Multiple Themes of One Hundred Years of Solitude

Multiple Themes of One Hundred Years of Solitude

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Multiple Themes of One Hundred Years of Solitude

 

 How the theme of the novel is developed and enhanced by plot, character and setting.

 

 This novel seems to have multiple themes. One important theme is that every action causes a reaction, and one person’s doing can result in something unpredicted. Similarly, it also seems to say that fate is bound to happen, no matter what is done to try to change it. In this novel, when Jose Arcadio Buendia marries his cousin Ursula, they are cursed to have a child with the tail of a pig. I believe that this is just a way of saying that they are destined for downfall and failure. They are afraid and tired of people whispering and pointing, so after Jose kills a townsman, they decide to retreat into the jungles of South America. With the help of other settlers, they found their own little town, named Macondo, in hope of escaping the wrath of fate.  Their family lives through one hundred years in this manner, before their destiny is fulfilled.

 This novel is about how a family is able to survive, for a time, in solitude. So, it is appropriate that the setting is a newly settled village, which is deep in the jungle, away from the world that has condemned them. One Hundred Years of Solitude is an almost magical story where the past, present and future seem to merge into one. It tells the story of a family, rather than an individual, and how two people’s mistake results in their descendant’s downfall. If the setting was in an urban environment, the story would have made no sense, or at least lost a bit of its effect. Instead, these people start from scratch and build up their own civilization. Over the course of a century, civil wars occur, along with tragedies, angels appearing, and family members losing their sanity. 

 The novel is written in decades, with each one exploring a main character and with the other characters lives, the book tangles itself up, until everything blends together, to return to the book’s beginning, as Macondo continues towards its inevitable self-destruction.

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Even though the Buendias were a strong family, their fate had been pronounced since the incestuous marriage over a century before their collapse. By refusing to acknowledge the world outside of their village, they unknowingly sealed their fate. As said in the book: “Races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”
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