Tuesday, August 23, 2011

100 Years to Live

So, I am making the second blog post of the year in response to Ms. King's question about writing an essay on One Hundred Years of Solitude.

My first thoughts about writing an essay about this novel would be to write about the outside influence, such as technology, into Macondo. I believe that Marquez wanted to negatively portray the West to show that it does not always bring positive influences and can lead to the end of a civilization. The gypses represented the first contract that the Buendias had with the outside world. They are the links to the outside world and bring new technologies to the town that drive some men crazy such as Jose, the patriarch, and also his son Colonel Aureliano, who retreats to his workshop towards the end of his life. I would also talk about the railroad and the banana plantation’s impact on Macondo. The railroad’s era is the duration of when Macondo is very closely connected with the outside world. The railroad represents the turning point for the town, because before it the town was “progressing” and after its creation the town began to degenerate and start to crumble. The banana planation also shows that industry can lead to death and turmoil. The workers eventually revolt against the imperialism and they are killed and unfortunately are forgotten. I believe that the modernity trumps the tradition that characters like Ursula tried to maintain in the home. I could probably also include other symbols such as ice, the English encyclopedia, or even the piano (it is a positive part of the West). Also, I thought of the townspeople as similar to the Native Americans and their fascination with technologies that explorers brought over to the New World, such as metals, clothing and horses. But, the explorers also brought about diseases that the Indians couldn’t handle and caused many of them to die out. These diseases could be compared with the insomnia that Rebeca brought to Macondo. Just some thoughts…

- Ravin

[There’s never a wish better than this when you only got a hundred years to live...]

1 comment:

Shaina Lu said...

So clever that you quoted 100 years, great song!

I completely agree with you that the outside influences definitely did their part to destroy Mocondo. However, I do not think that Marquez was trying to portray the west as negative. I think he was just drawing facts from history and portraying in his novel events that really did occur. Furthermore, as Mrs. Quinet pointed out yesterday in class, Marquez really could have dwelled on the negative American influence in the banana massacres, but he does not even really mention them. And, as you pointed out yourself, the west did bring a few good things such as the piano.