Course Hero Logo

One Hundred Years of Solitude | Study Guide

Gabriel García Márquez

Get the eBook on Amazon to study offline.

Buy on Amazon Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "One Hundred Years of Solitude Study Guide." Course Hero. 29 Sep. 2016. Web. 1 June 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, September 29). One Hundred Years of Solitude Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "One Hundred Years of Solitude Study Guide." September 29, 2016. Accessed June 1, 2023.


Course Hero, "One Hundred Years of Solitude Study Guide," September 29, 2016, accessed June 1, 2023,

One Hundred Years of Solitude | Chapter 1 | Summary



Every month of March the gypsies, a derogatory term that refers to traveling ethnic groups, visit the city of Macondo and introduce modern inventions to its inhabitants, such as magnets, the magnifying glass, and the telescope. Each visit, José Arcadio Buendía, the patriarch and founder of Macondo, becomes infatuated with another idea. While he's distracted with his new obsession, his wife, Úrsula, resists or foils it.

With navigational tools, José Arcadio Buendía discovers the earth is round. The gypsy prophet Melquíades gives him alchemy materials, and the two become close friends. When Úrsula turns the town against the gypsies, José Arcadio Buendía expresses his frustration with human limitations.

Wanting to discover other "civilizations," José Arcadio Buendía leaves. After he and his group stumble across a Spanish ship, they discover the sea and realize Macondo is a peninsula. When he suggests moving Macondo to a better location, Úrsula refuses. When the gypsies return, José Arcadio Buendía tries to find Melquíades but learns he's dead. Saddened, the three children drag José Arcadio Buendía to the "novelty" tent, where they discover ice.


The novel begins in the middle, "Many years later," with Colonel Aureliano Buendía remembering the discovery of ice with José Arcadio Buendía. In the memory, he faces a firing squad, which creates suspense. Quickly the narrator introduces the theme of past and present by immersing the reader in the history of the gypsies in Macondo.

The first chapter grounds the reader by introducing the first and most of the second generation of the Buendía family. Their "truly happy" town is also introduced. At the time, Macondo consists of 20 riverside houses. Through fantastical language and images, the reader learns that Macondo contains magical elements:

  • José Arcadio Buendía experiences a "hereditary memory," a relative passing on information to blood family instantaneously.
  • Aureliano, who was born with open eyes and "wept in his mother's womb," has psychic abilities.

Questions for Chapter 1

View all
Analyze chapter 12 from ''HARVEST OF EMPIRE'' ''Speak Spanish, You're in America!: El Huracan over Language and Culture'' Try to support your discussion with quotes from Harvest of Empire . *An introd
Question: Chapter One: Discussion Board Option #1 - Landmarks of the Ancient World Respond in writing to the following questions after reading Chapter 1. 1 - Which three landmarks do you believe are m
SHORT ANSWER 1. In three to five COMPLETE sentences, support how you would you respond to this situation - A mother of one of your students has asked to meet with you, her son's teacher. She does not
As we indicated in Unit 1’s lecture, managers and workers write more in the 21st century than ever before in history. To ensure that writers reach their readers with their intended message, businesses
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about One Hundred Years of Solitude? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!