Jose Arcadio Buendia

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Jose Arcadio Buendia in One hundred Years of Solitude:
Ashwin Anil Utturkar

Word Count: 1343

Jose Arcadio Buendia is an unusual character with bizarre and crazy methods of understanding the natural world. It is through Garcia Marquez's free reign to imagination that results in this remarkably inventive fictional character who exhibits extremely exaggerated personality traits. Jose Arcadio is an introspective, inquisitive man of massive strength and energy who spends more time on his scientific pursuits than with his family. He flirts with alchemy and astronomy and becomes increasingly withdrawn from his family and community. Marquez uses carefully chosen diction, imagery and biblical references to portray this wonderfully unique character to the reader.

The first chapter clearly illustrates Jose Arcadio Buendia's enthusiasm for new ideas and technologies which is shown through his dealings with magnets, the magnifying glass, the telescope, and the sextant. He is a visionary, whose ‘unbridled imagination always went beyond the genius of nature and even beyond miracles and magic..', but is out of touch with the real world, "having completely abandoned his domestic obligations". He is constantly wrapped up in his own imagination and "he conceived a notion of space that allowed him to navigate across known seas, to visit inhabited territories, and to establish relations with splendid beings without having to leave his study", which was his form of solitude. As readers, we slowly see him being neglected by the rest of society as he seems to delve deeper into delusion. He becomes too preoccupied with the exploration of the world, rather than dealing with the problems his family are faced with. Jose Arcadio's efforts lead to the climax of his great piece of deductive reasoning, "the world is round like an orange". The practical minded Ursula shows little patience with his scientific speculation. At this point she totally loses her patience and informs him...
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