The Death of Jose Arcadio Buendia

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The Death of José Arcadio Buendía
José Arcadio Buendía is my favorite character, in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude. An interesting dynamic of José’s character is how the element of magical realism becomes so prevalent in his death. José Arcadio Buendía happens to be living the last years of his life tied to a chestnut tree, while communicating with his best friend Prudencio Aguilar. Prudencio was once killed and has returned from the solitude of death. It’s inconceivable that one can even survive, much less have some quality of life tied to a chestnut tree. And when Aureliano’s premonition of his father’s death forces the family to bring the old man back in the house, the “habit of his body” compels him back to the chestnut tree.

Although José Arcadio isn’t conventionally happy the process of him dying shows a great paradigm of magical realism. There seemed to be a certain kind of happy aura surrounding José Arcadio’s death. Marquez describes this sentiment as, “light rain of tiny yellow flowers [begins] falling” and continues to fall, so many flowers that “in the morning the streets were carpeted with the compact cushion and they had to clear them away with shovels and rakes so that the funeral procession could pass by” (140). The abundance of small yellow flowers is a form of imagery to depict sense of peacefulness and tranquility. This great use of a literary device evokes the reader’s ability to create his or her own interpretations. For instance when imagining the quote I think of peaceful times in Macondo. The quote is so meaningful in my opinion because it can make the reader think of so many possible different images. I also see the yellow flowers and a nostalgic reminiscing of playful times of my childhood. The quote really resonates with me because I love reading vague literature, not because of the ambiguity in direct meanings but the connectivity among readers from it. The quote is great because in a way it addresses the...
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