Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sexual Perversion in 100 Years of Solitude and Tin Drum



One of the striking similarities between the two books is this recurrent theme of sexual perversion specifically in the form of incest and rape.  Often sex isn’t associated with love, rather it is associated with impulsiveness, violence, or wild untamed passion.  In these books sex is a way of controlling others, exerting authority over others, and in a sick way, it is somewhat empowering. I think the authors used these common themes because both societies were raped in a sense by an outside force.  Columbia was dominated by Europeans and Americans and exploited to the point of ruin, and Poland was invaded by Nazis. Both places (Macando and Poland) were infiltrated and changed by outside, alien, forces that they had no control over.  The unfamiliar government is unnatural to them, just as incest is abnormal and unnatural. Also maybe since the characters felt oppressed, they used the one thing they were control of, their bodies, in order to feel independent and powerful as they controlled others through rape.   

2 comments:

Ben Bonner said...

I think the fact that, with the exception of Usula, none of the villagers seems to pay any mind towards incest also relates to the magical aspects of the novel; they seem to respond to incest the same way they respond to Remedios being beamed up, with a manner of unquestioning acceptance. I also think its interesting that Marquez uses sex to identify some of the characters to an extent. The first person who is born with a pig's tail "died a virgin," and I find it interesting that Marquez chose to focus on that particular social consequence of the pig tail. I also think Marquez says the same thing about Amaranta when she dies. And while sex is more commonly associated with violence and rape, it is also associated with compassion/charity. If I remember correctly, Pilar, towards the end of her life, would sleep with someone just because she felt good about making someone else happy.

Tyler Dean said...

I agree with you, Ben, in the first part of your comment about how odd the Buendia's reactions to certain events are. They seem like they have their priorities all out of whack. they react like ordinary/imaginary things are amazing and the magical things are mundane. For instance, they see a magical flying carpet from the gypsies ONCE and became obsessed with it, but when they see a automobile, which is unheard of in their remote, underdeveloped village, they aren't impressed at all, and in fact they think it is ugly and inferior to the carpet they saw once but never again. Also, when Remedios the Beauty's smell kills men and their dead bodies start to ooze a purplish goo, the village doesnt react in horror. They just blame it on Remedios's beauty and leave it at that. They do nothing to investigate or remedy such an odd occurrence. On the other hand, you have small details being embellished.

In response to Laura, I completely agree. Oskar, like the boys who have sex with Pilar, is driven by a want for power or control, especialy because of oskars small size and the way that others treat him (like a baby). sorry class just ended bye.