One Hundred Years of Solitude is a story about an isolated family, The Buendias, in an imagined viallage,Macondo, somewhere in Latin America, probably Colombia.For One hundred years or more,the village has been alienated without any contact with the outside world, except for gypsies who occasionally visited the place,and bringing with them some glimpses of technology from the outer world.J osé Arcadio Buendía, is impulsive and inquisitive. He remains a leader who is also deeply solitary, alienating himself from other men in his obsessive investigations into mysterious matters. These character traits are inherited by his descendents throughout the novel. His older child, José Arcadio, inherits his vast physical strength and his impetuousness. His younger child, Aureliano, inherits his intense, enigmatic focus. Gradually, the village loses its innocent, solitary state when it establishes contact with other towns in the region. Civil wars begin, bringing violence and death to peaceful Macondo, which, previously, had experienced neither, and Aureliano becomes the leader of the Liberal rebels, achieving fame as Colonel Aureliano Buendía. Macondo changes from an idyllic, magical, and sheltered place to a town irrevocably connected to the outside world through the notoriety of Colonel Buendía. Macondo's governments change several times during and after the war. At one point, Arcadio, the cruelest of the Buendías, rules dictatorially and is eventually shot by a firing squad. Later, a mayor is appointed, and his reign is peaceful until another civil uprising has him killed. After his death, the civil war ends with the signing of a peace treaty.
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More than a century goes by over the course of the book, and so most of the events that García Márquez describes are the major turning points in the lives of the Buendías: births, deaths, marriages, love affairs. Some of the Buendía men are wild and sexually rapacious, frequenting brothels and taking lovers. Others are quiet and solitary, preferring to shut themselves up in their rooms to make tiny golden fish or to pore over ancient manuscripts. The women, too, range from the outrageously outgoing, like Meme, who once brings home seventy-two friends from boarding school, to the prim and proper Fernanda del Carpio, who wears a special nightgown with a hole at the crotch when she consummates her marriage with her husband.
A sense of the family's destiny for greatness remains alive in its tenacious matriarch, Ursula Iguarán, and she works devotedly to keep the family together despite its differences. But for the Buendía family, as for the entire village of Macondo, the centrifugal forces of modernity are devastating. Imperialist capitalism reaches Macondo as a banana plantation moves in and exploits the land and the workers, and the Americans who own the plantation settle in their own fenced-in section of town. Eventually, angry at the inhumane way in which they are treated, the banana workers go on strike. Thousands of them are massacred by the army, which sides with the plantation owners. When the bodies have been dumped into the sea, five years of ceaseless rain begin, creating a flood that sends Macondo into its final decline. As the city, beaten down by years of violence and false progress, begins to slip away, the Buendía family, too, begins its process of final erasure, overcome by nostalgia for bygone days. The book ends almost as it began: the village is once again solitary, isolated. The few remaining Buendía family members turn in upon themselves incestuously, alienated from the outside world.
The review of this Book prepared by Donia Kamal
This book follows one hundred years of the Buendia family's rise and fall in the fictional town of Macondo. The patriarch of the Buendias, Jose Arcadio, founds the town by accident with his wife, Ursula. Together they ignite four generations of Buendias that struggle to exist in the real world, and all ultimately fail. Each member of the Buendia family, in every generation, deals with his or her own version of solitude. Some choose solitude, some are destined to it.
The Buendia race comes to an end with its final member, the last Aureliano, being swept up in a hurricane of biblical proportions, and the reader is left wondering whether Macondo could really have existed somewhere or everywhere in time.
The review of this Book prepared by Heather Fontan
Jose Arcadio Buendia is forced to kill a man who insulted his wife Ursula and is forced to move away from his town. The murder will chase him for one hundred years as a curse, though. He's scared of this, nevertheless he goes through fantastic lands and jungles until he spots a new place to establish and found Macondo.
Macondo turns into a place for merchant gypsies to arrive and bring the most recent 'discoveries' such as ice and magnet. One of them, Melquiades, visits Jose Arcadio and promotes the study of alchemy. Jose Arcadio goes mad and as he intensifies this learning, strange events --presumably from the curse--begin to isolate Macondo from the rest of the country, such as an epidemic that make people forget what they just did or saw.
As these events unfold, Jose Arcadio's wife gives birth to many children, and each of them is given their own story, but finally all of them are linked by the same curse of living in solitude.
The review of this Book prepared by Augusto Wong Campos