One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

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What is the recurrent theme that Marquez wants readers to learn from the book One Hundred Years of Solitude?

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Cailey Thiessen eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One Hundred Years of Solitude is full of many different themes. Because the book is so dense and covers such a large span of time, it can be difficult to focus in on one theme.

However, one that does stand out is the theme of family. This novel follows family through many different generations and time periods. The family is important, but Marquez also shows some of the more negative aspects of family. There are arguments, differences of opinion, and so on but there is also love, sex, birth, and growth.

When looking at the theme of family in One Hundred Years of Solitude you could take it either way, and you could write about the ways in which family harms itself or about the ways in which family outlasts struggle and war. Alternately, you could focus on the strange ways in which family stays together despite the odds.

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Susan Smith eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Thee are so many levels on which the novel operates that it is difficult to identify a single theme.  Perhaps the most obvious is the human tendency toward retreat and solitude, and the dangers that such withdrawals cause.  As he shows various Buendias becoming more and more obsessed with scientific discoveries (Jose Arcadio Buendia) , love (Amaranta), war (Colonel Aureliano), power (Arcadio), making money (Aureliano Segundo), lust (Amaranta Ursula), he shows a corresponding tendency to withdraw into solitude.  This withdrawal results in stagnation and isolation and ultimately destruction.  On the other hand, rapid, uncontrolled expansion can have devastating effects as well, as can be seen when Macondo is overtaken by the Banana Company.

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