Saturday, August 24, 2013

54 Years of Solitude: The Real Life Macondo

One of the things that most interested me about One Hundred Years of Solitude was some of the background story of its author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. When researching Marquez, I soon found out about his close friendship with Fidel Castro. I began to see the novel in a totally different way. I began to reflect on my own time in Cuba and immediately saw the connection between the fictional town of Macondo and Cuba. While Marquez may have been a revolutionary sympathizer, he saw that communism can only work in a bubble of isolation. Macondo under Jose Arcadio Buendia is a perfect example of an idealistic communist community, but when interventions from the outside world comes into play the system can not function as planned. Also, just as in Macondo one corrupt government was overthrown and replaced with one worse, the Batista power was replaced with the dictatorship of Fidel. The Cuban government is also aware just how important isolation is in maintaining its current system. Looking back in my dairy from the trip, I realized just how much I wrote about experiencing a sense of solitude. Most of the people we talked to knew little to nothing about the progressing world around them as they drove around in cars put on the road before the revolution took place. They seemed perfectly happy not having TV's or computers, and instead of scurrying around with their heads buried in their smartphones, they would actually make connections and conversation with those around them. Never was the phrase, "Ignorance is bless" more true. In a stanch comparison, however, were the people who weren't stuck in the bubble of solitude. Those who actually had the ability to interact with people outside of Cuba began to see just how isolation they are. Our guide, for example, recalled stories of the first and only time he left Cuba and had the opportunity to see the outside world. What he previously saw as a perfect existence in Cuba crumbled and was replaced with an image of no opportunity for himself and his family. Since our visit, the guide has decided to leave Cuba and to find a new home in Canada, with hopes of eventually coming to the United States. The Cuban governement knows just how important it is to keep its people from learning much about what is happening around them, for they know that knowledge is power. With the technological advancements occurring every day making information so easily accessible, the 54 year struggle to keep its people in their bubble of solitude may soon become too hard to manage. 

1 comment:

Kincy GIbson said...

I remember when I went on vacation in MIddle School to Hawaii. I was so excited to go to the "island of paradise" that I had imagined in my head. Like your tour guide, I remember our van driver telling me that he hoped to one day leave Hawaii. This shocked me that someone could want to leave a place so beautiful. He told us that Hawaii was too isolated and too small of an island for a home. He wanted to move to the mainland for the same reasons as your tour guide and those of Hose Buendia Arcadio. They all sought economic advancements and knowledge of a different world.