The Books Guide

Books from libraries and publishers worldwide

Published in 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude is considered the masterpiece of Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The author used non-linear narration through different time frames in order to create a magical yet realistic world.

Plot Summary
One Hundred Years of Solitude presents the intricate history of seven generations of the Buendía Family. José Arcadio Buendía and Úrsula (his wife and first cousin) leave their hometown in search for a better life. During their journey, the man has a dream about Macondo, a city like no other that is made of mirrors. These mirrors have the capacity to reflect the world in and about it. José Arcadio Buendía tries to find Macondo near the river, but it is a utopia.

Instead, José Arcadio Buendía founds Macondo and makes up the world in correspondence to his beliefs and perceptions. Macondo soon becomes a city where strange events happen, events involving all generations of the Buendía Family, as its members cannot escape their misfortunes. Eventually, Macondo is destroyed by a hurricane. At the end, a Buendía member is able to interpret what is written on an encrypted cipher that no Buendía could decipher. It turns out that the cipher contains every event lived by every Buendía generation.

Themes and style

The most dominant theme of the novel is solitude. The isolation of Macondo in the heart on the jungle makes the Buendías isolated, terribly selfish, egocentric and destructive. Past controls the protagonists while ghosts appear many times.

The subjective reality and the fluidity of time are main themes in One Hundred Years of Solitude, too. There are also the ideas of history as a repetitive phenomenon and eternity within mortal existence. Incest is also a recurring theme of the novel, as the Buendías often marry between them. The existence of the Buendía generations and Macondo is ruled by fatalism.

You must be logged in to post a comment.