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One Hundred Years of Solitude | Study Guide

Gabriel García Márquez

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One Hundred Years of Solitude | Discussion Questions 31 - 40


How does Aureliano Segundo and Petra's relationship evolve over the course of One Hundred Years of Solitude?

The theme of love takes on many forms in the story. In the end, Aureliano Segundo and Petra's relationship appears to be a successful example of romantic love. The two meet under false pretenses. Petra mistakes Aureliano Segundo for his twin, and he goes along with it. The relationship evolves from entertaining the town with wasted boxes of champagne and brandy to a shared selflessness. Together they support the Buendía family, feeding Fernanda, clothing Santa Sofía de la Piedad, and sending Amaranta Úrsula to school while living on a meager allowance. As the two open their hearts to one another, Petra believes "poverty [i]s the servitude of love," and they bemoan how much time they wasted to reach "the paradise of shared solitude."

How is Fernanda del Carpio's anger against her husband represented in One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapter 16?

During the rain, Aureliano Segundo and his wife, Fernanda, begin running out of food. When he does little to improve the situation, Fernanda's anger becomes an "uncontained, unchained torrent" that mounts throughout the day. Her anger is displayed with a breath-stealing long sentence spanning over two pages, building tension. She self-righteously complains about her situation, positioning herself above the Buendías who don't understand silver settings and wine. After she criticizes the dead, Amaranta, and Colonel Aureliano Buendía, she adds, "may [she/he] rest in peace." The addition seems out of tradition, insincere. This connectivity of linked repetition shows Fernanda does have feelings and remembers every bad word the family has spoken against her. Yet instead of looking inwardly, she shows her reproach of her daughter's behavior when she repeats "just imagine," exhausting herself and the reader.

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapter 16 how does Aureliano Segundo react to Fernanda del Carpio's complaints about the lack of food, and why is it significant?

While Fernanda attacks Aureliano Segundo's failure to provide, he attempts to ignore her. He listens with "patience" until he catches her "in a slip" and corrects her. After he asks for breakfast, she starts a "violent diatribe," so he reads the encyclopedia to the children. While he sits on the porch, she attacks him, and he suffers the verbal lashing for hours. When he asks her to "Please shut up," this propels her, and he systematically smashes "everything that was breakable, from parlor to pantry," items that meant a great deal to her. Fernanda, quieted, didn't realize her effect on people. After his tantrum, he leaves and returns with food. This moment is a turning point in their relationship. For the rest of his life, he makes a great effort to provide for her, showing that her negative effect on people can be turned into a positive.

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapter 4 who is invited to the inauguration of the renovated house, and what does this say about the Buendías?

When Úrsula hosts a dance, she creates a "strict guest list," which includes: the founders of Macondo (friends of José Arcadio Buendía) descendants of the founders of Macondo (friends of her children) The following parties are overlooked: Pilar Ternera (because she has two children with "unknown fathers") Pilar's family Don Apolinar Moscote (who dictates two police officers that wield "wooden clubs") Don Apolinar Moscote's family (despite the Moscote daughters' beauty, hard work, and dancing abilities) The matriarch concocts the list according to "feelings of friendship." Considering the uninvited, the Buendías value family, freedom, and peace, and they object to outsiders, violence, and control. The guest list represents the sanctity of Macondo, a symbol of a pleasant town before its corruption.

What is unusual about José Arcadio's return in One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapter 5?

During Remedios's mourning period, José Arcadio returns. The entire family, engaging in separate tasks, suspects the same thing: an earthquake. Magical elements are used to describe him: He "gave the quaking impression of a seismic tremor." "[H]e appeared like a thunderclap on the porch." José Arcadio's nonstop journey began "on the other side of the world." A physically imposing figure covered in tattoos, he says hello to everyone in the house and finally stops moving when he reaches his mother, the only one who recognizes him. This journey foreshadows the trip his blood will take at his mysterious death, which doesn't stop until it reaches Úrsula.

What bonds Arcadio, José Arcadio, and Rebeca together in One Hundred Years of Solitude?

