Gender Roles in "100 Years of Solitude" Essay

Gender Roles in "100 Years of Solitude" Essay

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During an in class discussion of the book 100 Years of Solitude, a fellow student suggested the women characters seem to be much more stable than the male characters. She stated that, “the women are the ones who take care of the house while the men go off and fight their silly wars.” She continued to note that the men seem to constantly immerse themselves in useless projects while the women are forced to take care of the home and dissuade their husbands’ irrational need for adventure and change. She was making the observation that the women behaved as the rational ones in the city of Macondo while the men took interest in shiny trinkets and inventions and left all care taking to the women.
Her point is validated in the literature in Ursula’s response to Jose Arcadio Buendia’s desire “to move Macondo to a better place” (13). Jose Arcadio Buendia feels the insatiable need to relocate to fulfill his craving for exploration, but Ursula will not stand for it and declares “we will not leave…we will stay here, because we have a son here” (14). Jose Arcadio Buendia’s selfish choice to relocate to satisfy his wishes exhibits no regard for others while Ursula’s declaration to remain stationary shows her concern for the women and children’s need for stability.
Upon further reading, however, one begins to observe a complete loss of rationality in the women characters. It looks as if, when a significant male character abandons the female in death or desertion, the woman loses all sense of responsibility and reason and shuts herself off into seclusion. This incident is seen happening, in one form or another, to Rebeca, Amaranta, Fernanda, Meme, and Ursula, to a certain extent, bringing up the possibility that the men may, in actuality, be h...


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...t Jose Arcadio was the provider for the family, Ursula was the nurturer, and they never lost sight of one another. Even with Jose Arcadio Buendia’s passing, while Ursula lost her eyesight, she could still see his spirit. Ursula took care of him, but he gave her the strength she needed. Perhaps that is why Garcia Marquez reveals several times throughout the book that no one had the strength of Ursula.
Personal experience has shown the necessity of gender roles; whether or not there is a belief in God. Naturally, not all Christians uphold this standard and many do not keep these roles throughout the marriage. Also some non-traditional unions have been extremely successful, but as a general rule, people just seem happier when the roles are carried out. Most men like to dominate and most women to nurture just as most women like to be dominated and most men cared for.

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