I. The Buendía Family tree
m Rebeca Montiel (no children)
with Pilar Ternera begets
m Remedios Moscote (no children)
with Pilar Ternera begets
with Santa Sofía de la Piedad begets
| 17 Aurelianos
(no known chidren)
Remedios José Arcadio II
the Beauty m Fernanda del Carpio
II. General Overview (1)
This novel can be read as a:
1. political and cultural history of Colombia and Latin America
2. chronicle of a town
3. story of the inhabitants of a town
4. history of a founding family
5. individual struggle to shape one's destiny
1. a human enigma--how can we understand the meaning of our own lives while we are still living (creating) it? and
2. García Márquez's interpretation of the problem of Latin America--"that solitude is both the condition and the cause of failure of social action in Latin America"
III. Division of the linear plot (2)
The linear plot is the story of the town and the family. It consists of four main segments:
1. Foundation of Macondo (chapters 1-4)
2. Macondo, society and the war years (chapters 5-9)
3. Years of American intervention (chapters 10-15)
4. Metafictional (self-reflexive) section (chapters 16-29)
IV. The metaplot (3)
The metaplot is "the writing and the eventual deciphering of the manuscripts by the various family members". It "implies a meditation on the nature of the medium in which the work presents itself." It "forces readers into an awareness of writing and of the process of making a text as it simultaneously challenges them to an understanding of themselves."
"Historical writing is a recording of the past and implies self-understanding through the remembering of that past. Myths, by contrast, allow self-understanding through the telling of tales that seek to explain who we are."
V. What to watch out for as you read
1. Images--There are sections which evoke universal experiences or memories. Which sections? which memories?
2. Time--How is time used and referred to? When are we given a definite time or count of time? When is time (the lineal plot) presented in a circular manner? What events, acts, phrases are repeated?
3. Reversal of ideas--When does he use expressions that seem to be the opposite of what we normally say?
4. Solitude--When is the idea of solitude expressed? When do the characters feel solitude?
5. Characters--The Aurelianos are supposed to be a certain way, and the Arcadios another. What are the supposed characteristics of the Aurelianos and the Arcadios? What are the women like? How do the men and the women differ?
6. The magical--Keep track of magical (supernatural, strange, unusual) occurrences. How do the characters react to the magical? What is your reaction to their reaction? Do you marvel more at the actual magical occurrence or at the reaction of the character to the magical occurrence?
1. ME Valdes & MJ Valdes, Approaches to Teaching García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1990), pp. ix-x.
2. Isabel Alvarez Borland, "History, Myth and Metafiction," in Approaches to Teaching García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (NY: MLA of America, 1990) pp. 89-96.
3. Alvarez Borland, pp. 90-91, 94-96.
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