Over it blooms like a flower in the

Over years,
physicists and scientists have tried to unfold the truth(s) about universe, its
creation, function, and most importantly its existence. Some of them have gone
far on claiming that reality does not exist if we are not looking at it,
meaning that everything is shaped inside our head or consciousness, and that
the universe that we live in is real only by our observation. Slight supporting
elements of this idea can be found in literature as well.    Shakespeare in “The tempest” wrote: “We are
such stuff that dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep”
as well as Conrad in “Heart of Darkness”: “We live, as we dream – alone…”
suggesting that sleep along with dying are conditions in which humans are
alone, without any surrounding or reality to face.

If one is to
support or even believe an idea like the above mentioned, then reading “One
Hundred Years of Solitude” reveals Marquez’s own observation of the reality in
which he lived in. More than simply an observation, the novel is a reflection
of that reality, in the same way as Macondo is a reflection of the universe, as
the human body was considered to be in the Renaissance, a small model of our
universe, or a microcosm of a macrocosm.  

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

This paper aims
to elaborate on how myth and reality are merged into one, describing the life,
from genesis towards its end in the fictional place called Macondo, and how
this “small world” shaped in a finessed artistry of Marquez is a microcosm of
the universe.  
Just like an atom in the universe, or a drop of water in the ocean, Macondo is
separated from the rest of the world, and it blooms like a flower in the middle
of a desert. Solitary in a deserted land, surrounded by water, Macondo and its
people create life; until six generations of Buendias reach degeneration as
civilization and breaking of the solitude bring the decline of the society in
Macondo. Moreover, through the
story of Buendias, Marquez tells the story of Columbians, even more broadly,
the oppression of colonialism, the shift from primitiveness to civilization of
Latin Americans  as well as the decline
and loss of blood that lead to the end of “the solitude of Latin America”
(Marquez, 1982).

Discussion on
findings

 

It took a few
hours road trip from Mexico City to Acapulco for Marquez to experience a sudden
epiphany that was the base foundation of such “magnum opus” (Latin for
masterpiece) as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is. In writing this novel,
Marquez uses what he mastered, that is a combination of myth and reality known
as Magical Realism, or more precisely an “amalgamation of realism and fantasy”
(Flores, 1955). Although not the first one to coin this term, his name is
considered to be synonymous with it. What makes this novel still readable after
half a century is how Marquez managed to intertwine supernatural events with
everyday life, like the ascendance of Remedios the Beauty, or death and
reappearance of Melquiades, plague of insomnia and so on, left in awe of such
magical elements one is covertly taken through the history of Latin Americans,
and more succinctly, we learn about the Banana Massacre where 3,000 people were
murdered. So Marquez besides the main complex plot “He gives a voice to all
those who died. He gives a voice to all those who are not born yet. He gives a
voice to Latin America” (Dorfman, 2014). Moreover, these supernatural events
are presented as normal and unremarkable by people. So, Magical Realism
“…pertains to a certain way of representing reality, never reality itself”
(Hegerfeldt, 2014, p. 1).

From the very
beginning of the novel the reader encounters Biblical allusions. Marquez’s book
within a book illustrates the flawed and easily tempted human nature. Macondo,
seen as the Garden of Eden is founded by Jose Arcadio Buendia and his wife
Ursula, which are often compared to Adam and Eve. The foundation of Macondo
depicts the beginning of life, just like The Garden of Eden, where everything
is new and unnamed.     
“The world was so recent that many things lacked names, in order to indicate
them it was necessary to point…” (Marquez, 2014, p.1) similarly expressed in
the Book of Genesis “The lord God then took the man and settled him in the
Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it … and he brought them to see what
he would call them; whatever the man called each living creature would be its
name” (Genesis, 2:15 – 25) this comparison shows the wilderness and the
innocence of humans as well as their surroundings before temptation and sin
lead to modernization, thus human decline. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” encompasses
the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, the genesis and the apocalypse,
of Macondo and its people” (Pelayo, 2009, p.70).

 Another
pivotal element of the novel is time and its motion. Although in a broader
sense, the novel might appear simple – one narrator telling the story rather
than showing it, in fact it is much more complex than that. The events,
respectively the fate of the characters, occur in a circular motion, meaning
that fate controls their lives and their endings. Therefore, free will exists
simply as a notion.

“What
did you expect?” he murmured. “Time passes.” “That’s how it
goes,” Ursula said, “but not so much.” When she said it she
realized that she was giving the same reply that Colonel Aureliano Buendia had
given in his death cell, and once again she shuddered with the evidence that
time was not passing, as she had just admitted, but that it was turning in a
circle.”
(Marquez, 2014, p. 341)

 The circular movement of time is manifested
with repetition of names – “While the Aurelianos were withdrawn, but with lucid
minds, the Jose Arcadios were impulsive and enterprising, but they were marked
with a tragic sign.” (Marquez, 2014, p. 186), especially of actions that more
than often lead to sin. As revealed by the first humans, Adam and Eve, human
nature is fragile, and easily yields to earthly temptation. Sin does not only
refer to lust or sexual intercourse, but it also happens as a consequence of
one’s desire to search, aim and seek knowledge that lies beyond human comprehension.
Sex is shown to be a destructive, overwhelming desire that the characters of
the novel can hardly control. But what leads to the ultimate sin are the
affairs between family relatives, a total violation of religious laws,
sometimes purposeful and at times as a result of identity issues which bring
the downfall of the family and hence the destruction of Macondo itself. On the
other hand, human’s desire to trespass beyond one’s capacity of mind, leads to
sin and punishment: Jose Arcadio Buendia the first, who initially is delineated
by the narrator as kind and devoted to his family and community, is later on
tied to a tree as a result of his insanity that emerges as a consequence of his
attachment to alchemy.

