In Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, the realistic description of impossible events is an example of both irony and magic realism.
Irony is the use of words, images, and so on, to convey the opposite of their intended meaning. Garcia Marquez employs irony on several levels. Sometimes a single word, such as a character's name, suggests something opposite to the character's personality: for example, Prudencio Aguilar, who is not the least bit "prudent".
Sometimes a character's style of speech is ironic. For example, in the chapter on the banana workers' strike, the court uses very stiff, pompous language to state something that is ridiculous: that the banana workers do not exist, because they are technically not "employees" of the firm - an evasion of the government's responsibility that has tragic consequences. Another example is Fernanda's long-winded proclamations of her religious devotion. These are obviously expressions, not of Christian love, but of extreme self-centeredness and rigidity. The apparently patriotic declarations of Liberals and Conservatives alike also have nothing to do with loyalty to the country, but are really about the narrow ambitions of the politicians.
More subtly, what the narrator or the characters say may sometimes contradict what the reader knows to be true. There are many examples in the solemn announcements of Jose Arcadio Buendia, including his finding that ice "is the great invention of our time." Much later, the apparent progress brought by the banana company to Macondo turns out not to be progress at all, but a prelude to devastation.
Still more subtly, Garcia Marquez has reserved a...
... middle of paper ...
...ecise figures for things. Thus, the heavy rains that fall on Macondo-a perfectly normal, but impressive, event in northeastern Colombia-are said to last precisely four years, eleven months, and two days. To a child watching it rain, it might seem to last that long. Three thousand workers are massacred by troops during the banana strike. Colonel Aureliano Buendia fights, and loses, precisely thirty-two wars, and so on.
When we read of such amazing events told in such an objective and naïve voice, we realize it is up to us, the readers, to interpret their meaning. Whoever is narrating is simply too literal-minded and simple to have trustworthy opinions.
Drabble, Margaret The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Oxford University Press 1995
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia One Hundred Years of Solitude, HarperCollins
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “He enjoyed his grandmother's unique way of telling stories. No matter how fantastic or improbable her statements, she always delivered them as if they were the irrefutable truth” (Wikipedia, 2011). Experiences are particular instances of one personally encountering or undergoing something and in these moments of time life changes for the best or the worst and memories are formed. These recollections such as riding your first bicycle, going to the seventh grade or even listening to the many stories your grandmother use to tell could be a heartbreaking or breathtaking experience.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
1354 words (3.9 pages)
- The Roles of Past, Present, and Future Since the beginning of time, and for long past the unimaginable, life has begun with the pretense that death is the fate for all persons. Many have tried to escape this destiny, many have tried to alter it or postpone it; however, from the first page of every story, every word used to describe the events held closest to one’s heart brings the final sentence closer and closer. The concept of time has been perceived to be linear in nature; while we attempt to analyze the past and better our future – the majority of concern is focused on the present.... [tags: critique, past, present, future]
1808 words (5.2 pages)
- 31.03.2005 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE There are times when surreal is so naturally expressed that it becomes real. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Garcia Marquez perfectly combines extraordinary events with everyday life. The magic realism in Marquez’s novel transforms the extraordinary into reality by the use of religion, myth and belief systems. Although these themes make the novel magical, the story is a representation of the reality of Latin America before industrialism with a Civil War going on and the reactions of the people to modernization.... [tags: essays research papers]
666 words (1.9 pages)
- One of the stated aims of Márquez, as he said it, was to “tell a story just like my grandmother would have done it';. With the result in hand the conclusion must be that he has done it quite well. Márquez has managed to capture the vivid language of story telling as well as having the story moving both " forward and sideways". Togheter with the extensive use of magic realism and the life of mankind portrayed in the village I´m quite sure that it will take me many years before I even start forgetting the book.... [tags: essays research papers]
526 words (1.5 pages)
Styles Used in Orlando by Virginia Woolf and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Styles used in the Orlando and One Hundred Years of Solitude books Both Virginia Woolf and Garcia Marquez in their books Orlando and One Hundred Years of Solitude respectively used almost the same styles to enhance and bring out the significance of the story. Virginia Woolf writes of Orlando, the protagonist in her story, a young man of around thirty six years who metamorphosed over a couple of days from a man to a woman. Woolf’s writing depicted very important issues in life that included gender issues and self awareness and knowledge.... [tags: gender change, spanish society]
771 words (2.2 pages)
- Magic or Reality in One Hundred Years of Solitude and Bless Me Ultima In the South American storytelling tradition it is said that humans are possessed of a hearing that goes beyond the ordinary. This special form is the soul’s way of paying attention and learning. The story makers or cantadoras of old spun tales of mystery and symbolism in order to wake the sleeping soul. They wished to cause it to prick up its ears and listen to the wisdom contained within the telling. These ancient methods evolved naturally into the writings of contemporary Latin American authors.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1691 words (4.8 pages)
- Magic Prologue "Ah, you can see me. It is good to know that these fingers can still weave a spell or two. "Three years ago I retired from my position as Zouverin of the Tower of High Magic and Arcanery in Tantos. My successor, young as she is, has done well in my place until now. "Last eve, the tower was burglarized. The tome of ancient magic and power was stolen from the Zouverin's personal library, while the tower as a whole slept. As competent a mage the Zouverin is, she is not a good investigator, and I feel that the thief is one of her apprentices.... [tags: Papers]
959 words (2.7 pages)
- The Magic of One Hundred Years of Solitude The mystical town of Mocondo brings new hope, fantasy and a never ending ride for the people who live there. Jose Arcadio Buendia, the main character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), yearns for a life of magic and new discovery, so in his seeking he uncovers the town of Mocondo. "...A village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs" (1). He watches the rise and fall of his town over the period of almost one hundred years before he passes on. The town sees everything from gypsies and their... [tags: One Hundred Years of Solitude Essays]
975 words (2.8 pages)
- One Hundred Years of Solitude - Magic Realism One Hundred Years of Solitude Magic realism is a literary form in which odd, eerie, and dreamlike tales are related as if the events were commonplace. Magic realism is the opposite of the "once-upon-a-time" style of story telling in which the author emphasizes the fantastic quality of imaginary events. In the world of magic realism, the narrator speaks of the surreal so naturally it becomes real. Magic realism can be traced back to Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote during the 1920s,according to noted critic Franco (309).... [tags: One Hundred Years of Solitude]
554 words (1.6 pages)
- Magic Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez uses “magic realism,” to depict how human beings deal with their self-created solitude. “Magic realism” [Note that the German art critic Franz Roh coined the term “magic realism” in 1925 to describe "a magic insight into reality”] is the art of captivating something that in the real world would not be possible and manufacturing it to be believable. It is very different from fairy tale magic, where things are quite astonishing, unbelievable, and over done.... [tags: One Hundred Years Solitude Marquez]
1304 words (3.7 pages)