In some communities religion is seen as the daily bread of many lives, thus shaping the way the community lives and the way they perceive the world. Religion being foundation of some lives, people use it as a way to obtain peace for one’s soul, yet others can take advantage of religion to fulfill their material needs. To what extent could religion be a faï¿½ade in a community? In Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Marquez and Ghosts by Ibsen, the idea of religion playing an important part in their lives is very well portrayed, yet, the contradiction of religion being a faï¿½ade is very well regarded amongst the characters.Order now
In Chronicles of a Death Foretold, Marquez states straight away from the beginning of the novel that the bishop was going to arrive at the village. From his quotations it was clear that the event would be very significant to the community. On the first page the narrator of the novel mentions that – “Santiago Nasar got up at five thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on”. – The reference to the bishop going to the village was already implying that the novel was about a typical religious community. Likewise, Marquez puts forward that Santiago woke up early just to wait for the bishop’s arrival. That then suggests that the idea of punctuating their live for such event gives the community strong meaning to their lives, hence, confirming the idea of religion being their daily bread.
Likewise Marquez, Ibsen presents a strong connection of religion in Ghosts as Ibsen calls a lot of attention to the orphanage that will be opened. Moreover the incorporation of a character like Pastor Manders further suggests that the play will revolve along a religious community. The narrator of the drama states that Mrs. Alving will open an orphanage in memory of her husband, this act of opening an orphanage can be seen as a religious gesture to help the others without getting anything in return.
By looking close at this two point made by Marquez and Ibsen strongly suggests that the intention of both authors was to shown portray how religion acts in a community. Certainly the communities express strong connections with religion. However, the same features that show that one is religious in both Chronicles of a Death Foretold and Ghosts, for instance, can be a faï¿½ade.
Looking at Ghosts, Pastor Manders is hypothetically considered to be religious. At first before the character is introduced to the reader, it is expected to come across a relatively religious character that devotes his life to church – being a pastor. On the contrary, the first impression that the reader has from this character – after first encountering the character – could be that his behavior does not match the rule of religious individual known by the society.
For instance, the passage on page 96 – “PASTOR MANDERS, in an overcoat and carrying an umbrella and a small travelling bag strap over his shoulders” – is given when the characters Pastor Manders is first introduced at the play as Pastor Manders arrives at Mrs. Alving’s house. The immediate impression that the reader has when reading this passage would be that the pastor is not a true follower of the religion, as he is presented to be very sophisticated. Later on page 98 when he encounters Regina as he walks in the house, he says – “Filled out? Well, perhaps a little; just enough” – analysing this passage, one could get the idea of Pastor Menders being “flirting” with Regina. Furthermore analysis, it could be drawn the conclusion that Pastor Manders wishes the people would be against the society rules i.e. he could have a chance of expressing himself with no remorse. Being pastor this would not be appropriate, hence causing the image of a faï¿½ade towards religion and making the characters hypocritical.
In Chronicles of a Death Foretold the narrator says that the bishop did not leave the boat when he got to the village, as everyone from the community was expecting. Taking the passage on page 16 – “the bishop began to make the sign of the cross in the air opposite to the crowd on the pier, and he kept doing it mechanically afterwards, without malice or inspiration, until the boat was lost from view” – the bishop could be seen as a faï¿½ade, as being hypocritical about their religion. According to the book, the bishop was supposed to leave the boat and deliver a mass for the community, instead, he got to the village and from a distance he did the sign of the cross as a form of blessing but though with no compassion or faith, as said from the novel, mechanically with dislike and with no motivation.
In a common view of society, it is the bishop’s duty to deliver his religious devotion to the people. However, his gesture did not suggest so. In this case, the character could be portrayed as not taking his commitment as religious body, especially to the community, as serious as expected. This contradiction of the global view of religion and the action of a supposed religious body brings up the idea of religion being a faï¿½ade amongst the characters.
Evidently in both Ghosts and Chronicles of a Death Foretold religion plays a big role when shaping a community morally, yet, it is possible to interpret it as a faï¿½ade when rules are not followed amongst the community. Thus, breaking the true meaning of believing in this divine power that drives them.
For instance, in Ghosts by Ibsen, religious characters restrain themselves from acting the way they should according to their religious beliefs. The fact that Mr. Alving had slept with the maid even though he was married gives the reader that impression that although he is from religious background he still does not obey such tradition. On page 160 – “I soon knew what to believe. Mr. Alving had his way with the girl; and that connection had consequences, Mr. Mender” – the extract quoted provides evidence that Mr. Alving as broken, what can be called, a superior rule in a religious sphere. Adultery in religion is usually regarded as a deadly sin to commit, yet, a religious man like Mr Alving would not be expected to commit such act. This kind of unexpected act from a religious man supports the idea that characters in Ghosts by Ibsen contradict their religious believes by expressing their inner sentiment, consequently being hypocritical about their religion.
After the comparison made by two different works, it can be definitely said that religion can dominate one’s mind to the extent that may also limit their actions. Yet again, in both works religion played an important role in judging the characters moral views. In Ghosts by Ibsen, the message conveyed supports the thought that characters in the play hide themselves behind their beliefs and customs in order to mask their act. Similarly, in Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Marquez, religion is shown to be a dominate aspect in the character’s lives. In addition, the community shows overwhelming devotion to the religions. However, they also failed to follow their religion rules. Enough evidence was given to support the idea that communities can be hypocrites about their religion, hence, driving towards the failure of their beliefs.