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One Hundred Years of Solitude | Study Guide

Gabriel García Márquez

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One Hundred Years of Solitude | Chapter 3 | Summary



Shortly after Arcadio's birth, Pilar brings him to his grandparents' home. When the gypsies arrive, Úrsula forbids them from staying, blaming them for José Arcadio's disappearance. When José Arcadio Buendía invites Melquíades's tribe to return, he's informed of their extinction. Aureliano predicts Rebeca's arrival.

After adopting Rebeca as their own, the Buendías discover she's infected with the insomnia plague. The disease erases memories, and the entire town contracts it. Melquíades arrives, as if back from the dead. When José Arcadio Buendía doesn't recognize him, he cures Macondo. A magistrate named Don Apolinar Moscote comes to Macondo and orders all houses to be painted blue. José Arcadio Buendía carries him to the border. When Don Moscote returns with his family and soldiers, José Arcadio Buendía lets them stay but names him an enemy. Aureliano develops feelings for the mayor's daughter, Remedios.


Úrsula expands the Buendía house. The theme of love—in this case, familial—is shown in the matriarch's action, who ensures there's enough room for the next generation in their home. This shows her expectations for her family to remain close, also displayed when she follows her runaway son.

Macondo (a symbol of Colombia, Gabriel García Márquez's native country) is developed in the first and second chapters. With the introduction of government, the reader sees the town begin to change, alluding to Colombia's conflicted history. After Don Apolinar Moscote arrives and begins making demands, José Arcadio Buendía tells him he doesn't want to kill him and suffer the burden of being haunted by it. This shows how Prudencio Aguilar's murder continues to cause him psychological anguish. Learning from his mistake, he peacefully escorts Moscote out of the area by the shirt.

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