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One Hundred Years of Solitude
One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez (trans. Gregory Rabassa)

Three-Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

There is hope and optimism as the new town of Macondo is founded on principles of equality and fairness.

Act II

Macondo is caught in the middle of two national incidents of extreme violence. First, the corrupt actions of the government and the violent response of the opposition spark a civil war that lasts for years. Then the colonial influence of the banana company results in a massacre of 3,000 striking workers.


Macondoans sink further and further into degradation, sexual predation, private obsessions, and general backwardness. Finally, all die and the town is erased by a hurricane.

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