One hundred years of solitude

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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One of the stated aims of Márquez, as he said it, was to "tell a story just like my grandmother would have done it". With the result in hand the conclusion must be that he has done it quite well. Márquez has managed to capture the vivid language of story telling as well as having the story moving both " forward and sideways". Togheter with the extensive use of magic realism and the life of mankind portrayed in the village I´m quite sure that it will take me many years before I even start forgetting the book. In the beginning of the book the reader is directly thrown into action with Colonel Aureliano facing the firing squad. With his thoughts we are taken several years back in time when Macao was a village of twenty adobe houses. This, the beginning of the town, could in a different light be seen as representing the begining of mankind , "clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs.".

As the story goes on the town moves from utter igorance " the world was so recent that many things lacked names" and developes until we are in the modern time with the banana company, telephones and the union until it, towards the end of the book due to heavy rainfall, turns into an uncivilized town again before it´s destroyed in a heavy storm. The cycle of the town starts and ends on the same point just as the development of the family and all actions, they all turn in cycles just as Ùrsula thanks to her old age found out. The way in which the story is written, with magic realism and the story evolving both forwards and sideways is one of the more unusual characteristics when, as a european, reading the book. The story gives the impression of moving sideways as the same incidents are retold from the view of different persons which means that events are put in a different order compared to other novels "Melquíades had not put events in the order of man´s conventional time, but had concentrated a century of daily episodes in such a way that they coexisted in one instant". Magic realism, another specific South American characteristic, adds to the feeling of the narrator really just copying an old oral story. " the boy brought him a cup of thick and steaming chocolate, which he drank without pausing to breath. Then he wiped his lips with a handkerchief …Thereupon Father Nicanor rose six inches above the level of the ground.". Even thought the events of magic realism are easy to spot and usually unbelivable it is not impossible that the events originate from something true and has only been moderately changed to fit the story. One of the hardest parts when discussing different novels is to deside which one you like the most and why. My conclusion is that indeed, One Hundred Years of solitude is an "unforgettable" novel and the fact Gabriel Garcìa Mà rquez was awarded the Noble Prize for literature in 1982 is a clear indication that I´m not alone with this view.