José Arcadio Buendía: head of the family, becomes wrapped up in trying to gain knowledge and ends up being tied to a tree in the yard.
Úrsula Iguarán: foundation of the family lives to be over 100 and goes blind by the end of the book.
Amaranta: daughter of Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula, dies a virgin—only woman in the book to do so, repeatedly makes men fall in love with her and then rejects them.
Colonel Aureliano Buendia: son of Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula, joins liberal army, has 17 sons each with a different mother, loses his memory after many years of fighting and signs a peace treaty.
Remedios Moscote: girl Aureliano-Buendia wants to marry but she is too young so he waits, and then she dies soon after the marriage.
Jose Arcadio: eldest son of Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula who runs off with the gypsies and comes back all tattooed; massive physically, marries Rebeca
Rebeca: orphan adopted by Buendia family, eats dirt, infected the town with insomnia
Aureliano Jose: son of Colonel Aureliano and Pilar Ternera
Arcadio: son of Jose Arcadio and Pilar Ternera, becomes vicious ruler of Macondo
Santa Sofia de la Piedad: wife of Arcadio, never really does any direct actions in the novel
Remedies the Beauty: becomes most beautiful women in world and men obsessed with her then one day floats off into the sky
Jose Arcadio Segundo:
Fernada del Carpio: wife of Aureliano Segundo, very religious and tries to impose her religion on others
Melquíades: gypsy who brings inventions to Macondo. First to die in Macondo. Wrote fam. History that drove several generations of Buendias out of mind b/c undecipherable, his ghost came back to live in his old room in their house.
Pilar Ternera: whore who fathers half the Buendias
Petra Cotes: Aureliano Segundo’s whore—they get rich together from their farm animals and stay together until the end
Colonel Gerineldo Márquez
Don Apolinar Moscote
Plot: The family, which the novel revolves around, the Buendias, found a town called Macondo that remains isolated from the outside world with the exception of visits by gypsies for many years. Some of the gypsy’s inventions leave Jose Arcadio Buendia, the head of the family, awe struck. He eventually isolates himself in a self-made laboratory and succumbs deeper and deeper into lust to make things. His sons Jose Arcadio, and Aureliano each inherit traits from their father. When politics and religion come to Macondo a civil war begins. Jose Arcadio Buendia’s youngest son, Aureliano, becomes Colonel Aureliano Buendia, a reputed liberal rebel leader, and his fame keeps Macondo known to the rest of the world. Macondo undergoes many types of governments during the course of the story, which covers a little over 100 years. Eventually a banana factory moves in beside the town and sets up a barbed wire fence between it and Macondo. Eventually the workers go on strike. During one of the demonstrations the company massacres 5,000 people and then dumps their bodies in the ocean, but a Buendia who was at the strike lives to tell the tale. Then the rain starts and lasts for five years causing mass flooding and washing away most of what had become of Macondo. One of the Gypsies, Melquíades, who was a friend of Jose Arcadio Buendia, had written some scripts a long time ago in an unknown language. As the book ends Aureliano deciphers the text and finds that the Buendia family was living out a pre-ordained cycle and that “races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth” (448). Each generation of the Buendia family had the same names and had to go through the same trials and triumphs as the previous generation. The book has a very cyclical feel.
Themes: 1. Relationships b/w people: husband/wife, siblings, parents/children—many examples of each throughout the novel. Most of the husbands cheated on their wives. Most siblings are polar opposites. The children have a tendency not to obey their parents.
2. Solitude: Jose Arcadio Buendia secludes himself, as do many of his sons during their quest for knowledge.
3. Life/Death- Melquíades first to die in Macondo but then others do too. A few ghosts in the story—Melquíades, Prudencio Aguilar—guy Jose Arcadio Buendia kills with a spear.
4. Memory—Rebeca’s insomnia plague. Repetition of events. Ursula remembering what Macondo used to be like.
5. Government and Religion- being the downfall of the town.
Pg 1 “the distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”
pg 54 “really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude.”
