Monday, March 8, 2010

cien anos de soledad #2!

Late. Sorry, I was so tired last night that I actually couldn't think, so I decided to wait until today to write my blog, although I'm not sure it will actually make any difference . . . I guess we'll see!

I would like to dedicate part of this post to trying to analyze and understand the title of "Cien anos de soledad". I would like to start with the idea of solitude, which seems to have taken on two different meanings in the novel. First is the solitude experienced by the individual characters. There have been instances where Jose Arcadio Buendia, Melquiades, and Aureliano decide to confine themselves to the laboratory, which I'm still a little confused about. Why the laboratory? It seems to be a recurring theme, and I don't really know why each character is drawn to the place.

The second place the reader can experience the idea of solitude is in Macondo itself. The town is secluded throughout the story in a way that makes it difficult to get to. Eventually more people begin to migrate there, but if I remember correctly, the initial solitude of Macondo was part of the reason Ursula decided they should stay there in the first place.

So, more people start migrating to Macondo, but them comes Rebeca and the insomnia, which causes the residents of the town to want to seclude themselves once again in a sort of solitary confinement sort of way in order to try to get rid of the disease and regain their memory.

Now why is it one hundred years of solitude? I am finding that a bit more difficult to understand. I read the first part of Laura's blog in which she gives an interesting explaination. She said somehting along the lines of the idea that one hundred years is about the amount of time that we use to measure human life. People are expected to live somewhere around 100 years (well, maybe only the lucky ones, but who's counting?).

So, I guess if I were to put two and two together I would come up with the solution that the one hundred years of the title refers to the idea of human life, the solitude refers to Macondo as a whole as well as the some of the individuals living there, and these two ideas put together trying to explain that Macondo and the people living there will be living in some form of solitude their whole lives.


  1. Good questions. Of course, the town itself becomes more and more integrated into what surrounds it: it is less and less alone. But this doesn't really seem to affect the solitude of individual characters. They are often profoundly alone even in the middle of crowds; perhaps the best example of this is Colonel Aureliano Buendía, who is endlessly travelling around the country in the course of his wars, sleeping with dozens of women and producing many heirs, but remains absolutely solitary despite it all.

  2. I like how you try to decipher the meaning of the title, and completely agree that each character in the book shows an example of being in solitude and lonely. And yes the 100 years in much harder to discern? i was trying to figure out if the time passed in the book is 100 years, but because time is so fluid, jumping from past to present and vice versa it is hard to tell. Maybe it is more because the book includes many generations in which case your reasonings would be a more effective explanation.