Analysis of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Title: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Author: Gabriel García Márquez

Context: One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) is a post colonial novel by Gabriel García Márquez. The novel seems to jump back and forth in time. The novel has been termed as the foremost example of his magic realism style and masterpiece. It is an epic story of a total of 7 generations of the Buendia family spanning across ten decades of a turbulent history of Latin America, right from the postcolonial period of 1820s to the 1920s.  Macondo the utopian city was built amidst a swamp, by Patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia.

Synopsis: The story starts with José Arcadio Buendía and Ursula, who fall in love and make a decision to marry each other without the permission of their families. The stressful Ursula feel that incest is wrong and that it would lead to a pig tailed baby, hence she not ready for the marriage. Once in a cockfight, Jose becomes the winner and Prudencio Aguilar loses and teases him that his wife is not putting out. In anger, Jose kills him and has sex with Ursula. When Prudencios ghost begins haunting Ursuala and Arcadio they pack up and go with their friends to Macondo, a new city. Their plan to set up a town close to the sea, eventually doesn’t work.

Hucksters and gypsies get attracted to the prosperous town. The stand-in for the author, Melquiades, an old writer also visits Macondo. The town gets destroyed by a tropical storm that lasted for almost 5 years. Physical decrepitude and depravity of the family start matching up by the fifth Buendia generation. All traces of the city are erased eventually by a hurricane. The narrator is revealed as Melquiades towards the end of the novel. Text of the novel is basically the mysterious manuscripts of the author.

Other works by the Author:

Novels

1962 – In Evil Hour

1975 – The Autumn of the Patriarch

1985 – Love in the Time of Cholera

1989 – The General in His Labyrinth

1994 – Of Love and Other Demons

Novellas

1955 – Leaf Storm

1961 – No One Writes to the Colonel

1972 – The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother

1981 – Chronicle of a Death Foretold

2004 – Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Short Story Collections

1947 – Eyes of a Blue Dog

1962 – Big Mama’s Funeral

1972 – The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother

1984 – Collected Stories

1993 – Strange Pilgrims

1955 –A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

Non-fiction

1970 – The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor

1982 – The Solitude of a Latin America

1982 – The Fragrance of Guava

1986 – Clandestine in Chile

1991 – Changing the History of Africa: Angola and Namibia

1996 – News of a Kidnapping

1998 – A Country for Children

2002 – Living to Tell the Tale

2019 – The Scandal of the Century: Selected Journalistic Writings, 1950 -1984

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