“One Hundred Years of Solitude”: meaning and analysis of the book by Gabriel García Márquez

“One Hundred Years of Solitude”: meaning and analysis of the book by Gabriel García Márquez Literature

One Hundred Years of Solitude is the most famous work of the Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez (translated into Russian for the first time in 1970). The novel became a landmark both for the writer himself and for the entire world and Colombian literature.

What is One Hundred Years of Solitude about?

Events take place in Macondo. José Arcadio Buendía is its founder. The town is just a writer’s fantasy, but the events are based on the authentic history of Colombia). The creator of the city cares about universal mysteries. For his meditative occupation, he meets Melquiades, the leader of the gypsy camp. Tabor visits the city every spring. In the city, in addition to the founder, there is a higher authority. But Buendia strives to defend its primacy.

A confrontation ensues with the active participation of the townspeople. Jose has a son – Colonel Aureliano Buendia. It was he who called on the rebels to fight conservatism. Colonel Arcadio’s nephew leads the city during the collisions. He becomes a real dictator. After eight months of despotism, Arcadio is arrested and shot. But the war does not end. Aureliano loses his ability to fight. He concludes a truce and departs for his homeland.

A banana company comes to Macondo, after which revival and prosperity begin. Aureliano II enriches himself – he raises cattle, and he is also helped by a mistress with magical abilities. Then a banana massacre starts in the city, the working class goes on strike. Clashes are suppressed by the city authorities (with the use of weapons). The bodies are thrown into the sea. The city is cursed with a five-year downpour. Aureliano Babilonia appears. Immediately after the rain stops, José’s wife dies.

The city turns into a wretched place, which no one else remembers. Aureliano Babilonia is the last remaining member of the Buendia family. He is deciphering the notes of Melquíades. But because of the sinful connection with Amaranta (his own aunt), he refuses this occupation. Amaranth dies in childbirth. Aurelian’s son is born with a pig tail. The newborn is eaten by ants. Babilonia resumes deciphering the notes that the city is about to be destroyed by a ferocious tornado. By the time Babilonia ended its final words, the Buendía family had been erased from history.

The meaning of the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

With the help of an allegorical device, Marquez hints at death and human degradation (after the foundation, the city turns into ruins).

The writer warns that you need to think about the good. And the power of sinful intentions often has a destructive effect. Being good means being able to be creative. The tornado in the work symbolizes the destructive force generated by cruelty, anger and violence. The work is permeated with hopelessness.

The key idea of ​​writing is that everything comes with a bill. In the interpretation of Marquez, this is One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Analysis of the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

The work tells about the non-existent Latin American town of Macondo. It tells about the life of 7 generations of the Buendia family, whose history ends with the town. The syllable of Marquez is noteworthy – slightly indifferent, impartial and not surprised by anything. This contributes to an equally mundane narrative of both the mythical and real events of the town.

The origin of Macondo is connected with the motifs of the biblical fall into sin. It is shown how a model of human behavior based on traditions is formed. But the characters are very lonely.

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The history of the creation of the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude”“One Hundred Years of Solitude”: meaning and analysis of the book by Gabriel García Márquez

Starting to create a work in 1965 and completing it a year and a half later, the writer sought to rethink the existence of the Colombian people against the background of mystical assumptions (perfectly fitting into quite obvious everyday life), but also the historical complexities and fate of his homeland.

So, the involvement of Colonel Aureliano in the Millennium War in many aspects reflects the feelings and experiences of the writer and from the civil war that began in Colombia shortly before the start of writing the novel and continues to this day, in some atrocities, echoes of really occurred atrocities from the history of the country are heard.

All events of the work take place in a fictional village. The main character in the novel is the Buendia family. All generations of the family will also experience poverty. and wealth, but they cannot cope with loneliness, abandonment, with a life full of hostility and despair.

Researchers of Marquez’s work note that the writer worked on the work for 18 months. Marquez, using the example of the family he wrote about, wanted to show readers that loneliness is a strong feeling that can change a person’s destiny.

The meaning of the title of the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

The title of the novel should be analyzed in two ways:

  • from an objective position, the title of the work of a Colombian writer testifies to the centuries-old history of Colombia;
  • from an allegorical position, this name symbolizes a feeling of isolation, infinity.

The main component is the word “loneliness”. The work is more devoted to the life of the inhabitants of the Caribbean. They have a virus of loneliness (but not ostentatious, but internal). This feeling is positioned as the incompleteness inherent in the characters, or as the inability to love someone.

The world in which all the events of the novel take place is deep and varied. The author’s opinion in this novel, saturated with mysticism, is not indicated: neither in relation to the eventfulness, nor in relation to the characters. Marquez has neither good nor bad heroes.

The problems of the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

This, of course, is loneliness, lack of love, generational change. The emergence of a feeling of loneliness in people in the novel is explained by all sorts of reasons:

  • inability to love (the entire Buendia family);
  • external isolation from others or their loved ones (rejected by Amaranta Pietro Crespi and Herineldo Marquez);
  • internal detachment (an ancestor who lost his mind – Jose Arcadio Buendia);
  • external blindness (Ursula, who became blind at the end of her life);
  • excessive passions that completely captured people’s thoughts and souls (the loneliness of the power of Colonel Aureliano Buendia, who created a three-meter fence around himself, where it is even impossible to get through to the closest people, and the loneliness of love, in which Meme and Mauricio, Aureliano and Amaranta Ursula are immersed).

