One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude is the history of the isolated town of Macondo— how it thrived through the years, from its secluded state in the beginning, to the arrival of technological advancements as well as the railroad and the banana plantation, until its ultimate destruction in the end— and the story of the family who found it, the Buendías. In over a century’s span, the novel chronicles the major turning points in the lives of the Buendías: births, deaths, marriages, and love affairs; while depicting the remarkable similarities of a generation with the other generations, as if the past, the present, and the future are torn in a vicious cycle of committing the same mistake and achieving the same glory over and over again.

The characters portray human nature at its most diversified form— no character is very much the same as the other characters even if they were named the same. The Buendia family may have similar fate, but each generation purely exudes a distinct attribute original on that generation alone. Ursula Iguaran’s drive to keep the family in tact through the years is beyond doubt admirable. Jose Arcadio Buendia’s thirst for knowledge shows human’s insatiable pursuit of scientific and technological advancements. I need not mention all the hundred characters of the novel to clear my point; you’ll see it when you read it. (^^)v

If there would be lessons and/or morals that this novel had deeply imparted me, it had to be this simple detail that we most often fail to comprehend: how important life is to us. Our desire for life, our transcendent sense of beauty, and our endless pursuit of love and happiness will now and forever resist the beast of terror within us. To oppression, plundering, and abandonment, we respond with life. Nothing— neither catastrophe, nor ceaseless wars— have been able to subdue the persistent advantage of life over death. Continue to live and live for others, as if there is only one opportunity for us on earth. Learn from the past, live the present, and seize the future as it comes.

Moreover, I think Gabriel Garcia Marquez wants us to create a new Macondo— a new and sweeping utopia of life, where one will not be able to decide for others how to die, where love will prove true and happiness possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth.

I recommend “One Hundred Years of Solitude” to everyone: for everyone to be aware of the subjectivity of experienced reality; for everyone to appreciate the inseparability of the past, present, and future; and for everyone to realize the power of reading and of language.

Give reading it a shot. You’ll be surprised on how the interpretation of the novel constantly changes in each finished endeavor. It is a wonderful book and a truly worth-while read!


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