The Narrator of One Hundred Years of Solitude

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The Narrator of One Hundred Years of Solitude

Who is this narrator of One Hundred Years of Solitude? He or she knows the whole history of

the Buendias better than any of them know it. But the narrator is not quite

omniscient. For example, the opening sentence (quoted earlier) and Pilar's

insight into the "axle" of time are two of the very few places where the

narrator claims to be able to read a character's thoughts. Generally, we get

to know characters from close observation of what they say and do, and we have

to infer what they may be thinking. The narrator's knowledge also fails us in

the one great unresolved mystery: Jose Arcadio, elder son of the founder, is

murdered in his bed, but no one ever knows by whom. The narrator is also

ignorant of who guns down all of the colonel's illegitimate sons and, in fact,

seems as surprised as we are when the last survivor from among these sons

appears in Macondo and is also shot down.

There are two likely candidates for narrator. One is Melquiades, the

gypsy magician and wise man...