It is in the human nature to
blindly believe that there is an external force that controls our lives, known
as destiny or pre-destination – another crucial element found in “One Hundred
Years of Solitude”. This pre-destination is seen through the deciphering of the
parchments that are firstly introduced by the gypsy Melquiades who came to
Macondo with other gypsies that brought magic, inventions and technology;
causing the end of Macondo’s solitude. It took six generations of the Buendias
to finally see the truth that lies in the parchments that are written in
Sanskrit, and finally revealed by the last Buendia (Aureliano). Just when we
are about to think that the birth of the child with a pig tail, that came to
life as a fruit of incest between Aureliano and Amaranta Ursula, will ensure
the continuity of the Buendias line, suddenly he is eaten by ants, thus signifying
Buendias legacy washed away from earth. Terrified by the scene, Aureliano
remembers the epigraph on the parchments “The first of the line is tied to a
tree and the last is being eaten by ants” (Marquez, 2014, p. 420) realizing
that the parchments contained the history of his family through one hundred
years, from the beginning to the slowly approaching end.

                                                                                                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interpretation
on findings

 

Gabriel Garcia
Marquez successfully attained to preserve the distinctive story-telling style
of his grandmother (telling the most fantastic and supernatural tales with a
face expression as if telling an ordinary story), and managed to add to it political,
historical, mythical, social as well as religious connotative elements.   

Taken as a whole
“One hundred years of Solitude” highly alludes to Holy Books, respectively the
Genesis and the Book of Revelation. As briefly mentioned above, the beginning
of life and the foundation of Macondo are seen parallel to the creation of life
written in sacred writings (Genesis); in the same way that Adam and Eve are the
first ancestors of humans who were given free will but then violated it, Jose
Arcadio Buendia and Ursula are the first ancestors of six generations of
Buendias that initiated sin by marrying each – other despite the fact that they
were relatives by blood. The never-breaking chain of humankind history to sin
is still present, and each and every one finds a reflection of one’s self in
both Adam and Eve along with Buendias, which emphasizes the weak nature of
humans to yield to temptations that lead to inescapable punishments. One of
most prominent examples of punishment is Jose Arcadio Buendia being tied to a
tree, which can be compared to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as well as the
chaining of Prometheus.

Regarding the
desire to seek forbidden knowledge, Jose Arcadio Buendia associates to
Christopher Marlow’s Dr. Faustus that sold his soul to the devil in order to
reach limitless knowledge, in the same way he becomes a prey of Melquiades’
tricks that arises his interest to explore alchemy. Just as Satan is disguised
under snake’s skin that tempted Eve to taste the forbidden fruit in John
Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, Melquiades tempts Jose to seek knowledge from the
“tree of knowledge” that is a symbol of the parchments.        

Nevertheless,
the other side of the coin portrays the bloody history of Marquez’s Latin
America that was condemned to fight against oppression in order to protect its
identity.
All these elements help readers view Macondo (although a fictional place) as a
miniature of reality and universe itself. It depicts the cruelty of superior
nations towards the inferior ones aiming to violate their beyond price
solitude.

Conclusion

 

Art, precisely
literature is a mimic of nature. Moreover, man – the prominent character in
literature, is made of parts that reflect the universe, and man’s creations are
but a miniature of the cosmos. Macondo, founded by men, turned from a desert
into a living place where things had to be named and life was to be developed, in
the same way as humankind began life in earth and reached the culmination of
developing thus leading to decline and degeneration; in this way Macondo
mirrors this real city called world. This paper aimed to elaborate how myth and
reality in the novel are merged into one, describing the life, from genesis
towards apocalypse in the fictional place called Macondo, and how its
reflection of the universe is a microcosm of the macrocosm.

Attempting to
analyze this great novel in a limited number of pages was as difficult as
deciphering of the parchments was for Aureliano. However, Marquez’s talent to
blend fantasy and myth as one and through it to give voice to the history of
Latin America indeed makes this novel “the first piece of literature since
the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human
race” (Kennedy, 2007). History, politics and religion, are covered with
the spark of Magical Realism, representing the parallel rise and fall of
Macondo and Buendias.

Finally, to conclude this paper,
here are the words of the author himself on his Nobel Prize speech in 1982;
once again proving the timelessness of his writings, the power and adjusting of
his words to every time, era, and most importantly to every living nation:

  “Faced with this
awesome reality that must have seemed a mere utopia through all of human time,
we, the inventors of tales, who will believe anything, feel entitled to believe
that it is not yet too late to engage in the creation of the opposite utopia. A
new and sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others
how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of
solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth.” (Marquez, 1982)

x

Hi!
I'm Mack!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out