Pg 84 “After many years the yearning for the living was so intense, the need for company so pressing…Prudencio Aguilar had ended up loving his worst enemy”
Pg 341 “his grandfather recognized the secret of its identity…it was evident that he was a legitimate Aureliano Buendia.”
Pg 442 “We will name him Aureliano and he will win thirty-two wars.”
Pg 448 “races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”
Pg 446 “The first of the line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by ants.”
Pg 283 “He did not see him, as he had never seen him, nor did he hear the incomprehensible phrase that the ghost of his father addressed to him as he awakened, startled by the stream of hot urine that splattered his shoes.”
Pg 301 “It was farcical.”
Pg 205 “four calamities that had determined the downfall of their line”
Pg 442 “strong and willful like the Jose Arcadio, with the open and clairvoyant eyes of Aurelianos.”
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
1) Jose Arcadio Buendia: He is the founder of Macondo with an insatiable lust for science. He spends much of his time attempting to turn metal into gold. He eventually loses his mind and is tied to a tree where he babbles in Latin (only a priest can understand him). Ursula brings him back into the house shortly before his death.
2) Ursula Iguaran: After marrying her cousin, she becomes the matriarch of the Buendia family. Fearful that their children will be born with the tails of pigs, she wears a chastity belt until Jose Arcadio Buendia demands that no one else will die because of her (Jose killed a man who made fun of him because he didn’t have sex with his wife). Ursula lives to be well over 100 years old and seems to be turning into a fetus as she becomes older.
3) Jose Arcadio: He is the eldest son of the above characters. He leaves Macondo with the gypsies and returns years later covered in tattoos. He cannot escape his family no matter how far away he goes or how much he physically alters his appearance. He falls into the innate incest prevalent in his family when he marries Rebeca, a woman he believes to be his cousin.
4) Colonel Aureliano Buendia: He is the second son of Ursula and Jose Arcadio Buendia. He falls in love with a nine-year-old girl named Remedios and marries her after she has barely reached puberty. His child bride dies while pregnant with twin, and he then becomes completely reclusive and consumed by war. It is foreshadowed throughout the book that he will die by firing squad but he actually dies of old age.
5) Pilar Ternera: She is an outsider. Although she never marries into the Buendia family, she gives birth illegitimately to two sons, one by Col. Aureliano and one by Jose Arcadio. She reads fortune cards and accurately predicts the future although no one listens. She is at the center of much of the lust in One Hundred Years as she runs a brothel, sleeps with two brothers, and has her own son attempt to coax her to bed.
6) Remedios the Beauty: She is the daughter of Arcadio and Santa Sofia de la Piedad. She has nothing in common with the rest of her family. She does not realize her beauty and, therefore, drives men to their deaths. Her mother bathes her well into her twenties. One day she ascends to heaven.
7) Melquiades: He is the emnodiment of the magical realism that dominates the text of One Hundred Years. He is the leader of the gypsies and introduces Jose Arcadio Buendia to science. He gives the Buendia family the parchments (which will take 100 years to decipher) that essentially chronicle the rise and fall of their family. He dies a couple of times but comes back because apparently death was a little too lonely for him.
8) Amaranta Ursula: She leaves Macondo at the age of 11 in order to study in Brussels. When she returns to Macondo, she is unlike the other Buendias. This does not last long, however, as she quickly forgets her educated worldly husband and falls in love with her cousin, Aureliano II. She gives birth to the child that marks the end of the Buendia family.
9) Aureliano II: He is the illegitimate son of Renata Remedios and Mauricio Babilonia, neither who play a role in his life. He is ignored an neglected by the family, especially Fernanda and Jose Arcadio II. He spends most of his day locked away in attempt to decipher the parchments left by Melquiades. His affair with Amaranta Ursula produces the end of the Buendias.
10) Aureliano III: He is the son of Aureliano II and Amaranta Ursula. He is born with the pig’s tail so feared by Ursula and is left to die as ants attack him.
