| Quote #10
That was how everything went after the deluge. The indolence of the people was in contrast to the voracity of oblivion. Which little by little was undermining memories in a pitiless way […]. It was also around that time that the gypsies returned, the last heirs to Melquíades's science, and they found the town so defeated and its inhabitants so removed from the rest of the world that once more they went through the houses dragging magnetized ingots as if that really were the Babylonian wise men's latest discovery, and once again they concentrated the sun's rays with the giant magnifying glass, and there was no lack of people standing – open-mouthed watching kettles fall and pots roll and who paid fifty cents to be startled as a gypsy woman put in her false teeth and took them out again. (17.23)
Yikes. Pretty depressing, huh? Compare this passage to the first time the gypsies come around with the magnets. Before, magnets really were the new thing on the block, but now people who have a train running through their town are suddenly back to marveling at this basic technology. It just goes to show how devolved they've become. How does the word choice compare in the two descriptions?