Study Guide

One Hundred Years of Solitude Chapter 14

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Chapter 14

  • Meme finishes school just when Colonel Aureliano Buendía dies, so there's not too much partying in the house when she comes home.
  • But hey, she does have a new little sister, named Amaranta Úrsula.
  • She also has a diploma in clavichord-playing, basically as a way to get her crazy mom off her back. (A clavichord is pretty much just an old-timey piano, so probably not the most practical degree.)
  • Meme can't stand Fernanda and doesn't blame her dad for being with Petra Cotes so much.
  • For a while, Meme performs her clavichord for anyone Fernanda invites over, but gradually the thing is forgotten. But all the playing without complaining gets Fernanda to loosen up a bit, so Meme is able to hang out with friends and go to the movies with her dad.
  • One night, Meme and her girls get drunk. When she gets home, she is about to tell her mom and Amaranta off, but instead she tells them that she loves them. Only Amaranta can see the anger and hatred underneath.
  • Then, of course, Meme vomits all over the place and gets a pretty nasty hangover. Lesson learned?
  • The whole episode makes her bond with her dad, who starts spending a lot of time with her, making Petra Cotes jealous like never before.
  • But no worries for Petra, because Meme soon ditches Aureliano Segundo for a group of American girls from the banana plantation. She's one of the few natives invited to mix with the gringos.
  • Meme tells her dad about the night of drunkenness and also fesses up to a crush on an American boy. He thinks it's cute, treats her as a grown-up, and she promises to tell him about her first true love.
  • Meanwhile, Fernanda starts her correspondence with the invisible doctors. Yeah, she seems to have totally lost it. But it's a pretty contained sort of crazy – just these invisible doctors performing telepathic operations, and that's it.
  • While all of this is happening, Amaranta is old and lost in her memories, which are just as strong as they were when she first formed them. Her main goal is to outlive Rebeca. She starts making Rebeca a beautiful funeral shroud as some kind of hate present.
  • Soon, though, she is visited by death. Dressed as a woman in blue, death tells Amaranta to make her own death shroud instead. She can make it as complicated as she wants, but when she finishes, she will die.
  • This actually makes Amaranta relax a bit. She starts creating a really intricate shroud, until she realizes that there is no way she will outlive Rebeca.
  • So she hurries up and finishes the thing.
  • That day, she announces that she will die in the evening and asks for any letters or messages people might want to send to their dead loved ones.
  • You'd think everyone would write her off, but no, tons of people bring mail for the dead.
  • That night, Amaranta dies.
  • The same night, Úrsula lies down and can't seem to get up again. Aureliano Segundo sets her up with everything she needs near her bed.
  • Even though she's totally blind, she manages to teach little Amaranta Úrsula to read.
  • Úrsula is also the first to realize that there is something wrong with Meme. Meme won't talk about it. In fact, no one knows what's up until Fernanda catches her making out with some dude at the movies.
  • Turns out, Meme is madly in love with a banana plantation mechanic named Mauricio Babylonia.
  • Every time he shows up, Meme is surrounded by a swarm of yellow butterflies.
  • At first she tries to resist, but she can't, so she goes to seek him out. He's kind of a jerk to her, but he asks her to meet him at the movies.
  • Meme goes to see Pilar Ternera to get some answers about love. Pilar fills her in on the details of sex and gives her some advice on contraception. Also, according to Pilar, sex is the only way that love can be resolved into a manageable feeling.
  • Hey, if Pilar says so, right? So Meme and Mauricio start getting it on at Pilar's house.
  • By the time Fernanda catches them at the movies, this has been going on for a few months.
  • Obviously Fernanda freaks out and locks up Meme in the house. Surprisingly, Meme stays totally cool and goes about her daily life without too much turmoil.
  • One day, Fernanda goes into her room at night and is swarmed by a huge army of yellow butterflies. On top of that, she finds some of the contraceptive devices Meme's been using.
  • Instead of confronting her, Fernanda has lunch with the mayor and asks for some guards, because she is worried about someone sneaking in the back to get to Meme.
  • The next night, just as Mauricio is about to sneak into the bathroom where Meme is waiting for him, he is shot in the spine.
  • He is paralyzed for the rest of his life and eventually dies of old age, with everyone still thinking that he is a chicken thief.
  • So you think your parents are mean to your boyfriend? At least they aren't hiring hit men.

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