Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Novel Term Paper

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Term Paper on Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Novel Assignment

The next important point to consider is that while we are looking at the actions of the people of Macondo as a whole, they are each driven by their own needs. This establishes that the problems of society are not based on the broad decisions, but on individual people. It was noted earlier that the town of Macondo has various forms of government and that none of them make a difference. This is true because the fate of Macondo depends on the individual people of the town, not on some system that attempts to govern the town as a whole. Put simply, it doesn't matter what government is placed on top of Macondo to try and define it as a whole. As long as the people cannot learn from their own mistakes, the people cannot move forward and overcome their problems. In this way, the problem lies at the heart of the people. Garcia Marquez expresses this point in part by the way that the story of the town often seems like a story of two people. The people repeat in names from one generation to the next, linking the people to those that came before them. It is noted that the town begins when Ursula Iguaran and Jose Arcadio Buendia have a child. At this time, they fear that they will have a child with a pig's tail because they are cousins. One hundred years later, the novel ends after Aureliano and Amaranta Ursula parent a child. Aureliano and Amaranta Ursula are related and their child is born with a pig's tail. This fulfils the prophecy and links the birth of the town to the death of the town. Most importantly, it suggests that after one hundred years, the people have learned nothing. Aureliano and Amaranta Ursula make the same incestuous mistake that Ursula Iguaran and Jose Arcadio Buendia made. Clearly, nothing has been learned from the events of the past. It is also noted that it is at this point that the society spirals into complete downfall. This suggests a message of warning, where Garcia Marquez seems to be saying that if we do not admit to our past mistakes, our lives will spiral into destruction. This aspect of the novel also shows that the destruction of the society does not depend on the systems that govern it. Instead, it depends on individual people. Ursula Iguaran and Jose Arcadio Buendia had a choice and they made the wrong one. In doing this, they sealed their tragic fate. However, this ending also illustrates that it is people that have the power to change things. If Ursula Iguaran and Jose Arcadio Buendia had of been able to consider the past, learn from it, and make a better decision, they might have saved themselves and their society. In this way, the story is both one of tragedy, but also one of hope by showing that people have the power to change their fates.

The link of the start of the novel to the end also suggests a circular process where everything ends at the same point it began. In this, Garcia Marquez seems to be showing how life is circular and endlessly repeats. One issue that confuses this is combining the idea that time moves in a linear fashion and the idea that life repeats itself. Throughout the novel, one event leads to another and Garcia Marquez presents the events in the order at which they occur. In time then, there is a period of one hundred years between the start of the novel and the end. How is it that time passes and yet everything ends up in the same place it started? This can be understood by focusing on how people respond to events and who people are, rather than what is happening to them. The actual events are occurring in time and do not repeat in time, but the people exist in a cycle. It is noted that as time passes in Macondo, the people are met with challenges as their society changes. Most importantly, there are few changes that the people bring upon themselves. The formation of the town is not even a definite decision, but more a product of circumstance, as Buendia leaves behind the old world and just happens to stop at a certain point. This point then becomes the new town. The major events that change the town are also not controlled by the people of the town. They do not initiate contact with surrounding areas, but are contacted by them. They do not initiate the civil war, but circumstances force them into war. They do not seek out opportunities and start a banana factory, but instead it is forced upon them and their town. In this way, the events of the town and its people are not chosen by them, but just come to be part of their lives. These linear events can be considered as their history. However, while it defines what happens, it does not define who they are and how they respond. This explains how the novel can be both linear and circular. The next important point is that the circular events are a result of the people and are not forced upon them. Considering the banana factory and the resulting massacre is a good example of this. In a linear sense, the events can be understood in a timeline. The banana factory arrives in the town. The people are exploited and forced to work there. The people react and go on strike. The people are massacred. These events occur in a series and represent moving forward. If the impact on the people is considered, the linear events become less important and it becomes more important how the respond to it. In short, the people respond to this chain of events by forgetting about it. In doing so, the linear events become erased and the people are no different than they were before the events happened. If the actual events and the changes in the people were graphed, the actual events would show a line from A to B. To C. To D. The changes in the people would show a similar line from A to B. To C. To D, but then a return to before point A. This shows how the actual events and the meaning of the events are two different things. It has also been noted that the actual events were not chosen by the people of Macondo. Instead, they can only choose how they respond to the events. This means that they choose to move in their circular path. The world moves on as events continue. It is the people that choose to remain on a circular path and repeat the mistakes of the past. One again though, while it is a tragic novel, it also seems to have a message of hope. Garcia Marquez seems to be showing people the mistakes they are making and how they cause their own downfall. Most importantly, the events are not what defines the outcome, the outcome lies in how people respond. This puts the power into the hands of people to make a choice to break free of the cycles and move forward. In this way, the novel can be considered as a positive message attempting to enlighten people and push them to change.

Another major issue worth considering is the importance of solitude. Solitude is in the title of the work and mentioned consistently throughout the novel. What does the idea of solitude mean in terms of the novel? It is partly about people giving into problems and escaping by withdrawing into themselves. This begins with the founder of the society, Jose Arcadio Buendia. He initially is determined to achieve something, as seen where he tries to understand science so he can free the people from their belief in magic. However, while he is intelligent, he does not have the tools to achieve this and his mission does not succeed. In response, he gives up completely and states, "We'll rot our lives away here without the benefits of science" (Garcia Marquez 19). He withdraws into himself, gives up on his hope, and never shares the knowledge he did gain in his explorations. In doing so, he is giving up the dream and the possibilty for the entire society. Williamson (49) notes that this decision "condemns the Buendias to a life without science." This state of withdrawal is a state of solitude, where he becomes cut off from society. He essentially confines both his thoughts, his dreams, and his knowledge, to his own mind. And as long as he remains in this solitary state, he cannot pass on his knowledge to anyone else. It was noted earlier that the people of Macondo often choose… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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