Nov 192008
Authors: kelly bleck

el, Gabriel Garcia Marquez exemplifies the intricacies of a century of family history in “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Focusing on the issues and personalities of the Buendia family, Marquez explores how history repeats itself and how various cultural views of technology and the mystical differ so greatly.

This history, unexpected and mystifying, brought to life with the strong writing abilities of Marquez, exemplifies the type of novel needed to win a Nobel Prize.

The town of Macondo, founded by Jose Arcadio Buendia and his wife Ursula, undergoes massive changes in the century of observation generated by Marquez.

Each family member, from the very last child in the blood line, is given a personality and each is intricately examined. The characters all intertwine and are weaved into a complicated web by Marquez.

Incest runs rampant, with cousins marrying cousins and even an aunt and nephew affair. This unexpected turn in relationships is worked into the story in such a way that the reader does not cringe at the mention but merely accepts it as normality in the strange world of Macondo.

Magic is a staple throughout the town, and the characters view everyday items, such as ice, as anomalies. This extremely strange town incites amusement and awe at the emerging story line.

As Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula age, their children have children, and again others, ending after about five generations. Adding to the odd nature of Macondo, Ursula lives to see these generations, easily aging beyond 100 years.

Marquez’s ability to string together information, random events and events that completely coincide with ones from, figuratively, 50 years ago is amazing.

His style can’t be duplicated, and his attention to detail adds to the complex visions he creates.

When Macondo is subject to the outside world, his depictions of a seemingly simple thing, such as a train or a company, seem otherworldly and completely out of place.

Marquez aims to make the readers connect with the disconnection experienced in the secluded town.

Enhancing the unknown that the citizens experience, Marquez focuses on the strange technology that suddenly invades the town. To us, these everyday items were incorporated from birth, but the townspeople had it just thrown at them.

The intense way that Marquez explains Macondo generates a clear picture and an enthralling story. It stays interesting until the end and circles perfectly back to the beginning at the same time.

Staff writer Kelly Bleck can be reached at

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