The Theme of Obsession in '100 Years of Solitude' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Essay by juve118High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2004

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Obsession in One Hundred Years of Solitude

Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Over time, boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married and live happily ever after. This is the idealistic progression of 20th Century male/female relationships, a progression which Gabriel Garcia Marquez utterly rejects in the development of relationships in his novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Garcia Marquez created the novel as a chronicle of humanity, truthfully presenting life in all of its variety. To this end, Garcia Marquez does not idealize the relationships of his novel's characters; the destructive, failed relationships hold equal standing with the healthy, successful ones. Garcia Marquez's inclusion of obsession as a persistent theme of human relationships serves not only to display a human trait, but also contributes to the over-riding cyclical pattern of the entire novel. Garcia Marquez interweaves the pattern of obsession between men and women into the novel's progression, and through its repetition, obsession becomes significant to the novel as a whole.

The pattern of obsession begins with an elemental character in the novel, Colonel Aureliano Buendia. Incredible lucidity and curiosity, along with a complete denial of basic physical desires, mark the young life of Aureliano; he never pursues a woman until the arrival of the Moscote family. When Aureliano first meets Remedios, he is instantly struck with "a physical sensation that almost bothered him when he walked, like a pebble in his shoe" (Garcia Marquez, 64). This elemental feeling of love develops into full-blown obsession, with the simple sight of her brings on a "sudden attack of asthma" (71). Aureliano's life becomes entirely consumed by Remedios, every facet of his existence is changed "because everything...remind[s] him of Remedios (71). Garcia Marquez begins the pattern of obsession with this successful relationship: obsession transforms into genuine...