One Hundred Years of Solitude is not told in chronological order. Rather, it jumps seamlessly from past to present, present to past and, in doing so, shows us the circular pattern through which the Buendias follow through their rise and fall. Jose Arcadio Buendia and his wife/cousin Ursula found Macondo after Jose Arcadio Buendia kills a man from his village. The two seek to start a new life where they can forget about the dead man and the whispers of their incestuous marriage. Once in Macondo, they parent three children who ultimately submerge themselves in sin. Jose Arcadio and Col. Aureliano father illegitimate children by the same woman, Jose Arcadio marries a girl believed to be his cousin, and Amaranta lives a long life plagued by inappropriate behavior toward her nephews.
The Buendia family decays as the years pass, as their rotting house symbolizes. The family, consumed by repeating characteristics based on the names of the characters, falls into lives consumed by lust and incest. Ursula appears to be the only person concerned with righting the wrongs of her family. She restores the house, giving the family a new breathe of life. This restoration does not last long though as Ursula eventually goes blind and slowly morphs into a fetus before she finally dies. With Ursula gone, the family gets worse very quickly. The parchments left by Melquiades age to one hundred years old, and Aureliano finally deciphers them after he and his cousin’s child is born with the tail of a pig. A cyclone tears through Macondo leaving nothing of the Buendias’ existence.
1) Solitude: Many different categories of solitude exist.
- Solitude of location: Macondo is the only city for miles
- Solitude of pride: Col. Aureliano Buendia (148,149,267)
- Solitude of Grief: Rebeca after Jose Arcadio dies/ Ursula after Jose Arcadio Buendia dies (102, 146, 278, 320, 365, 437,443)
- Solitude of love: Jose Arcadio Buendia and Rebeca (essentially disowned after their marriage)/ Aureliano Segundo and Petra Cotes (affair the family refused to recognize)/ Aureliano and Amaranta Ursula (the only Buendias left in Macondo at the end of the novel) (102, 146, 278, 320, 365, 437,443)
- Solitude of death: Melquiades dies multiple times because death is lonely (54).
2) Magic Realism: The entire novel is a combination of real and fantastic.
-Gypsies act as a median between Jose Arcadio Buendia and the real world. They introduce him to the “magic” of science (2, 17, 18, 35, 36, 38, 152)
-Levitating priest (90-91)
- Women tend to live more than 100 years (Ursula, Pilar)
- Ascension of Remedios the Beauty (also biblicalish) (269,297).
- Cyclone that destroys Macondo (446-448).
1) “We’re going to rot our lives away here without receiving the benefits of science” Jose Arcadio Buendia to Ursula (13).
2) Melquiades “really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude” (54).
3) “We won’t call her Ursula because a person suffers too much with that name” Santa Sofia de la Piedad about Remedios (143).
4) “As soon as they took the body out, Rebeca closed the doors of her house and buried herself alive” (146).
5) “While the Auerelianos were withdrawn, but with lucid minds, the Jose Arcadios were impulsive and enterprising, but they were marked with a tragic sign” (197).
6) “It was as if God had decided to put to the test every capacity for surprise and was keeping the inhabitants of Macondo in a permanent alternation between excitement and disappointment, doubt and revelation, to such an extreme that no one knew for certain where the limits of reality lay. It was an intricate stew of truths and mirages that convulsed the ghost of José Arcadio Buendía with impatience and made him wander all through the house even in broad daylight” (242).
7) Colonel Aureliano Buendia “had never loved anyone, not even his wife…he had won and lost for the same reason, pure and sinful pride” (267).
8) Aureliano (II) “had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth”(448).
9) Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point. Every year during the month of March a family of ragged gypsies would set up their tents near the village , and with a great uproar of pipes and kettledrums they would display new inventions First they brought the magnet” (1).
10) “Aureliano José had been destined to find with [Carmelita Montiel] the happiness that Amaranta had denied him, to have seven children, and to die in her arms of old age, but the bullet that entered his back and shattered his chest had been directed by a wrong interpretation of the cards” (168).
11) Aureliano II “saw the epigraph of the parchments perfectly paced in the order of man’s time and space: The first of the line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by the ants. . . . Melquíades had not put events in the order of a man’s conventional time, but had concentrated a century of daily episodes in such a way that they coexisted in one instant “(446).
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