Study Guide

One Hundred Years of Solitude Chapter 19

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Chapter 19

  • And just like that, Amaranta Úrsula comes back. Which makes sense, right? Seriously, there aren't that many characters left alive at this point.
  • She comes back with her husband, Gaston, who is a Fleming from Belgium. (Hey, did you know that the singular of Flemish is Fleming? You do now.) Gaston follows her around on a leash. Seriously.
  • Amaranta Úrsula is bursting with fresh energy, and immediately she starts working to clean and fix up the house. She is modern, very fashionable, and has no patience with all the old traditions and superstitions.
  • Gaston assumes this is a temporary stopover before they move to Europe for good, so he doesn't stress.
  • A year goes by, and most of Amaranta Úrsula's attempts to bring some life back to the place fail. Still, she's not giving up, and so Gaston takes up entomology (the study of insects), which was his college major.
  • It turns out they have a hot and heavy sex life and get it on all the time in all sorts of crazy places. That's kind of the whole basis of their relationship, apparently.
  • When they first met, she told him all these amazing nostalgic stories about Macondo and how wonderful and magical a town it was, obviously without realizing the horrible ruin it had become. (It's kind of strange that this is how she remembers it, since her childhood was that horrible five-year rainstorm and then playing with crazy old Úrsula.)
  • So two years pass, and still Amaranta Úrsula shows no signs of wanting to leave.
  • Gaston starts to hang out with Aureliano (II), who is interesting because he knows everything about everything.
  • But Aureliano (II) is fundamentally a loner, and Gaston needs a new project. So he comes up with the idea of creating an airmail route into Macondo. Gaston is a pilot, so this is right up his alley.
  • Meanwhile, Aureliano (II) has been turned upside down by being near Amaranta Úrsula. We know what you're thinking, and you're totally right: incest! Except in this case, Amaranta Úrsula and Aureliano (II) both think he is a foundling from the river, so they're not actually related to each other. The feelings are driving him crazy.
  • He starts venturing out into the town for the first time and starts to sleep with a West Indian woman named Nigromanta. He translates Melquíades' writings by day and has sex with Nigromanta by night.
  • She starts to fall in love with him, but he confesses his feelings for Amaranta Úrsula and ends up treating Nigromanta strictly as a prostitute.
  • When he's home, he hears Amaranta Úrsula and Gaston having sex in the house. They seem to be rather loud about it. (Come on guys, have a little respect for your roomie.)
  • The other thing Aureliano (II) does in town is befriend the owner of the bookstore, the Catalonian (meaning he's from Catalan, a region in Spain), and a group of four fun guys: Álvaro, Germán, Alfonso, and Gabriel.
  • These guys take him to a very depressing new brothel where the girls are prostituting themselves to avoid starvation. Good times are had by all, especially when it comes to light that Aureliano (II) is pretty well-endowed.
  • For the first time in his sad life, Aureliano (II) finally has friends. One of them, Gabriel, even remembers the war of Colonel Aureliano Buendía and doesn't argue about the banana plantation massacre. Why? Because he's the great-great-grandson of Colonel Gerineldo Márquez, making him Gabriel Márquez… wait a minute! (This is kind of a funny in-joke: Álvaro, Germán, and Alfonso were García Márquez's BFFs when he was writing the book.)
  • The Catalonian teaches them all stuff about the classics, and because they are having so much fun, Aureliano (II) stops trying to puzzle out the parchments.
  • In the meantime, he is still crazily in lust with Amaranta Úrsula. He also figures out that Gaston isn't the nice guy that he seems to be but is trying to wear out Amaranta Úrsula until she will submit to going back to Europe with him.
  • Finally Aureliano (II) confesses his feelings to Amaranta Úrsula. She gets mad and tells him that she will be leaving the country soon.
  • That night the fun-time gang goes to yet another new brothel, which is run by – wait for it – Pilar Ternera! She is over 150 years old at this point.
  • Neither of them will ever know that she is actually Aureliano (II)'s great-great-grandmother. He fesses up about Amaranta Úrsula, and Pilar Ternera tells him that his crush is waiting for him at that very moment.
  • Aureliano (II) rushes home, corners Amaranta Úrsula as she is coming out of the bath, and they end up having silent, amazing sex while Gaston is in the room next door.

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