blessing, as always, and go back the way he came” because he detests the town (8 Marquez). Through the trustworthy Placida Linero, Marquez presents his anti-Church sentiments, the mindset critical of the Church and its treatment of the townspeople.