Defying Roles of Sexist Stereotypes
The book 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is centered around an eclectic family living in the solitude of Macondo for seven generations. As the members of the Buendia family live their lives, they find themselves in a repeating cycle of sins committed by the original Buendias. Out of everything the family does to escape their troubles, nothing seems to work. In and around the family there are only few individuals who keep them from completely spiraling out of control and they all happen to be women. Within the book, Marquez tends to put women in the stereotypical female societal roles. The characters, however, defy their roles and become the few people to hold the family together. Three important women in 100 Years of Solitude are Ursula Buendia: the housewife, Pilar Ternera: the mysterious whore, and Remedios the Beauty: the crazy yet beautiful woman. Although they are labeled with sexist stereotypes, they become some of the strongest and most beneficial characters to saving the Buendia family from their original sins.
Ursula Buendia, although one of the original Buendias, is the strongest and most powerful woman in the book. She committed the original sin of incest with her husband/cousin Jose Arcadio Buendia, but it was provoked by him and not her. Ursula resisted having sex with Jose Arcadio Buendia because she did not want her child to have a pig’s tail as a result and even wore metal underwear, but soon into the marriage, she was forced into it because other men bullied JAB. Thereafter, JAB committed the second original sin of violence by killing Prudencio, and then together him and Ursula moved in to solitude. Although Ursula technically committed the original sins, she resisted the actions the whole time, knowing the consequences would be dire. JAB was the main mastermind behind them, beginning the endless cycle and setting the tone for the rest of the book. From then on, it seemed...
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