What this book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” teaches

You have to understand life. It is important to learn to love. Only then will it really be possible to get rid of loneliness, but this path is not easy for people.

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Explanation of the ending of the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

The finale of the work is interpreted by the researchers of Marquez’s work as the idea of ​​completeness not only of the existence of a large family, but also of the surrounding space. Everything is born and evolves, and then it is absorbed by vice. As a result of all this, everything perishes through natural, everyday causes (desolation, ants, tornadoes).

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the most famous work of the last century. For the sake of creating a novel, the writer took risks (for example, he could lose his car).

For a more detailed disclosure of the problems of human loneliness, Marquez reveals the inner story through the outer.

The ending of the work positions the author’s idea of ​​the finiteness of the existence of the ancestors and the world as such – first born, then evolving and absorbed by vices, and as a result, degenerating and turned into ruins.

The interweaving of myth and reality in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude: what is the novel about?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by García Márquez tells the story of Latin America through the Buendía family in the fictional city of Macondo. Throughout the story, this place and its inhabitants are shaken by wars, revolutions and upheavals. However, it is hard to believe that it really happened, since the book resembles a fantastic parable about human relationships. A lot of folklore elements confuse the reader and prevent the work from being perceived as a complaint. Rather, it gives an understanding of the national color of Latin America, its traditions and myths, and not the history of violence, deprivation and disasters that have befallen this region. Not surprisingly, the novel is called a walk through the museum of history in a twisted way.

The author chose the genre not by chance: he relied on the archetypal consciousness of his people in order to capture it in all colors. The fact is that Latin Americans are still close to the mythology of their own countries, they have not lost touch with it, unlike the Europeans. According to the writer himself, he did not invent a book, but recalled and wrote down the stories of grandparents. The stories come alive again and again as they are passed from mouth to mouth.

Traditions and myths are closely intertwined with the history of the mainland, so people often compare the text of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” with the Bible. The postmodern epic tells about the universal city and the human race, and not just about the Buendia family and the village of Macondo. In this regard, the interpretations of the reasons for the disintegration of the genus , given by the author, are especially interesting. The first is mystical (religious): the family is cursed (a parallel with original sin) because of the incest that gave birth to it. As retribution, a hurricane sweeps the village off the face of the Earth. The second one is realistic.: genus Buendia (human race) kills civilization. 

The natural patriarchal way of life of people is being destroyed (as in Latin America today: everyone wants to emigrate to the USA and look for a better life there). There was a forgetting of historical memory, they lost their intrinsic value. The land, once glorified and fertile, gives birth to Ivanovs who do not remember kinship. Disunity in the Buendia clan is caused by indifference, which sowed loneliness. As soon as the gypsies (peddlers of civilization) came to Macondo, a century of loneliness took root there, which the author put into the title.

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The action in the novel takes place in the 19th-20th century. The series of wars in those days had no end and lost the beginning. All people’s ideas about reality were distorted by the permanent war, so many preferred to teach children a kind of escape from evil reality, building for them a magical world, an alternative to the present.

Another interesting feature is the type of novel One Hundred Years of Solitude . It was also not chosen by chance and reveals certain features of the mentality of the inhabitants of Latin America. There is no main character in the book, there is a clan, a family, a community of people who play the main role. The type of Western European novel is different, in the center of events there is only one hero, and what is most important is what happens on the scale of his personality. There, the conflict between the individual and society is obvious; in the Latin American novel, attention is focused on the family, because for that people it is common to divide society not into individuals, but into families. For them, the genus is paramount, and not its individual representatives.

Display in the novel of the real history of Latin America History of Colombia 19-20 century briefly

Throughout the 19th century, the situation in Colombia was unstable . The result of a long civil war was the adoption of the Constitution: in accordance with it, the country became a federation, the states of which were largely autonomous. Later, the Constitution changed and the country became a republic divided into departments. There was a centralization of power, which led to a deterioration in the political situation. The failed economic reformation caused huge inflation. The war has begun. All these transformations were somehow reflected in the novel, more often in a satirical manner. In particular, the economic disaster was marked by the ugly impoverishment of the countryside and even famine.

1899-1902 – Thousand Days War. An accusation made by liberals against conservatives of holding power illegally. The Conservatives won, Panama gained independence. One of the commanders was indeed Aureliano Buendia. The peace was signed with the mediation of the United States, but Panama did not recognize it. America needed a profitable lease on its territory, so it supported the separatists. So Panama became independent. The interest that other states began to show in Latin America was generated by self-interest, and this motive is somehow manifested in the novel.

Then the Peruvian-Colombian War began (started due to the capture of a Colombian city). The territorial dispute was resolved through the mediation of other states, the victory remained with Colombia. It was influence from outside that brought death to the Buendia family: it depersonalized culture and erased historical memory.

This was followed by a ten-year civil war between the government (liberals) and the communist opposition (conservatives) . A popular liberal politician was killed, armed uprisings swept across the country, claiming thousands of lives. A reaction began, then a coup, and this went on for 10 years. More than 200,000 people died (according to official figures). There were also two opposing forces in the novel: liberals and conservatives, who constantly poached the people of Macondo from side to side. Belonging to politics disfigured the heroes and always had a detrimental effect on their condition.

Then, in 1964, the civil war resumed and continued until 2016 . During this time, more than 5,000,000 people have irretrievably left the country. The United States supported the government and actively sponsored the war. The work condemns outside interference in the politics of Latin America.

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