Is Jose Arcadio Buendha an overpowering husband in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are five Jose Arcadio Buendias in the novel: Jose Arcadio, his son Jose Arcadio II, his illegitimate son Jose Arcadio III, Jose Arcadio Segundo Buendia IV, the twin of Aureliano Segundo, and Jose Arcadio V, Fernanda's son.  To which are you referring?

If you are referring to the patriarch Jose Arcadio Buendia, then the answer is "no."  Arcadio is self-absorbed, detached from his family, especially Ursuala, his wife.  While he is busy in his laboratory, she runs the family.  In the end, he goes crazy, and the family ties him to a tree.  He is the very antithesis of an overpowering husband.

His son, Jose Arcadio, is the one who is "well-equipped."  He conceives an illegitimate son with Pilar and then runs away with the gypsies.  When he returns, he is a giant--a hulk of a man, tattooed like the Illustrated Man.  He marries his foster sister, Rebecca.  He is a physically overpowering husband, but not an overbearing one.  He treats Rebecca right, and she is happy.  Jose is found mysteriously murdered one day.  Some people suspect Rebecca, but the murderer is never caught.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude

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