Throughout the book One Hundred Years of Solitude, the theme of magical realism is present. With the theme of magical realism comes the idea of looking at the extraordinary with a stone face, and treating the ordinary as extraordinary. Also, if one looks further into the magical realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude, there is a supernatural aspect that is common throughout the book. Melquíades, a gypsy who comes to Macondo, has supernatural qualities, knowledge and aspects, which he uses to push the other characters, more specifically the Buendia family, into a quest for his knowledge.
Melquíades is introduced to the reader in the first chapter, when his band of gypsies enter into Macondo, when Macondo was just founded. When Melquíades and his gypsies come into Macondo, they introduce many things to the people of Macondo. The first thing that was introduced was the magnet. Once Melquíades showed Jose Arcadio Buendia the magnet, Buendia is convinced that he would be able to get gold from the Earth.
That is just one example of the people of Macondo trying to further their thinking and knowledge of things. All of the different inventions, tools, and things that Melquíades brings to the people of Macondo are considered “magical” or extraordinary, even though to the reader, they are everyday objects. Melquíades introduces things like ice, and a telescope, which the people of Macondo pay to see.
Of all the people of Macondo, Jose Arcadio Buendia is most affected by the supernatural knowledge that Melquíades has. With every new invention, or object Melquíades brings, Buendia goes to great lengths to buy the items and to understand how it works, and to further the uses of the objects. Every item the gypsies bring give Buendia a new idea of how to use them for a gain. And every time he tried, he distanced himself more and more from his family.
When Jose Arcadio Buendia spent his wife’s gold on a magnifying glass, she was very upset. However, he did not seem to care, because he was so preoccupied in his work. “Jose Arcadio Buendia made no attempt to console her, completely absorbed in his tactical experiments with the abnegation of a scientist and even at the risk of his own life.” (3)
Along with Melquíades’ supernatural knowledge, he possesses supernatural aspects as well. When Masquerades is first introduced to the reader, on the first page of the book, he is described as “a heavy gypsy with and untamed beard and sparrow hands.” Later a couple years and visits later, Jose Arcadio Buendia notes that Melquíades is looking older. “By then Melquíades had aged with surprising rapidity. On his first trips he seemed to be the same age as Jose Arcadio Buendia.” (5) Another, perhaps more significant supernatural quality or aspect that Melquíades possesses is his in ability to die. Melquíades himself said, “death follows him everywhere.”
Even going through diseases, and disasters he did not die. “He was a fugitive from all the plagues...