Fatalism in One Hundred Years of Solitude

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In Marcus Aurelius’ book, Meditation, he advised for one to “Suit [themselves] to the estate in which [their] lot is cast.” Fatalism, often associated with predestination, is the belief that every event including all actions we as humans partake in are caused by outside forces beyond our control. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses irony to reveal how preventing a prediction guarantees its fulfillment. Fatalism, as revealed in the novel, requires a state of peace of mind which can only be achieved when characters escape active emotional involvement in life and accept the fate which they have been given. Apprehension over fatalism traces back to the beginning of the predicted marriage of the two cousins, Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguaran. Long before Ursula’s unease of the result of incest, “their own relatives tried to stop [their marriage]” (Gabriel Garcia Marquez 20) because “they were afraid that those two healthy products…would suffer the shame of breeding iguanas” (20). The notion of breeding animals was not a concern in which neither Jose Arcadio nor Ursula had control over in that “there had already been a horrible precedent” (20) that had set the stage for what was to become Ursula’s ultimate anxiety. Ursula, the withstanding matriarch of the Buendia family “would have been happy…if [her] mother had not terrified her with all the manner of sinister predictions about their offspring” (20), but because of this forewarning, Ursula will forever “[make] full use of her faculties…[so that] no one but she determined the destiny of the family” (228) and avoid producing children with animal traits. Unlike Ursula’s constant worry of incest and its consequences, Jose Arcadio willingly chooses to take disinterest in this phenomenon. When Ursula confides in Jose Arcadio about the incident in which their son, Aureliano, had predicted that the pot of water will spill, Jose deems it of no importance and simply “interpreted it as a...
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