Sunday, March 21, 2010

The End of 100 Anos de Soledad

And we find ourselves back to the theme of forgetfulness. The people of Macondo have forgotten their entire history, which only lasted one hundred years- one hundred years of pain and, you guessed it, solitude for many of them. I found the story of the Banana workers to be the most interesting. How could an entire town forget a massacre of its people? Garcia Marquez told the story of the United Fruit Co. in an extremely poetic manner. He tells it as a story that, as we discussed in class, is enveloped in subjectivity. Who should the town believe? They have been told for so long that all the people are in their homes, but Aureliano says otherwise: that they have all been killed. Would the people of Macondo want to remember, or even believe, that their friends and family had been killed by the company that they allowed to enter the town? It was easier to believe that the workers were in their homes, and it was easier to remember history in that way. Like they say, 'ignorance is bliss'. Whose history would you rather believe, the happier or the morbid? I think that is also why the history and memory of Macondo is circular. How can history not repeat itself if you do not learn from your mistakes? Garcia Marquez is reinforcing the idea of having selective memory and trusting the popular/ commercialized memory vs the memory of what really happened; many times they are not the same, especially the memory of Latin America. This is also a way of emphasizing the interchangeable nature of reality and fantasy/ magic in this book; regularly the fantasy is more believable and easier to handle than the truth.

In the end, the entire town is swept away by what I took to be the town's ignorance and unwillingness to learn from their mistakes (aka the wind). The reader is left with a sense of urgency and also helplessness. It is as though Garcia Marquez is saying that we are all reading our own destiny, and if we do not learn from our past, we will be destroyed, similarly to Macondo. It is a form of self-destruction; the solidarity.

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