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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

By Anonymous, West Chester, PA

Changing Solitude
Solitude is one of the many themes in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Each main character goes through a period of solitude, often multiple times. He uses different aspects of solitude to shape the character. Márquez even finds ways to discuss the solitude of animals and inanimate objects. The town itself embodies the other ideas. The meaning of solitude regarding Macondo and the effects change as the town develops.

Márquez introduces Macondo in a state of physical solitude, with the town built far from any civilization because José Arcadio Buendía could not find the sea. Macondo’s distance from water, a necessity for growing food, surviving, and traveling, indicates early the perpetual solitude of the town. “To the south lay the swamps, covered with an eternal vegetable scum, and the whole vast universe of the great swamp, which, according to what the gypsies said, had no limits” (Márquez 10).

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