One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

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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 its literal construction relates to the construction of the novel as a whole. Or, with some research and based on your own experience, what conclusions can you draw about family life in nineteenth-century Latin America from the Buendia House?

Barok's compositions heavily influenced the novel. Explore the life and works of this composer and write an essay relating his music to this work of literature.

Garcia Marquez told Rita Guibert, "What I most definitely am is antimachista. Machismo is cowardly, a lack of manliness." Find out what the code of machismo is as developed by the conquistador and then relate it to Garcia Marquez's reactions as evidenced in the novel. Be sure to explain the significance of the found suits of armor in the novel.

Alchemy, or the "science" of transmuting one element into another, has led to several scientific and industrial discoveries. Investigate the history of Alchemy as practiced in the past, then relate it to the scientific pursuits as followed by characters in the novel.

Compare One Hundred Years of Solitude to Almanac of the Dead by Native American writer Leslie Marmon Silko. Her book revolves around the piecing together of an almanac that escaped the fires of the Inquisition's book burnings in Mexico. Investigate how the novels explore many of the same colonial and environmental themes.

A reference to the environment and its degradation at the hands of humans is a not-so-subtle theme of the book: macaws are traded for trinkets and songbirds are replaced with clocks; the site of the Banana Company's crop is a field of stumps. Gradually, of course, the voracious jungle takes everything back. Research the current state of the environment in Colombia and argue whether Garcia Marquez's vision of the final transformation of Macondo is positive or not.