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One Hundred Years of Solitude/Cien Anos de Soledad : The Buendía Family

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One Hundred Years of Solitude/Cien Anos de Soledad :  The Buendía Family           

Bibliography w/3 sources  The family is at the center of Latin American society. It provides a sense of stability amidst economic and political instability. Blood ties often become business contacts, and keeping in touch with as many relatives as possible is an economic advantage.

The male is the dominant figure in Latin American families. He supports the family financially and decides the family's residence. As a result of his authority, he is often distant from his children (Barroa 75). He must prove himself muy macho (very much a man) through the conquest of several women (74). In fact, many Latin American men maintain separate houses from their family with a mistress (74). Poet Octavia Paz comments on machismo, saying that the ideal male "must never give in,' that is, allow the exterior world to penetrate his interior self, his maleness" (74).

In Latin America, the female runs the household (74). She educates the children and manages the finances. As a result, the Latin American family is matriarchal. Whereas the father is distant, the mother is "linked with love and proximity" and has a greater influence on the children (75).

The Buendías of One Hundred Years of Solitude fit this model in several ways. Family ties are strong within the family. Everyone lives in the same house. One of two family names--Aureliano and José Arcadio-- is passed down to all male Buendías.

The men in the novel fit into one of two categories (Bell-Villida 95). The José Arcadios are on one side of the spectrum, exhibiting an extreme form of machismo. When they make a decision, no one...


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... strong, and the men are either muy macho or extremely remote from the rest of the family. However, the Buendías digress from this model in several instances. The men are not family leaders, and the women take on the traditional roles of both parents in the family. Another key deviation from the traditional family structure is the Buendías' failure to form relationships with the community. They resort to incest, a digression from the norm which possibly causes the eventual destruction of the Buendía clan.

Bibliography

Bell-Villada, Gene H. Garcia Marquez: The Man and His Work. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

Gonzalez, Anibal. "Translation and genealogy: One Hundred Years of Solitude." In McGuirk and Cardwell, 65-79.

James, Regina. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Revolutions in Wonderland. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1981.

 


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