The Magic of One Hundred Years of Solitude
The mystical town of Mocondo brings new hope, fantasy and a never ending ride for the people who live there. Jose Arcadio Buendia, the main character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), yearns for a life of magic and new discovery, so in his seeking he uncovers the town of Mocondo. "...A village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs" (1). He watches the rise and fall of his town over the period of almost one hundred years before he passes on. The town sees everything from gypsies and their startling discoveries to war and its aftermath. All of the many characters are anything but normal, ranging from having seventeen children to being born with pig-like tails. Marquez makes the reader's imagination run wild with all of the strange things that happen, with his style of writing...magical realism.
As a child, it is very easy to have an imagination and it does not seem a difficult task to envision flying carpets and men with two heads; but as a person grows older this imagination seems to pack its bags and head out the door. Although with Marquez's book, the imagination comes running back begging for more. It is hard to separate real from fantasy in his book as he melts things together so well. An excellent example takes place on page twenty-two:
...he had been born...with cartilaginous tail in the shape
of a corkscrew and with a small tuft of hair on the tip. A
pig's tail that was never allowed to be seen by any woman
and that cost him his life when a butcher friend did him the
favor of chopping it off with his cleaver.
This passage seems so ridiculous, but in the back of the mind there is the slight feeling that it is possible for someone to have a pigs tail and to bleed to death when it is chopped off.
His book is full of passages such as the one just mentioned. This book really grabs your attention, and puts you right in the scene of what is happening. One such model is when a woman is getting her head cut off in the common area of the town. This is very easy to imagine, especially since the time set is in the 1800's, however, what is not so easily swallowed is that she has "...her head chopped off every night at this time for one hundred and fifty years..." (36). This was shocking to hear, because it is effortless to become caught up in the scene.
As the book goes on, it does not loose its touch of fantasy. The author upholds his magical realism, even in the town's time of war. Another strange episode occurs on page 333. It had been raining for weeks on end in the small town of Macondo,...