“One Hundred Years of Solitude”, analysis of the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez worked on the novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” for eighteen months. For the sake of one of the most popular books of the 20th century, the writer risked everything: he refused the post of PR manager, laid down the car, stopped communicating with friends and put all the family problems on his wife’s shoulders. Finished in 1966, the work was first published in June 1967, in Buenos Aires. By the beginning of the XXI century, translated into thirty-five languages, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” had spread around the world with a circulation of more than thirty million copies.

Written in the style of fantastic (magical) realism, the novel is a comprehensive study of the problem of human loneliness. The writer revealed the “internal plot” of the work through the plot, which was built as a detailed description of the life of the Buendía clan – the first generation of which (José Arcadio and Ursula) became the founder of the scene of the novel – the village / city of Macondo.

The chronotope of the novel is limited on the spatial and permeable at the temporal level. The history of the founding of Macondo has a direct parallel with the fall of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from paradise: the marriage of a cousin and subsequent murder of Prudencio Aguilar forces José Arcadio and Ursula to leave his native village and establish his own, in which there will be no place for the ghosts of the past.

Born a young couple – the sons of José Arcadio Jr. and Aureliano and the daughter of Amaranta lay the foundation for the realization of the idea of continuity of birth traits:

– craving for science (José Arcadio Sr., José Arcadio II and Aureliano José);
– homework (Ursula and Amaranth Ursula);
Beauty (Remedios, Remedios the Beautiful and Renata Remedios (Meme));
– constant thirst for bodily pleasures (José Arcadio, Jr., who gave birth to seventeen sons from different women, Colonel Aureliano Buendía, insatiable Rebeca, Aureliano II, Aureliano Babylon and Amaranta Ursula);
– close relatives (Ursula and José Arcadio Sr. – cousins ​​(marriage), José Arcadio Jr. and Rebeca – second cousin and aunt (marriage), Arcadio and Pilar Turner – son and mother (incest attempt by Arcadio) , Aureliano Jose and Amaranta – nephew and aunt (sex), Aureliano Babylon and Amaranta Ursula – nephew and aunt (marriage));
– militancy and craving for power (Colonel Aureliano Buendia, Arcadio);
– the desire for endless creation and subsequent destruction (making a limited number of goldfish, Colonel Aureliano Buendia, putting the house in order and immediately violating what Amaranta Ursula did);
– propensity to kill (Amaranta sprinkles morphine in Remidios coffee, Rebeca kills her husband Jose Arkadio Jr.).

Within the framework of the locally limited territory of Macondo, a model of national existence is being implemented, which consists of real historical (twenty-year war between liberals and conservatives, the shooting of three thousand striking workers of the Banana Company, the growth of the city and the appearance in it – the first cinema, railway, ice factory, etc. p.), mythological (the coexistence of living people with the ghosts of the dead, the appearance of Eternal Jew in Macondo, five-year rain – the Flood, the death of birds and the destruction of Macondo by a hurricane – Apocalypse), allegorical kih (scientific progress and geographical discoveries made by José Arcadio within the framework of one settlement) and everyday events (the annual arrival of gypsies, festivities held in the huge house built by Ursula, weddings, births, deaths, funerals, etc.) events in which direct participation of members of the Buendía family.

The image of Macondo in the novel has a mythological basis – for most members of the Buendía family, it becomes the promised land, a paradise from which they either don’t want or cannot leave, and if they leave, they always return, as, for example, Amaranta Ursula did, who received an excellent education in Europe, a large amount of money and her husband immensely adoring her. The huge chestnut tree growing in the courtyard of the house built by Ursula, near which the clan’s ancestor José Arcadio Buendía and his son Colonel Aureliano finish their last days, is a classic mythological archetype of the world tree, linking all spheres of the universe – heaven, earthly life and hell.

Fantastic elements (the appearance of ghosts, the clairvoyant abilities of Colonel Buendia, the ascension of Remedios the Beautiful to heaven (just as the Virgin Mary was taken to heaven with both soul and body), Amaranta’s conversation with Death, yellow butterflies invariably accompanying Mauricio Babylon, the history of the family Buendia, written in Sanskrit by gypsy Melkiades and others) appear in the novel as a means of detecting the deepest meanings of reality. The fantasy included in the everyday, down-to-earth context allows revealing, emphasizing, drawing the reader’s attention to unusual phenomena, unknown facts, strong passions and vivid images that occur in real life and are its natural, spiritual continuation: for example, members of the Buendía family calmly relate to the appearance of in their home the souls of the dead, which is fully consistent with the Christian model of the world in which “everyone is alive for God,” are those who still have an earthly body and those who have already lost it.

The problem of human loneliness is explained in the novel by various reasons – the inability to love (this trait is characteristic of almost all members of the Buendía clan), external isolation from other people (living alone Rebekah, sent against her will to the Meme monastery, hiding in the Melkiades room: from soldiers – José Arcadio the Second and from people – Aureliano José) or their loved ones (rejected by Amaranta Pietro Crespi and Herineldo Marquez), internal (crazy parent – Jose Arcadio Buendía) and external (blind under con life of Ursula) blindness, as well as too strong passions, completely capturing the souls of people (“loneliness of power” Colonel Aureliano Buendia, in which he creates around him a circle of three meters, which can not get even the closest people, and “loneliness of love” into which Meme and Mauricio, Aureliano and Amaranta Ursula plunge).

The novel’s finale affirms the idea of the finiteness of tribal life and the world, as such – at the beginning of the birth, then developing and sinking in sins, and ultimately degenerating and collapsing under the influence of natural causes (desolation, ants, etc.).

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