One Hundred Years of Solitude Study Guide

One Hundred Years of Solitude Study Guide

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” is a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It represents a typical Latin text with all its colors, passions, brightness and grotesque. 

The events of the book take place in Colombia and are centered around one family of Buendias. They founded a separate city Macondo that is isolated from the outside world. A patriarch, Jose Arcadio Buendia, who is a difficult leader, runs everything. He also tends to alienate himself from other people, in particular men. 

The reader sees how the descendants of the family resemble the patriarch. His sons are strong and focused, his daughters are passionate and vigilant. Sooner or later the town must establish contact with other civilizations and the conflicts begin. The sons become colonels and lead the Liberal rebels. All of the sudden Macondo is no longer the idyllic and quiet place it used to be. 

The first ever change in government appears. And then another change, and another – it seems that the change is the worst thing that can happen to Buendias family, but after the patriarch steps down there’s no stop to it. The concept of change and exposure to something new (new people, new cultures, new desires) is crucial to the novel.

Throughout the book we see a change in the lives of Macondo inhabitants: they are born, they die, they get married, they cheat on their spouses. The industrial revolution happens, the power game takes place, their lives change, but it is neither good nor bad. It’s a fact. The revolution can be big or small, but it always starts in the hearts of those craving for a change. 

It all ends with the village being isolated once again just like in the beginning. Despite the tragic events, the text is soaked with the feeling of belonging to a great family that was destined to strive. There’s a noble feeling in a middle of banana workers strike and American colonization. 

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