Angela Vicario, the beautiful girl who’d gotten married the day before, had been returned to the house of her parents, because her husband had discovered that she wasn’t a virgin.
The narrator explains what happens to Angela after she tells her new husband the truth. In their town, an unmarried woman losing her virginity represents the ultimate act of shame. While some may view her loss of her virginity as a rebellious streak, others may understand that her “failing” represents human nature. The culture itself places unrealistic expectations on women, yet this culture doesn’t scorn men for the same acts.
She confessed to me that he’d managed to impress her, but for reasons opposite those of love. “I detested conceited men, and I’d never seen one so stuck-up.”
When Bayardo San Roman decides he wants to marry Angela, she immediately notices his arrogance. This makes sense as Angela seems demure and modest. However, readers know that Santiago Nasar also seems arrogant, and if Angela finds this quality so unappealing, she would not have wanted to be with him, either. Such information hints that Angela has been lying about who took her virginity, yet another indication of Santiago’s innocence.
But she had a helpless air and a poverty of spirit that augured an uncertain future for her.
Although Angela is known as the most beautiful among her sisters, the narrator senses something off about her. Like many women, Angela was raised to be modest and quiet. She knows that she has no say in her future, just like all of the young women in their town. Yet unlike other girls in town, Angela’s situation bothers her to the point that others notice her affected state of mind.
Everyone who saw her during that time agreed that she was absorbed and skilled at her embroidery machine, and that by her industry she had managed to forget.
After Angela is returned to her family, she buys her own house and takes up a sewing career, seeming to have forgotten about the entire debacle with her brothers and Santiago Nasar. Now that everyone knows her shameful secret, she has nothing to fear and can live her life on her own terms.
The most current version, perhaps because it was the most perverse, was that Angela Vicario was protecting someone who really loved her and she had chosen Santiago Nasar’s name because she thought her brothers would never dare go up against him.
Here, the narrator explains the town’s speculation over why Angela named Santiago as the man who took her virginity. Her refusal to give up the real name of the man shows that although she did not show much emotion, she was deeply in love with someone at one point. On a deeper level, the entire scenario—her being forced to give a name, her brothers murdering the man who dared have sex with their sister before marriage, the town participating in the gossip and not protecting the accused—reveal a dysfunctional social structure that pretends to function under the guise of honor.