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The Narrator of One Hundred Years of Solitude

The Narrator of One Hundred Years of Solitude

Who is this narrator of One Hundred Years of Solitude? He or she knows the whole history of

the Buendias better than any of them know it. But the narrator is not quite

omniscient. For example, the opening sentence (quoted earlier) and Pilar’s

insight into the “axle” of time are two of the very few places where the

narrator claims to be able to read a character’s thoughts. Generally, we get

to know characters from close observation of what they say and do, and we have

to infer what they may be thinking. The narrator’s knowledge also fails us in

the one great unresolved mystery: Jose Arcadio, elder son of the founder, is

murdered in his bed, but no one ever knows by whom. The narrator is also

ignorant of who guns down all of the colonel’s illegitimate sons and, in fact,

seems as surprised as we are when the last survivor from among these sons

appears in Macondo and is also shot down.

There are two likely candidates for narrator. One is Melquiades, the

gypsy magician and wise man…

Analysis of Birches

Analysis of Birches

The discursive blank-verse meditation “Birches” does not center on a continuously encountered and revealing nature scene; rather, it builds a mosaic of thoughts from fragments of memory and fantasy. Its vividness and genial, bittersweet speculation help make it one of Frost’s most popular poems, and because its shifts of metaphor and tone invite varying interpretation it has also received much critical discussion, not always admiring. The poem moves back and forth between two visual perspectives: birch trees as bent by boys’ playful swinging and by ice storms, the thematic interweaving being somewhat puzzling. The birches bent “across the lines of straighter darker trees” subtly introduce the theme of imagination and will opposing darker realities. Then, almost a third of the poem describes how ice storms bend these trees permanently, unlike the action of boys; this scene combines images of beauty and of distortion. Ice shells suggest radiating light and color, and the trees bowed to the level of the bracken, suggest suffering, which is immediately lighte…

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