Study Guide

Amaranta in One Hundred Years of Solitude

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The youngest daughter of José Arcadio Buendía and Úrsula, Amaranta suffers a disappointment in love that creates a lifelong rivalry with her adopted sister Rebeca and turns her into a bitter, loveless woman.

One way to think about Amaranta is as a mirror of the kind of female character the novel stereotypically describes. Think about all those dominant, energetic, persevering women like Úrsula, Pilar Ternera, or Santa Sofía de la Piedad – then flip them on their ear.

Amaranta has the same energy level and determination to get things done. But instead of radiating out to create something productive in the spaces around her, all this boundless activity just goes toward fulfilling one purpose – to maintain the feud with her adopted sister over a guy that neither of them actually wants to be with.

In a strange twist, we get kind of a ret-con of Amaranta late in the novel. When Úrsula goes blind, she reappraises everyone in the family. Do you buy her description of Amaranta as actually the most sensitive and loving member of the Buendía family?

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