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One Hundred Years Of Solitude By Gabriel García Márquez

2420 words - 10 pages

One Hundred Years of Solitude is the subjective “history” of the founding family of the town of Macondo. During its early years, the town is isolated the outside world, except for a few traveling gypsies who frequent the town, selling supposedly extraordinary new technologies like ice, telescopes, and “scientific advancements” and implanting ideas of alchemy into the head of the patriarch of the Buendía family, José Arcadio Buendía. A rather impulsive and inquisitive man, he is also deeply solitary, alienating himself from other men in his obsessive investigations into the science of alchemy, taking the last of his wife, Úrsula’s, inheritance in an attempt to create gold out of other more common methods. After José Arcadio Buendía’s attempts at alchemy prove to be less than fruitful, he shifts his aspirations to finding a path back to civilization. He leads the founding men of the town on a quest to retrace their previous path to Macondo, but ultimately declares that it is surrounded by water on every side and it is impossible to regain contact with the rest of the world.
These key character traits, portrayed by the patriarch, are inherited by many his descendants throughout the novel including his older child, José Arcadio, inherits his immeasurable physical strength and his impulsiveness. As a teenager, José Arcadio was seduced by the local fortune teller, Pilar Ternera and later impregnates her. However, José Arcadio lacked the same core value of family that his father felt, and he even went so far as to run off with the gypsies before his son is born. After his disappearance, a devastated Úrsula took off to try and find her son. She never found him, but she did discover the route to civilization, bringing forth a new era for the town of Macondo. This new era brings around a loss of innocence for the citizens, bringing civil war filled with violence and death to a previously peaceful town.
His younger son, Aureliano becomes the leader of the Liberal rebels, declaring himself to be Colonel Aureliano Buendía. Macondo loses its tranquil, magical, and innocent disposition and becomes a town known to much of the outside world through the infamy of Colonel Buendía. During the war, Macondo’s government changes figureheads several times. At one point, Arcadio, son of José Arcadio and perhaps the cruelest of the Buendías, rules dictatorially over the town until he is eventually shot by an angry firing squad. Later, José Raquél Moncada is appointed as mayor, marking the beginning of a moderately peaceful period in Macondo until another civil uprising has him sentenced to death. After his death, Colonel Aureliano Buendía loses faith in the purpose of the war and withdraws into himself, becoming unemotional and unable to recall any past memories. It is only when his closest friend, Gerinaldo Márquez, is condemned to death that he finally comes back to society, and he acknowledges the emptiness of the war he fought in for so many years. He fights the...

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