The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow

Strange Pilgrims – The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the foremost of Latin American literature. His shortstories and novels – most prominently 100 Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera – are recognized as some of the greatest literature produced in the 20th century. One of Marquez seminal short story collections is Strange Pilgrims. While this collection contains an array of stories, one of the most indelible is ‘The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow’. This essay examines this story in terms of Marquez’s authorial techniques. One prominent consideration is Marquez’s implementation of syntax and diction. While authors such as Ernest Hemingway heralded a minimalist writing style, Marquez implements complex sentence structures. In the opening segment of the story Marquez writes, The Civil Guardsman, a rough wool blanket covering his patent-leather tricorn hat, examined their passports in the light of a carbide lantern as he struggled to keep his footing in the fierce wind blowing out of the Pyrenees (Marquez, p. 162). This sentence is indicative of the richly-textured and descriptive sentences that are thematic throughout the story. While Marquez at-times contrasts these sentences with short and choppy statements, this remains the most dominant form of diction. Throughout the story Marquez implements a number of notable literary elements. One such technique is the use of metaphor. In one instance, Marquez writes, her adolescent dream pierced for the first time by lightning flashes of uncertainty (Marquez, p. 165). In this instance lightning functions as a metaphor on the uncertainty that had suddenly overtaken Nena Daconte. In another instance Marquez makes use of symbolism in the form of a saxophone. Throughout the story Nena Daconte is characterized as having been a proficient tenor saxophone player. This character description is repeated in a number of instances and woven into the fabric of the text such that it becomes symbolic of her sexual prowess. Still, perhaps the most prominent authorial technique implemented in the story is the use of allegory. During the story Nena pricks her finger and must enter a hospital. Billy Sanchez must then face the absurd levels of hyper-rationality and bureaucracy in the hospital. In this way Marquez implements the hospital as an allegorical comment on bureaucratic structures. Eventually Nena dies and because of this hyper-rationality Billy is unable to be there or even be discovered. Here it appears that Marquez is making an allegorical comment on the way Billy and the social class he represents is out of touch with the reality of common existence. In conclusion, this essay has examined authorial techniques implemented in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story ‘The Trail of Your Blood in the Snow’. In this context of investigation, the essay demonstrates that in terms of diction and syntax Marquez implements a complex sentence style that is punctured by short and choppy statements. In terms of authorial techniques, it’s clear Marquez implements metaphor and simile. Ultimately, however, the most notable authorial technique is Marquez implementation of the allegory at the center of the story. ReferencesMarquez, Gabriel Garcia. Strange Pilgrims. Vintage. 2006.