What are the main points of Leaf Storm by García Márquez?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main points of Leaf Storm, a novella of 97 pages, are told in backward chronology beginning at the conclusion and then looking back over a decade of history through the voices of three narrators before returning to the conclusion of the story. The first main point encountered is the death of the doctor, who gave up practicing medicne long ago out of a feeling of betrayal, and has come to the end of his life, an end that he met halfway by hanging himself.  The narrative is told through the voice of the doctor's friend, the colonel, who promised his friend a proper burial; the doctor's daughter, who fears reprisal from the villagers for burying the doctor; and the doctor's grandson, who has never yet encountered death.

Next, but going back in time, the doctor came to Macondo and set up medical practice but was soon driven out of practice by the "leaf storm" of banana plantation companies, owners, and workers who stormed into Mancondo to make a hurricane killing on the banana business. Their presence made quiet, insignificant Mancondo into a banana boom town and the company doctors took all the medical cases away from the doctor who is never given a name by author García Márquez.

Another main point is that the doctor locks himself away for a decade in a corner house with nothing around him but an indigenous house maid named Meme from whom he also keeps away, living that way in complete seclusion. Though he eventually breaks down enough to begin an illicit affair with Meme, whom he later refuses to treat when she falls dangerously ill. During this decade of seclusion, a civil war brings wounded villagers to his doorstep begging for medical help for their war wounds. The doctor declines. He refuses to aid them--he has given up practicing medicine--showing his bitterness over being driven from business years earlier by the leaf storm of banana companies that stirred through the area like a terrible storm and then left, leaving the doctor locked behind his meaningless four walls and door.

A concluding main point comes when the colonel, the daughter and the grandson gather for the funeral procession, fearing the promised reprisal of revenge from the towns people in retaliation for the doctor's neglect of the wounded soldiers years earlier. To their surprise, the procession proceeds unmolested by angry villagers. The villagers have forgotten to be angry about the neglect from the man they have twice before forgotten, like the banana companies have forgotten Macondo: forgotten when they left him for the company doctors; forgotten again when they shed their bits of anger about the wounded soldiers.

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Leaf Storm

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