One Hundred Years of Solitude | Study Guide

Gabriel García Márquez

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One Hundred Years of Solitude | Chapter 9 | Summary

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Summary

Colonel Gerineldo Márquez tires of the war and finds solace in visiting Amaranta in her sewing room. After four years of courtship, she refuses his proposal. When Colonel Aureliano Buendía returns to Macondo "at the most critical moment of the war," he withdraws and his relationship with Colonel Gerineldo Márquez suffers.

After organizing and leading a second rebellion group, Colonel Aureliano Buendía loses sight of himself and develops an "inner coldness." When the commission arrives for an interview, he betrays the Liberal Party by signing a treaty to appease the opposing Conservatives, which goes against everything he fought for and believed in. When Colonel Gerineldo Márquez is sentenced to death, Úrsula denounces Colonel Aureliano Buendía, which catapults him into reflection. He rescues his friend from jail to continue their war.

With the approach of armistice, Colonel Aureliano Buendía returns, distracted and drained from the brutal year. He attends the day of the armistice. After the document is signed, Colonel Aureliano Buendía shoots himself in the heart. Because his doctor circled his heart with the intent to save his life, Colonel Aureliano Buendía lives and makes a full recovery. His mother prepares the house for his return, which reinvigorates the family.

Analysis

After organizing the second assembly of the principal rebel commanders, the author uses magic realism to display the change that occurs in Colonel Aureliano Buendía who loses himself in the "solitude of his power." His soldiers take matters into their own hands, killing those who they believe are making him unhappy, giving the impression that his power is out of his control.

While he destroys all evidence of himself except for Remedios's daguerreotype, which Úrsula forbids him to touch, the narrator likens his action to the ceremony of his father burying the weapon he kills Prudencio Aguilar with. This contributes to the theme of past and present. A son repeating the actions of his father contributes to the circularity of the Buendías' existence.

When Colonel Aureliano Buendía attempts suicide, Úrsula uncovers a pot of milk to discover worms inside and assumes that the Conservative Party has killed her "Aureliano." This moment, full of premonition, displays Úrsula's motherly love. Since committing to the Liberal Party he is known as Colonel Aureliano Buendía, or Colonel. That Úrsula simply calls him Aureliano shows the bond, her grief, and the magic of motherhood.

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