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One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Gabriel García Márquez

Family Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

Colonel Aureliano Buendía was alive, but apparently he had stopped harassing the government of his country and had joined with the victorious federalism of other republics of the Caribbean. He would show up under different names farther and farther away from his own country. Later it would be learned that the idea that was working on him at the time was the unification of the federalist forces of Central America in order to wipe out conservative regimes from Alaska to Patagonia. (8.6)

On the surface, this doesn't sound like it's about family. But it kind of struck us as similar to Úrsula wanting to expand the house to accommodate all the kids instead of just letting them move out. Aureliano still has in him the instinct to try to unite everyone into one big community, which is clearly something he grew up with.

Quote #5

A few months after the return of Aureliano José, an exuberant woman perfumed with jasmine appeared at the house with a boy of five. She stated that he was the son of Colonel Aureliano Buendía and that she had brought him to Úrsula to be baptized. No one doubted the origins of that nameless child: he looked exactly like the colonel at the time he was taken to see ice for the first time. The woman said that he had been born with his eyes open, looking at people with the judgment of an adult, and that she was frightened by his way of staring at things without blinking. "He's identical," Úrsula said […]

Nine more sons of Colonel Aureliano Buendía were brought to the house to be baptized. The oldest, a strange dark boy with green eyes, who was not at all like his father's family, was over ten years old. They brought children of all ages, all colors, but all males and all with a look of solitude that left no doubt as to the relationship. (8.17-18)

What do you make of the idea that the genetic link between Colonel Aureliano and his sons isn't a physical marker but instead a way of looking at the world? To us this reads as a kind of warning that their eventual fate is going to be linked to his war days.

Quote #6

The entreaties were useless. Aureliano José, just like Arcadio in other times, had ceased to belong to [Úrsula]. It was as if his return home, the possibility of existing without concerning himself with everyday necessities, had awakened in him the lewd and lazy leanings of his uncle José Arcadio. His passion for Amaranta had been extinguished without leaving any scars. He would drift around, playing pool, easing his solitude with occasional women, sacking the hiding places where Úrsula had forgotten her money. He ended up coming home only to change his clothes. "They're all alike," Úrsula lamented. "At first they behave very well, they're obedient and prompt and they don't seem capable of killing a fly. But as soon as their beards appear they go to ruin." (8.21)

This passage points to that now-outdated notion that men shouldn't have to deal with domestic chores or even take care of themselves. Hey, here's an idea: maybe it would be nice if when they came home, they still had to "concern themselves with everyday necessities." Is it any wonder the Buendía men became lazy? We would, too, if we had someone waiting on us hand and foot!

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