100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE


Introduction

The 100 Hundred Years of Solitude is a novel written by the Colombian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The novel narrates the story of the Buenda family's seven generations in the mythical city called Macondo. Macondo was an establishment founded deep in the forest by the founding patriarch, Jose Arcadio Buenda. The novel published in 1967 was originally written in Spanish but it has been translated into 37 languages with more than 30 million copies sold. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has received the Nobel Prize for Literature on account of this novel, which has been hailed as the greatest literary master piece of Latin America.

The Literary Style used in the 100 Years of Solitude

The novel, the 100 Years of Solitude, uses a literary style called magic realism. That which ordinarily should be regarded as supernatural was presented in the novel as being ordinary while the ordinary events were presented as supernatural. The novel is regarded as an important literary master piece and it is a representative of the Latin American literary boom of the 1960s and 1970s. The novel is a metaphor and a criticism of Colombia from its foundation to its contemporary times. It presents National myths about Colombia using the story of the Buenda family.

A Glimpse into the 100 Years of Solitude

Jose Arcadio Buenda and his wife Ursula Iguarin left Mahorca in Colombia to establish a new settlement. They arrived in the forest and upon dreaming of a city of mirrors, Jose Arcadio woke up to found Macondo by the river side. The founding patriarch believing that the city is surrounded by water goes on to invent the world of Macondo according to his own imaginations. Soon after its establishment, Macondo becomes the scene of extraordinary events involving generations of the Buenda family. The Buendas seem to be hapless victims of a tragic but unwritten script played out in their individual and collective experiences over several generations. At the end of the seventh generation, the city is destroyed by a hurricane as deciphered from an encryption by a Buenda man which generations of the family had failed to decipher. The mysterious encryption contains all the misfortunes that every member of each generation of the Buenda family had suffered.

The Theme of the 100 Years of Solitude

A dominant theme in the novel is the inescapable repetition of history which the inhabitants of the city are subjected to. The inhabitants are dominated by their past and the working complications of the passage of time. Throughout the novel, a sense of fatalism is reinforced by the haplessness of its victimized inhabitants, ravaged by predetermined, doomed existences. It mirrors the harsh realities of Latin American history which by reason of dependence is unconsciously ignored by its citizens. Though the novel is basically linear in its chronological rendition, it also presents history as a circular unfoldment of events in a never ending repetition of happenstances. Two major recurring themes in the novel is of incest among the Buendas and isolation; the city being located in a remote jungle. The writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez displays a remarkable ability to blend contrasting literary techniques side by side in order to create a powerful effect which keeps the reader in expectant suspense. Indeed, the 100 Years in Solitude is a literary master piece which everyone should read.


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