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Themes

There are very few examples of real, unselfish, requited love in <em>One Hundred Years of Solitude</em> that are not met with the almost instantaneous destruction of the lovers. Although in principle the novel values love and holds it in high regard, the emotional whirlpool of the family and the fundamentally doomed nature of each character conspire to undermine any loving relationship.

Questions About Love

  1. What's the relationship between romantic love and sex in the novel? Does one depend on the other? Does romantic love exist without sex? Does sex exist without romantic love (however temporary)?
  2. Think about parental and filial love in the novel. Are there examples of genuine love between parents and children? Between siblings?
  3. Which is more valued in the novel, requited or unrequited love? How do you know?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The novel is actually a long battle between the desire for solitude and the need for love. Characters veer wildly from longings for other people to an insistence on lonely and solitary pursuits. There doesn't seem to be a happy medium.

There seems to be a rule against love in the novel. The two love affairs that seem genuine – Meme and Mauricio Babilonia and Amaranta Úrsula and Aureliano (II) – end through horrific, unexpected, and almost gratuitous intervention. They are among the few things in the novel whose fate seems imposed from above rather than being organic.

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