“One Hundred Years of Solitude” is a novel written by a Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The book is fairly considered to be a literary masterpiece: it was first published in 1967 and since then was translated into thirty seven languages. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is an outstanding example of the magic realism.
Summary of the book’s plot
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” tell a story about seven generations of of the Buendia Family that live in the town of Macondo, which is the metaphor of Colombia. José Arcadio Buendía with his wife and cousin at the same time Ursula leave Riohacha in the search of better life. During their trip one night José Arcadio Buendía sees a dream of Macondo and decides to found the town at the river side. This is how Jose Arcadio Buendia becomes a founding patriarch of Macondo. He has to spend really titanic efforts but he manages to achieve his goal. So the town of Macondo that soon will experience many unusual, magical and extraordinary events appears.
Cultural and historical context
The novel has been published in the period of so-called “Latin American Boom” that was lasting in 1960 1970s and became one of its most representative examples. The style of the book and its thematic features are proving the same. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is a novel that received recognition all over the world and, what is more, it has got numerous literature honors and awards. It is still considered to be one of the five key novels of Hispanic American literature that allowed it to become equal to the best examples of the European and North American literature. It is important to note that Gabriel Garcia Marquez received a Nobel Prize for this novel, which is one of the most significant awards among the others.
Writing style of the novel
At the first sight, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” may seem a pure fantasy as many examples of the same literature stylistic direction – magic realism. However, if we look deeper in the Marquez words we will reveal an intention to explain the context which could seems absolutely fantastic. With the help of this novel Marquez manages to prove that the border between reality and fantasy is really slight and it mainly depends on the perception of the time and place. Marquez’s tone of narration helps him to succeed in adding magic to his book.
The novel is valuable, also, for the reason that it reveals different themes such as fluidity of time, incest and solitude. Most of the topics, which author touches upon, are existential. One more specific feature of the novel is metaphorization: from the most general concepts of the book, like Macondo is a metaphor of Colombia, to smaller ones. For example, if we talk about the theme of time fluidity we will notice how Marquez embodies the ability of history to repeat itself in the book’s pattern of name repetition in different generations. One of the main concepts of the novel is, perhaps, a solitude. Macondo is located in the remote jungles, Buendia family are growing isolated, which makes each member of the family living with and for themselves only.