Exile in 100 Years of Solitude

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  • Topic: Family, One Hundred Years of Solitude
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  • Published : April 30, 2012
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Exile in One Hundred Years of Solitude
The word “exile” is rarely brought to mind in today’s busy society. With the current technological advances, there are few people in the world living in complete solitude. A modern man may wonder “Why would a person want to live in isolation?” As outlandish the concept sounds, it can be a stirring experience that exposes one’s great potential. Gabriel García Márquez attempts to illustrate perspective of solitude with the Buendías in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Through the actions of the seven generations, Márquez is able to show how exile can become a double-edged sword of loneliness and enrichment.

The patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, begins the pattern of solitude with the initial voluntary exile from Riohacha. With his wife, Úrsula, he leaves his homeland in search for a better life. “José Arcadio Buendía dreamed that night that right there a noisy city with houses having mirror walls rose up,” (Márquez 26). This dream is becomes reality in just days and results in the founding of Macondo. To be able to establish a thriving civilization is an incredible feat – a positive consequence of leaving Riohacha. However, his responsibility as a founder to oversee Macondo causes him to be a poor father to his three children. The neglect becomes worse as José Arcadio Buendía becomes imprisoned by his own wonder of Melquíades’ scientific discoveries. The madness keeps him from his family up to the time of his death. While Macondo is able to benefit from José Arcadio Buendía’s innovations, his family ultimately suffers.

José Arcadio Segundo, a twin of the fourth generation, repeats the path of his great grandfather. After becoming the sole survivor of the Banana Strike Massacre, he also retires to Melquíades’ room to read the parchments. The man refuses to leave the room, forbidding contact from everyone except Santa Sofía de la Piedad. He simply could not bear to leave the sanctuary created by the papers. But,...
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