Get help from the best in academic writing.

Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

By far, Garcia Marquez’s most acclaimed work is Cien Anos de Soledad or One Hundred Years of Solitude. As Regina Janes asserts, “his fellow novelists recognized in the novel a brilliant evocation of many of their own concerns: a ‘total novel’ that treated Latin America socially, historically, politically, mythically, and epically, that was at once accessible and intricate, lifelike and self-consciously, self-referentially fictive.” In it, the totality of Latin American society and history is expressed. Upon first reading, the novel appears to relate a regional history of the town of Macondo and the many generations of Buendias that inhabit it. This local chronicle, however, is representative of the history of Colombia and of Latin America in general, passing from the mythical pre-conquest time to that of history marked by “interminable civil wars, dictators, coups d’etat. brief resurgences of democratic rule, social revolutions promising much and betrayed by the makers of revolution or aborted by the prompt arrival of the U.S. Marines or of CIA funds to finance the counterrevolution.” The Spanish Conquest is represented by the fifteenth century Spanish copper locket and the shipwrecked galleon. Next comes a series of contacts with native Indians and black slaves, and soon begin the civil wars characteristic of post-independence Latin America. The Americans soon come in, representing the modern Western imperialism of the twentieth century. Some of the events which take place in the plot of the novel are drawn straight from actual happenings, such as the arrival of the banana company and the massacre of its workers.

Yet while the history of …

… middle of paper …

…istory and the Novel,” Latin American Perspectives 11.3 (1975): 100.

7 Fanny Carrion de Fierro, “Cien Anos de Soledad, Historia y Mito de lo Americano,” Lectura de Garcia Marquez (Doce Estudios), ed. Manuel Corrales Pascual (Quito: Centro de Publicaciones de la Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Ecuador, 1975) 185.

8 Taylor, 104.

9 Janes, 56.

10 Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, trans. Gregory Rabassa (New York: Avon Books, 1970) 227.

11 Carrion de Fierro, 187.

12 Minta, 164.

13 Ibid, 169.

14 Taylor, 107.

15 Minta, 170.

16 Ibid, 171.

17 Ibid, 172

18 Carrion de Fierro, 189.

19 Janes, 53.

20 Marquez, 276.

21 Janes, 65.

22 Lois Parkinson Zamora, Writing the Apocalypse: Historical Vision in Contemporary U.S. and Latin Americana Fiction, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) 25-51.

Progress and Innocence in One Hundred Year of Solitude

Progress and Innocence in One Hundred Year of Solitude

One Hundred Year of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez projects itself among the most famous and ambitious works in the history of literature. Epic in scope, Marquez weaves autobiography, allegory and historical allusion to create a surprisingly coherent story line about his forebears, his descendants and ours.

It has been said that there are only about 18 or so themes that describe the human condition. This quote was made in reference to Shakespeare, and posited that all of the books and movies that we digest and assimilate can be shown to have their roots in these canonical themes. In Cien Anos, Marquez addresses several of these themes in the subtle and interlocking ways that they deserve. This paper will concentrate on two interrelated themes: progress and innocence. In its exploration of these concerns, this novel provides no less than a rendering of the trajectory of human evolution.

Loss of innocence is a time-worn theme in the literature of every culture. It traditionally takes the form of some type of epiphany visited upon an unsophisticated character as she grows up and encounters the larger world. The focus of this theme is normally personal, in the point of view of an individual, or the omnipotent third person account of the reaction of an individual. While this aspect can be found in the novel, it additionally explores the loss of innocence of a family, people or race, called estirpe in the original edition.

In the Western sensibility, the march of progress is normally deemed positive and inevitable. In recent Western history, from the Middle Ages forward, successive improvements in the spread of knowledge, dissemination of culture, and the av…

… middle of paper …

…s of Solitude.” In McGuirk and Cardwell, 65-79.

Griffin, Clive. “The Humour of One Hundred Years of Solitude.” In McGuirk and Cardwell, 81-94.

James, Regina. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Revolutions in Wonderland. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1981.

McGuirk, Bernard and Richard Cardwell, edd. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: New Readings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

Martin, Gerald. “On ‘magical’ and social realism in Garcia Marquez.” In McGuirk and Cardwell, 95-116.

Williams, Raymond L. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Boston: Twayne, 1984.

Williamson, Edwin. “Magical Realism and the Theme of Incest in One Hundred Years of Solitude.” In McGuirk and Cardwell. 45-63.

Wood, Michael. “Review of One Hundred Years of Solitude.” In Critical Essays on Gabriel Garcia Marquez. McMurray, George R., ed. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1987.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.