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Death In One Hundred Years Of Solitude By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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The book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is a novel that tells the story of the multi-generation of the Buendía family. The first generation were the founders of Macondo, a small town that was first isolated from the outside world in which we are first introduced to solitude, one of the first oppositions throughout the novel that plays across the story. For a long time, Macondo was in solitary, disconnected, and hidden to the outside world, although the exception was the gypsy’s who brought technology with them. The town’s solitary is the beginning of the isolation of the character’s lives throughout the novel. Then, after Macondo was exposed to the outside world we are introduced to the second opposition, death, which we see in many scenes throughout the book. Because the town is now known to the outside world we begin to see the death of various characters all the way to the end of the story. Death plays a very important role in the novel because we see it in many ways like murders, naturals deaths, and massacres.

The first death that we see in the novel is the murder of Prudencio Aguilar by Jose Arcadio Buendía, which stabs Prudencio in the throat with a spare during a rage. After committing the murder: “he never slept well after that. He was tormented by the immense desolation with which the dead man had looked at him through the rain, his deep nostalgia as he yearned for living people, the anxiety with which to soak his esparto plug. ‘he must be suffering a great deal,’ he said to Ursula. ‘You can see that he’s so very lonely”.

Although Prudencio died he came back from the dead as a ghost tormenting Jose Arcadio and his wife. Despite being tormented by the ghost the Buendía was not afraid but rather felt guilty for his death. This scene indicates the solidarity that comes with death because they feel sympathy for Prudencio that did not get to live for a long time and has come back from that lonely place just to torment them. Another that came back from the dead as a ghost was Melquiades the first person to die in Macondo, “the gypsy was inclined to stay in the town. He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude”. Although death is different from solitude by these scenes it seems like death is viewed as a form of solitude which makes the dead come back as ghosts to escape that solidarity.

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Jose Arcadio Buendía is perhaps the most condemn to solidary because people thought he was insane with his inventions using technologies that Melquiades used to bring. He was punished and was sent to spend the rest of his life isolated from everyone and tied to a chestnut tree in the courtyard. When he gets back to his house, he will rather go back to being tied to the tree because he felt that being lonely was better than being with his family. He had learned to be by himself and felt more pleasant in solitary. Jose Arcadio Buendía the founder of Macondo will rather be isolated all the way through his last breath. And in his final moments, he is led to a solitary room and dies. Then, “a short time later, when the carpenter was taking measurements for the coffin, through the window they saw a light of tiny flowers falling” as a way of grieving for his death. Nature was mourning with the rest of the family. On the other side, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was lonely from the beginning. Despite being the first baby born in the isolated town of Macondo and differences in political views, he is omitted from historical politics and military importance. As we see solitary and death keep being brought up throughout the story because either the people feel solitary and dies or after being dead they feel solidary they return. They can never escape one or the other.

Amaranta Buendía also dies but she spends her life weaving her shroud “during the day and unwove during the night, and not with any hope of defeating solitude in that way, but, quite the contrary, in order to nurture it”. Although she did not get married or found someone to spend the rest of her life with her she focused more on the shroud. However, unlike the other character’s Death warns her to prepare herself for the afterlife. She dies as a lonely virgin deep in jealousy and hatred for her sister Rebecca. Death once again comes after solidary. Rebecca is also left alone in her house without a husband and rejected by her family. And when she is given the help she doesn’t receive it because she got used to being alone to the solitude that was placed on her since her early years.

By the end of the novel, we see the shocking death of 3,000 thousand people on the banana plantation. Jose Arcadio Segundo who also lives in solitary by the skills he acquired takes the initiative to lead a strike against the banana company. As he is the lone survivor of the strike and attempted to shed the solidary by encouraging other workers to fight for justice after the massacre he is forced to isolate himself from the town. And the town of Macondo is left empty off the face of the earth as it started, back to being that isolated and solitary place. Lastly, Aureliano reads: “before reaching the final line, however, he 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 forevermore, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth”.

Many characters in One Hundred Years of Solitude experience isolation, loneliness, and without a doubt death. The terms are valued the same because of the amount of solitude and deaths that occur throughout the novel. The Buendía family is associated with both terms due to the curse of being in that lonely state or dying through generations.

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Death In One Hundred Years Of Solitude By Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (2021, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from
“Death In One Hundred Years Of Solitude By Gabriel Garcia Marquez.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2021,
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