One Hundred Years of Solitude
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Gracia Marquez is an eye-opener for us to stand up on our beliefs and be free from our inner problems.
Solitude implies the state of being alone, no one to turn to and detach to others. It is the absence of companionship, withdrawal and retreat from the rest. It also denotes privacy and serenity- you want to put yourself away from the usual society. You want isolation- the total separation and detachment and retirement from your family and friends. “ One Hundred Years of Solitude” originally is entitled “ Cien Anos de Soledad. From the title itself it arouses its theme for solitude but in different passions. There is a solitude of maintaining sanity, virginity,heroism, compassion, evilness and forgiveness and of old age. The novel itself proves isolation of Macondo- as a settled land with innovations from the Gypsies sets its way among other place. It is a place where they acquire and accept the things unfamiliar to them giving them- the Buendias- a powerful and respected clan in that place. Ursula although blind for many years manage to go unnoticed because she knew the routines- of solitude. JoseArcadio- tying himself in a tree also died unnoticed. The author also locked himself for eighteen months just to finish this novel.
Although critics have often called attention to the unusual combination of fantasy, realism, humor, and literary allusiveness in Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude,one striking possible illustration of the combination seems not to have been pointed out. (Knowlton 37)
It is difficult to fuse reality and fantasy technically and yet he managed to do so. The author combines the reality of history and the gift of magic in the story. It is patterned in the rising Columbia in its independence from Spain and the experiences of the author’s family and himself. From that he made a fictional village representing Columbia and Buendias- representing his family. He has been true and transparent in exposing the characters to sexual acts and immorality thus making it moral and normal -making the impossible, possible. The author used narration and magical realism-a genre which is a combination of realistic portrayals of political and social conflicts with descriptions of mystical, even supernatural events. This is also the definition from Columbia Encyclopedia which says:
Works of magic realism mingle realistic portrayals of ordinary events and characters with elements of fantasy and myth, creating a rich, frequently disquieting world that is at once familiar and dreamlike.
The themes include time and the author’s subjectivity and solitude. Time is suggested by the generations of the Buendia’s, each generation although has the same trait and mistake had produced the continuity and inevitability of the family’s tradition on the town, and also their death. Eventuality the town perished. Subjectivity on reality lies on the unbelievable events in the story.
While reading the story, it comes to my mind that is is like the life of every person, slow moving, some may rise and some may fall and eventually we will meet our decay- the inevitable death. The characters embody the characteristic of the living- good and bad. The hidden desires that we have, the ideals and some things we want to achieve by ourselves alone.
To sum it up, it is the story of family’s struggle that eventually will meet downfall and decay- the family will diminish one by one and the town will cease to exist. The town that at first built by the family of Buendia which achieved greatness will fall into ruins. There different issues presented like immorality and war. It is upon us on how to accept the readings. Magical realism help so far, but for other people it may appear grotesque and weird. The novel wants to open our minds although it uses fantasy- it provokes the understanding that it reflects or mirrors our society,not only Columbia. It transgresses to other genre to promote freedom and justice. A country that has just achieve freedom and solidarity, represents the undying struggle of each of us who have problems of our own to stand up and do our part. It enlightens us to be free from solitude.
Knowlton Jr., Edgar. Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.The Explicitor. 1980:37
Magic Realism. The Columbia Encyclopedia. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.