Living to tell the tale as many would put it, Garcia Marquez recalls the history of the Buendia family with the Macondo people. Marquez’s memory provides astonishing details portraying the Buendia family history. Behind the family and the history of the town Macondo, there is an eventful story. Macondo is this mysterious town where its founders have all faced so many obstacles which highly attributed to their awful deaths. A correlation can be seen in that all Buendia family members who played a significant role in town leadership all faced a tragic ending of their lives.
Jose Arcadia Buendia is the founder of the town named Macondo. He pictured this town as a dreamy town, a magical place where no one died. He is obsessed with the magical tools that the gypsies brought. He decided to lead an expedition to find a path to the sea. Along the expedition he is accompanied by a few men where together they discover many other things apart from the sea. Jose Arcadio Buendia later leads his men back home and announces that the town Macondo is surrounded by water on all sides. On the other hand, Ursula Iguaran is filled with frustration and she later decides to put a stop to Jose Arcadia Buendia’s attempt to move the village to a less isolated place.
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.
This establishes Macondo as a once upon a time creation. The prehistoric eggs talks about the origin of the world, its evolution. At the beginning when Jose Arcadio Buedia discovered the town of Macondo area it was all made up of fantasy. He did not know anything about it. Along the way he became knowledgeable through experiencing its evolution and watching it grow and change. For example, the story of Adam and Eve. They were told to go and reproduce and multiply. It was a start of something new.
The gypsies construct introduces another culture in the town of Macondo. The prophecy the Melquiades prove that the events that do occur in the town of Macondo is continuous from the beginning of the novel to the end of the novel. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, there is unrelated events tide to the gypsies. Every few years, in the town of Macondo, a group of gypsies would arrive turning the town of Macondo like a festival event displaying their goods that they have brought with them. They bring with them technology, magical carpets and other interesting wonders. Jose Arcadio Buendia is obsessed with the findings of Macondo and the inventions of the gypsies. He is so focused on his research that he ends up isolating himself. I would say he his greedy to an extent where he uses Ursula family fortune to further long his own research. Before civilization, the town of Macondo was a small isolated town with no engagements from the outside world. Civilization through the Melquiades changed that view.
The civil war that happened in One Hundred Years of Solitude is based on what happened in Colombia. There is a war between the liberals and the conservatives. The liberals have lost the war. Their leader colonel Marquez escapes an assignation attempt; it leaves him disillusioned and begins to realize that he is fighting not for ideology but for pride. One Hundred Years of Solitude memory is considered a burden. Throughout the novel memory carries most of the weight. The town of Macondo nearly lost its memory due to the plague of insomnia. Tragedy strikes the Buendia family repeatedly. Times passes and love is in the air
“Aureliano had been desired to find happiness but had directed by a wrong interretation of the cards”
One Hundred Years of Solitude is continuous from the beginning to the end of the novel. The use of the cards to my own knowledge was a prediction of the past and what the future is about to come. Aureliano prophecy brings about the destruction of Macondo.
For many years, dictatorship, imperialism and feudalism, had restricted people from revealing the genuine side of Colombia. In an interview with Paris Review, Garcia Marquez disclosed his feelings when he decided to write One Hundred Years of Solitude. “I decided that writing about the village and my childhood was really an escape from having to face and write about the political reality of the country. I had the false impression that I was hiding myself behind this kind of nostalgia instead of confronting the political things that were going on. This was the time when the relationship between literature and politics was very much discussed. I kept trying to close the gap between the two” (Stone). In early 1900s in Colombia, politics was a sensitive topic and political issues were prohibited from being discussed or criticized publicly.
Therefore, Magical Realism acted as a protective layer; and Magical Realism was often used as a tool for revelation. After all, the relationship between literature and politics was then inseparable, which Garcia Marquez endowed Magical Realism with another function, the revelation of politics. Later in the interview, Garcia Marquez continued to discuss his feelings about his own work, “I came to see that in fact my writings about my childhood were more political and had more to do with the reality of my country than I had thought” (Stone). Garcia Marquez admitted that politics had influenced him a lot in his writings, and affirmed the fact that his writings were discussing about politics and the real side of Colombia.
One Hundred Years of Solitude [Cien años de soledad], one of Garcia Marquez’s representative works, has distinctively exemplified his own ideology of Magical Realism. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Garcia Marquez depicted the image of Colombia during the early 1800s until the mid 1900s through the city of Macondo, a fictional village created by Garcia Marquez. One Hundred Years of Solitude revolves around the big family, the Buendias, specifically narrating about their rise and fall. The Buendias represented a form of dominating power in the story, which the Buendias was a big family that exploited Macondo from the very beginning. The Buendias ruled Macondo generation by generation, until the very end of the city. The family’s superior status in Macondo symbolized the existence of dictatorship both in Macondo and Colombia.
There were similarities among the members of the Buendias; they shared an identical last name or first name, and the personalities portrayed in the story were inherited from their parents. Just by looking at the characters’ names, one could see the idea of lineage at work in One Hundred Years of Solitude. In another story which was also written by Garcia Marquez, Big Mama’s Funeral shows a similar idea of dictatorship and heredity. In Big Mama’s Funeral, the story also took place in Macondo. The main protagonist, Big Mama, was the powerful woman in Macondo. She possessed uncountable fortune and everyone in Macondo was awed by her greatness. However, she passed away in the story and she handed down her power to her nephew before she died. In Big Mama’s funeral, the Pope and the president participated, which further established the great power of Big Mama. The implied political message behind Big Mama’s Funeral is similar to One Hundred Years of Solitude: dictatorship and hereditary privilege. As the story goes on in One Hundred Years of Solitude, there are more similarities to be found that can connect to other works written by Garcia Marquez.
At the beginning of the story, the villagers lived in Macondo where they were quite isolated from the outside world. They lived by their own peacefully and undisturbed. “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” (Marquez, 1). Occasionally, the gypsy would come visit them and introduced them to something that the people perceived as “new” technology like magnifying glasses, ice, telescopes, magnets and etc.
The technology brought by the gypsies indicated the important role of technology in the story. According to Jerry Hoeg, he specifically pointed out that the introduction of technology from the gypsy to Macondo reflected Garcia Marquez’s attitude towards technology, and how he infused his own conception of technology with Magic Realism. “Contemporary Latin American literature reveals a somewhat ambivalent but generally critical stance toward technology. The paradigmatic example of this attitude can be seen in the novel […] Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). The novel opens with the introduction of science and technology into Macondo through Melquiades and his array of technological inventions-from magnetized metal ingots to an entire alchemist’s laboratory. […] It comes as no surprise, then, that a recurring theme in One Hundred Years of Solitude is the relation between technology and magic, natural and supernatural knowledge” (Hoeg, 3).