From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude


by Gabriel García Márquez

Analysis: What's Up With the Title?

On the surface, the title – One Hundred Years of Solitude – seems pretty clear. The novel is set in the fictional town of Macondo, a place that's totally isolated from the rest of Colombia by swamps, mountains, and jungles. Eventually technology reaches even this tiny place, but it takes a while: one hundred years, give or take a few.

But that's just the surface, and we here at Shmoop always come armed with shovels. Check out how García Márquez chooses the word "solitude" rather than "isolation" or "remoteness." They all kind of mean the same thing, but when you think "solitude" you think of one person, not a whole town. So the title can also be read as an armchair diagnosis of many of the members of the Buendía family, who all kind of exist together but are emotionally disconnected.

A little more digging and we can think about the timeframe of the title. Why a century? Well, it's a nice round number, and it highlights the huge transformation Colombia went through from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. Check out the "Setting" section for more on this.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...