When Arcadio and Santa Sofía de la Piedad's daughter is born, José Arcadio and Rebeca are the only ones in the family who know. Rather than being close, their "close relations" are based on guilt: Following Rebeca and José Arcadio's marriage, Úrsula forbids the disrespectful couple to enter her house, so they rent a home across town. When Colonel Aureliano Buendía leaves Macondo, he leaves Arcadio in charge, who becomes the "cruelest ruler that Macondo had ever known." When he attacks the Moscote's house, Úrsula whips him in public, makes her "shame" known by calling him a "monster," and usurps his power.

In Chapter 16 of One Hundred Years of Solitude, how does Aureliano Segundo know Aureliano (II) is his grandson?

When Aureliano escapes from his hiding place and crawls onto the porch, Aureliano Segundo knows "the secret of his identity." Over time, the grandfather recognizes qualities that cement his certainty: "His startled look"—Aureliano Segundo teaches Aureliano not to fear people; Colonel Aureliano Buendía infamously cried in Úrsula's womb. "His solitary air"—Aurelianos are homebodies and withdrawn; whenever Colonel Aureliano Buendía was home, instead of conversing with others he'd remain in his workshop or write poetry. "Insatiable curiosity"—During the rains, Aureliano Segundo reads Meme's old encyclopedia to the children, who enjoy it so much he begins making up stories when he's unfamiliar with the pictures; the Aurelianos and José Arcadio Segundo (who switched places with Aureliano) are typically drawn to the manuscripts and Melquíades.

What is the significance of Aureliano (II) turning Aureliano Amador away in One Hundred Years of Solitude,Chapter 18?

Aureliano Amador, the last of the Aurelianos who disappeared in the mountains during the extermination, seeks shelter at the Buendía house. Even after he explains his identity and history, José Arcadio and Aureliano (II) turn him away because they don't remember him. In the street, Amador is shot by two police officers. This scene is significant because Aureliano (II), to his dissatisfaction, wanders the streets of Macondo trying to find people who remember Colonel Aureliano Buendía. His greatest friendship is with Gabriel, who knows of him because he's a descendant of Colonel Gerineldo Márquez. When he's searching for details about his own identity to prove he and Amaranta Úrsula aren't relatives, the Father insists his name, Aureliano Buendía, is for the former street name. Driven to "rage" by the erasure of his ancestor, he recalls Macondo's history, and the Father "pit[ies]" and denies him.

What do birds signify in One Hundred Years of Solitude?

After the founding of Macondo—the peak of happiness because the inhabitants are young and there is no death—José Arcadio Buendía fills the houses with birds he catches in traps. Úrsula, irritated by the song of "troupials, canaries, bee eaters, and redbreasts," fashions earplugs out of beeswax. The caged birds represent the Buendía family, generation after generation headed toward a common fate with no way to escape. In the book, birds have a strong presence but disappear due to two distinct events: the arrival of the Wandering Jew (birds fly into houses to die) the years-long deluge Following the rain, the only time birds are mentioned is in imagery, Melquíades's hat, until Amaranta Úrsula returns. Because she remembers her mother's letter about the extinction of birds, she brings canaries from the Fortunate Isles to breed in Macondo. Yet every time she releases them, they fly away. The waning presence of birds foreshadows the destruction of Macondo. The birds who fly away represent impending danger that looms over the city and the Buendía family.

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapter 18 how does José Arcadio remember his childhood?

José Arcadio remembers his nights as "terror-filled." Aware of the house's ghosts and Úrsula's threats to behave, repetition shows how he's tortured by terror, "women on the street" who could corrupt him and "women in the house, who bore children" resembling pigs. Even in daylight, his terror spreads to everything because of his family's history: roosters, guns, ambition. The repetition continues with Úrsula's molding him into a Pope, much like Don Fernando raised Fernanda to be a queen, primping him to have the "radiant smile of a Pope ... the fragrance of a Pope." His only peaceful memories are his time spent with Amaranta in the bath, which he fixates on. Incestuous and evidence of repetition in the family, it invokes terror.

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