Compassion In One Hundred Years Of Solitude

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Throughout the novel, Marquez conveys a correlation between himself and Ursula, who may be a manifestation of someone in his life. The author seems to be compassionate about her, shown through her behavior and interaction with other characters, similar to that of a mother's love and courage through adversity.

Ursula is compassionately conveyed in the beginning of the novel, especially when Jose Arcadio talks of abandoning Macondo. "If I have to die for the rest of you to stay here, I will die." In this example, Ursula displays strong conviction to keep her family, particularly Jose Arcadio, grounded and stable. These qualities are the same qualities of a mother, and were written as if the author was a mother himself. This is why I believe Ursula is a materialization of a maternal figure in Marquez's life, an excellent reason why Marquez is compassionate in her portrayal.

Marquez also shows compassion towards Ursula via her relationships with other characters, especially Jose Arcadio Buendia. In that association, Ursula seems to be the rock of the marriage, she triumphs where Jose Arcadio fails. "Ursula had not caught up with the gypsies, but she had found the route that her husband had been unable to discover in his frustrated search for the great inventions." This demonstrates how Ursula subconsciously solved Jose Arcadio's problems. This trait of finding solutions to problems is not instilled within any other character in the book, whereas the others just catalyze problems. This enlightens us to the fact that Marquez favors this character, thus he is compassionate towards her.

Ursula's relationship with her children is also an integral part of how she is viewed in the eyes of the author. In several instances throughout the book, Ursula shows a great deal of emotion and worry towards her children, as any good mother would. "On a Saturday night, Jose Arcadio wrapped a red cloth around his head and left with the gypsies. When Ursula discovered his absence she searched for him all through the village." This of course led to her disappearance for 5 months. These events depict the worry and fear Ursula is experiencing, for her to go as far as to endanger herself to find her son. There are not many points in the novel where Marquez writes with this much emotion and emphasis, which leads one to infer that he is very compassionate toward this character.

Ursula is a vital part of the novel, in that she is the glue that holds the Buendias together. But why is she the glue and not Jose Arcadio Buendia, the patriarch of the clan? Because Marquez is extremely compassionate with regard to Ursula. Every scene or thought that Ursula is a part of is so powerful and convicting, it's like Marquez is writing an extension of his own admirations regarding his mother. He successfully captured the essence of his inner being in this character; where it is evident that the other characters have flaws. This is the ultimate expression of compassion.