Another strong theme that comes through both the novels is the patriarchal dominance in these societies. The physical violence, worship of masculinity, machismo and a sense of honor and duty that is so evident in many male characters is an indication of a society that is headed by patriarchs and where women aren’t entitled to their basic rights. In both “Chronicles of a Death Foretold” and “The House of the Spirits”, this theme of man’s domination over women, through unseemly means, is found everywhere. In many instances women were treated as mere objects, whose worth is determined solely by their sexual conduct. For example, Angela Vicario was rejected as “damaged goods” by her newly wed husband, when he comes to learn of that she is not a virgin anymore. This points to a social norm that considers human beings as commodities, especially the lot of women.
The oppression and abuse of women being one of the underlying themes of the two novels, the characters of Angela Vicario and Transito Soto, though play a small part in the overall plot of the novels, serve to represent the state of women in general in the backstreets of third world Latin America. This theme is made all the more poignant by the use of appropriate imagery and a flowing style of prose by the two authors. For instance, in “The House of the Spirits”, passages such as the following support the made assertion : “slowly becoming a barbarian,”, “sorrow, blood, and love”, “I didn’t dare leave my house, where there was clearly a need for a man among so many hysterical women.”, etc. Similarly, Marquez employs, the following phrases to portray the male dominated society in which Angela Vicario struggles for a living: “in the depths of her heart she wanted them to kill him”, “I’ve been going from town to town looking for someone to marry.”, “Bayardo San Roman was going to marry whomever he chose.”, “did away with my generation’s virginity.”, etc.
In summary, both the literary masterpieces – “The House of the Spirits” and “Chronicles of a Death Foretold” – written by Isabelle Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez respectively illustrate a broader point through the fringe characters of Angela Vicario and Transito Soto. Though both Vicario and Soto play only a small part in the overall scheme of the plot, they represent a wider phenomenon, that of the treatment and status of women in the social context of these novels. Their characters help illustrate the nature of a male-dominated society in which women were sexually and emotionally abused and were treated as mere objects. To this extent, both these characters serve their authors well, as they were employed in the narrative in the context of sexual and emotional abuse incurred to them. They also hence play a significant part in setting up the subsequent developments and the eventual outcome of the story.