One Hundred Years of Solitude

One of the bestselling books of all time? Yes, please.

AuthorMárquez - Gabriel García Márquez
FormNovel
LanguageEnglish Language
LiteratureWorld Literature
ThemesAmbition
Choices
Death
Family
Intelligence
Memory and the Past
Philosophy
Sex
Violence

Transcript

00:21

life, unfold in a linear fashion. A happens, then b, then c.

00:26

So, what’s up with Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s clock in One Hundred Years of Solitude?

00:32

Why did he choose to tell this story in such a funky way?

00:35

Is it a sneaky tactic to keep us on our toes? The author’s way of making sure we’re

00:40

paying attention? Sort of like a little wake-up call. Or a sadist’s

00:45

means of exacting pain. Choosing to swing back and forth through time

00:50

forces us to stay focused. It’s all about watching an intense tennis match.

00:55

And therefore, we’re encouraged to stay alert and not miss any important details.

01:00

Marquez is simply ordering us to pay attention by structuring the book this way. We have

01:04

to reset our sense of time and timing on a regular basis.

01:07

He’s basically challenging us to keep up with him as we follow him on this zigzagging

01:12

journey. Or maybe it’s to confuse and disorient the

01:14

reader. Sounds devious, but we wouldn’t put it past

01:18

him. Maybe Marquez wants us to feel as if we’re

01:21

walking inside a dream. Like a Salvador Dali painting, he creates

01:25

a dreamlike atmosphere by telling the story this way.

01:28

The dreamy concept of time whizzing around is simply there to provide us with a mood.

01:33

Marquez puts us under a purple haze-like spell and invites us to see the story through his

01:37

dreamy eyes. We enjoy the experience of the story coming

01:41

together in bits and pieces, like memories. Or perhaps the title is a clue to the author’s

01:46

intentions. Maybe Marquez is trying to make a broader

01:49

statement with his time-bending tactic. Maybe it’s his way of saying we are all

01:53

woven into the fabric of time. And in a way, we’re all connected.

01:58

Maybe the story does its unique dance through time to remind us that beginnings and endings

02:02

are not as clear-cut as we would like them to be.

02:05

What do you think? Is this video over yet? Or maybe it has just begun…

02:17

Shmoop amongst yourselves.