One Hundred Years of Solitude is a novel written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez during the period of 1965-1967, Mexico City. It tells a story (history) of Macondo, a village in Colombia, South America, and the Buendia Family, during the early 1800s and mid 1900s. People in this story live unreasonable long lives, and outlive several generations. The Buendia family has seven generations before Macondo is completely abandoned and destroyed. This story has no timeline, no single plot and no main character. It can also be read as a cultural and political history of Colombia and Latin America.
First, Macondo is solitary and innocent, then when it becomes accessible to people from the outer world, war breaks and the constant rain attacks. The people of Macondo start dying and abandoning the village. At the end, the village goes back to being miserably quiet and solitary (dead).
For years, the Village has no contact with the outer world, except with the gypsies who occasionally visit and bring with them exquisite apparatuses and information. Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguaran are cousins. Before founding Macondo, the town people keep ridiculing Jose Arcadio Buendia, since his wife, Ursula, is afraid to consummate her marriage, because she is afraid of bringing children with pig tails (this fear lingers throughout the book). A rival, Prudencio Aguilar, mocks him once and Jose Arcadio Aureliano kills him. Out of guilt, he leaves town with his wife and goes looking for a new place to live. They then found Macondo.
Apparently, Gabriel Marquez intends to puzzle the reader by placing recurring scenes (solitude, names, incest, events, death, and supernatural incidents) in the story to highlight that life is in fact confusing. Not only does he show that history repeats itself but it’s also spiral. Furthermore, the mention of ice is also repeated on several occasions. Ice symbolizes coldness, aloofness, sickness…etc, which in turn stresses the subject matter of the story (being stuck and frozen in time).
Jose Arcadio Buendia, who is solitary, likes exploration and science. Being too involved in science, he loses his senses at the end (The men of the village tie him to a tree when he goes into his delirious state of mind). His strengths and weaknesses are exhibited in the Buendia men. Jose Arcadio (the son) inherits his father’s massive strength, and Aureliano inherits his ethics and solitude. Jose Arcadio becomes a notorious macho and dies mysteriously after going away with the gypsies and coming back with a mystifying air to him, and tattoos covering his body. Aureliano, who is enigmatic even as a child, becomes the leader of the rebels; the liberal party, and is given the title Colonel during the civil war. Macondo stays linked to the outer world because of the fame of Colonel Aureliano Buendia. Having arrived in Macondo, Rebeca; the orphan girl, brings with her the insomnia plague, and memories are wiped out (history being erased).