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One Hundred Years of Solitude | Study Guide

Gabriel García Márquez

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One Hundred Years of Solitude | Chapter 19 | Summary



Determined to rescue Macondo, Amaranta Úrsula returns with a husband, Gaston. After two years, Gaston, uncomfortable, resurrects an old project, developing "an airmail service" for a remote area, which he adjusts for Macondo. While studying the area, inhabitants become suspicious of his plans, fearing another banana company. After a year, he waits for a plane sent by his business partners in Brussels.

With Amaranta Úrsula home, Aureliano (II) alters his routine to be near her, visiting the bookstore and wandering the town. When sounds of the newlyweds' lovemaking drive him mad, he begins an affair with Nigromanta. During a bookstore visit, Aureliano, at the Catalonian's prodding, makes friends and ignores Melquíades's pages.

When Aureliano returns to the manuscript, Amaranta Úrsula, lonely, begins visiting him. When he confesses his feelings, she is disgusted and decides to leave for Belgium. He finds comfort in Pilar's company. When she, knowing the "unavoidable repetitions" of the family, informs him that Amaranta Úrsula is "waiting for" him, he pursues her.


After attending school in Brussels, Amaranta Úrsula's return creates tension. The modern girl judges Macondo, which often rejects modernity and is negatively affected by development. In turn, the newlyweds, outsiders, are also judged and misunderstood. There are constant references to Gaston with a "silk rope tied around his neck," a beautiful metaphor for a tie. Yet Amaranta Úrsula is still a Buendía. Her intuition is directed toward fashion. In the renovations, she rids the house of the clutter of the past—"superstition." Out of respect for Úrsula, she keeps Remedios's daguerreotype, the same reason Colonel Buendía kept it, but not without mocking it, "A fourteen-year-old grandmother!"

Both of Amaranta Úrsula's relationships are problematic. Because of her devotion to Macondo, Gaston agrees to accompany her on the condition that she marry him. He thinks her love of the place will fade, and when it does, he hopes to return to Europe. Amaranta Úrsula, a strong woman, is also pursued by her brother Aureliano (II) despite her calling him a "fool," despite saying she's moving back to Europe, and despite her fighting off his sexual advances. Because she lets her guard down for a moment—"frightened by what she herself had made possible, it was too late"—and because of a vague suggestion from Pilar, Aureliano rapes her, sealing the tragic fate of the Buendías.

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