Motif in One Hundred Years of Solitude

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A motif can be described as a recurring subject, theme or idea found in a literary, artistic or musical work. These are structures or literary devices that can help to develop a major theme within a work. In One Hundred Years of Solitude there are several motifs that contribute to conveying the theme of a cycle of solitude that the characters are unable to escape from. In his novel, Gabriel Garcia Marquez creates an imaginary town called Macondo where the inseparability of the past, present and future becomes clearly evident. Although this town was once secluded from the world it was transformed over a span of one hundred years by births, deaths, marriages and different cultures. However, the motif of memory, remembrance, and forgetfulness is illustrated by the never ending cycles that the people of Macondo find themselves trapped in. The reader is not the only one who notices these cycles. The characters themselves also realize the tendency of events repeating themselves. Through the repetition of names, the memory loss of the characters, as well as the burden of remembrance, Gabriel Garcia Marquez portrays a theme of never ending cycles of solitude. The structure of One Hundred Years of Solitude is circular and events throughout the entire novel repeat themselves in cycles. The names Aureliano and Jose Arcadio are repeated in each generation, resulting in a total of five Jose Arcadios and 22 Aurelianos. Ursula, after many years realized the repetitions within the names and came to the conclusion of “the insistent repetition of names” (Garcia 107) within the Buendia family. The men's personalities also seem to be repeated; the Jose Arcadios are impulsive and enterprising, and the Aurelianos are lucid and withdrawn. The patriarch, Jose Arcadio can be described as rational, intelligent, philosophical and slightly crazy. These characteristics are transferred to all of the Jose Arcadio’s that follow. On the other hand, but also following a...
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