Summary (Masterplots II: American Fiction Series, Revised Edition)
Leaf Storm is narrated through three alternating interior monologues: those of the colonel, his daughter Isabel, and her son. Through this structure, García Márquez chronicles the founding of the imaginary coastal town of Macondo in the late nineteenth century, its prosperity during the 1910’s, and its decadence after 1918. This is the story of the arrival and exit of the “leaf storm,” the hordes of outsiders and foreigners who descended on the Colombian coast as the region grew rich on the banana industry during a short period of wealth that ended as quickly as it had begun.
As the novel begins, the doctor has hanged himself and the colonel prepares to oversee the burial of the body. It is learned that ten years earlier, the rest of the townspeople had sworn to oppose this burial, and that the colonel is honoring a personal pledge he had made earlier to the dead man to defy the will of the others. The reason for the town’s hostility is only made clear later, as each of the three narrations goes back in time and tells the story of the doctor’s twenty-five-year stay in Macondo. At the novel’s close, the family prepares to form a funeral cortege with the coffin: What the reaction of their neighbors will be is left unknown.
The three ongoing monologues do not proceed in a linear manner. Many incidents mentioned by one character are taken up later by another, and thus the reader is engaged in a constant process of...
(The entire section is 431 words.)
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