One Hundred Years of Solitude is the subjective “history” of the founding family of the town of Macondo. During its early years, the town is isolated the outside world, except for a few traveling gypsies who frequent the town, selling supposedly extraordinary new technologies like ice, telescopes, and “scientific advancements” and implanting ideas of alchemy into the head of the patriarch of the Buendía family, José Arcadio Buendía. A rather impulsive and inquisitive man, he is also deeply solitary, alienating himself from other men in his obsessive investigations into the science of alchemy, taking the last of his wife, Úrsula’s, inheritance in an attempt to create gold out of other more common methods. After José Arcadio Buendía’s attempts at alchemy prove to be less than fruitful, he shifts his aspirations to finding a path back to civilization. He leads the founding men of the town on a quest to retrace their previous path to Macondo, but ultimately declares that it is surrounded by water on every side and it is impossible to regain contact with the rest of the world.
These key character traits, portrayed by the patriarch, are inherited by many his descendants throughout the novel including his older child, José Arcadio, inherits his immeasurable physical strength and his impulsiveness. As a teenager, José Arcadio was seduced by the local fortune teller, Pilar Ternera and later impregnates her. However, José Arcadio lacked the same core value of family that his father felt, and he even went so far as to run off with the gypsies before his son is born. After his disappearance, a devastated Úrsula took off to try and find her son. She never found him, but she did discover the route to civilization, bringing forth a new era fo...
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...prophecies signals time collapsing upon itself, combining past, present, and future into one ambiguous time in which nothing changes, but merely rotates through. In a sense, this has been happening throughout the book: spirits from the past have materialized and vanished, Pilar Ternera could read the future as well as the past, and the Buendías actions seemingly merge the past, the present, and the future into one. The final moments of Aureliano II represent a version of what’s been happening all along on a miniature scale. Time, in One Hundred Years of Solitude, is not a distinct linear movement of individual occurrences, but rather it is an boundless quantity of movements happening all simultaneously, in which no event can be viewed as unique because it ties back into both the past and the future. It is already occurring, at the same time, somewhere else entirely.
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