Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cien anos de soledad - strange things are happening

I have the ancient version of this book so I'm not 100% sure what page 200 is in my book...I hope I've read all of the same stuff as the rest of class. Insest, masacres, thoughts of suicide...very unpleasant and very troubling. What a novel...

In this last chunk of reading it seemed there were many changes to the city of Macondo. There are many battles going on amongst the people, El Colonel Buendia dies and everyone is in mourning. After his death GGM writes that it begins to rain down yellow flowers in his memory. I've heard about this scene before reading this book, from what I know its one of the most famous examples of Magic Realism. I myself found it quite moving, picturing beautiful flowers falling from the sky, creating a blanket of hope and sorrow over a city in mourning.

Death seems to be a common theme and before his death, El Colonel seems to be marked by it. He becomes like many soldiers, destroyed by war, losing his ability to feel emotion. So far the whole story has just been filled with sadness and tragedy. Not only El Colonel, but rather the entire town seems to be numb from all the killings. There is so much cruelty and pain, and despite how eloquently it all is portrayed, it's very depressing to read. It's no wonder he tried to commit suicide...the world around him is turning to shit right before his eyes. When he no longer has the ability to escape through happy memories of the past, then there is no escaping the pain and suffering. It makes sense that he feels the only way to stop the suffering would be through death itself.

Rebeca however uses memories to escape human interaction, and Amaranta rejects all men who you desire her. Arcadio, the dictator just makes things worse. In this part of the novel, its title becomes more and more fitting as everyone seems to be falling into a life of complete solitude. Everyone is alienated. It seems to go from the towns suffering to the peoples suffering as they all suffer alone. Ursula's husband now only speaks in messed up is that. The town is divided into individuals who suffer under the same circumstances but who suffer alone.

So really any hopes for a happy ending have flown out the door...this novel is very troubling but I guess that's the point. We are so lucky to not be living under a dictatorship... :S

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