Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


Macondo (ma-COHN-doh). Fictional inland town in Colombia that is not far from the coast. Critics generally agree that Macondo is modeled after Gabriel García Márquez’s hometown of Aracataca, Colombia. Indeed, a nearby banana plantation was named Macondo. In the novel, Macondo is founded by an expedition led by the Buendía family who, after crossing mountains and looking for a new outlet to the sea, finally decide to simply stop and settle. The novel describes the town in terms reminiscent of Eden: It is a town so young that no one is older than thirty and no one has died. The town of Macondo is isolated from the outside world, except for the band of gypsies led by Melquíades, who ride through the air on carpets and bring the wonders of the world to the townspeople.

The novel is organized around the development of the town. The first five chapters detail the founding and early years of Macondo. This is then followed by four chapters describing military uprisings, civil wars, and revolutions. The next five chapters represent a period of prosperity for the town, with a concurrent loss of innocence. The final chapters reveal the inner decadence of the town and its final destruction in a whirlwind.

While the novel is fantastic and magical, it also reveals significant information about the history of Colombia, particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During the years between 1884 and 1902, Colombia experienced three civil wars. The events of the novel parallel this period of Columbian history...

(The entire section is 640 words.)

Historical Context

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Origins of the Colombian Stale
Knowing the history of the country of Colombia can provide considerable insight into the...

(The entire section is 876 words.)

Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a unique blend of allegory, epic, history, and biography, intertwining invention with reality to...

(The entire section is 264 words.)

Compare and Contrast

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Colombia: The third most populous nation in Latin America, Colombia has a population of approximately 38 million, 95 percent of whom...

(The entire section is 469 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Examine aspects of the Buendia House, considering one or more of the following: how it reflects a certain theme or character personality; how...

(The entire section is 319 words.)

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Referred to by the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda as "perhaps the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since the Don...

(The entire section is 206 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

One Hundred Years of Solitude has been adapted for the stage as Blood and Champagne. One Hundred Years of Solitude: A...

(The entire section is 44 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

More information about Garcia Marquez can be found on an internet site run by "The Great Quail" at

(The entire section is 589 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Gene H. Bell-Villada, an interview with Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Boston Review, Vol. VIE, No. 2, April, 1983, pp. 25-7.


(The entire section is 908 words.)


(Great Characters in Literature)

Bell-Villada, Gene H. Gabriel García Márquez: The Man and His Work. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990. Definitive book-length study of García Márquez and his work for the North American reader. Contains a twenty-eight-page chapter about One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Gallagher, D. P. “Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia, 1928-).” In Modern Latin American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. Gallagher covers several aspects of the work and in the process presents a fine and very readable overview of the novel.

McMurray, George R. Gabriel García...

(The entire section is 235 words.)