Friday, August 29, 2014

Christian References

One Hundred Years of Solitude has numerous references and allusions to the Bible. Macondo as a creation story and the rain for days were some of the most prominent ones. One reference to Christianity that really stood out to me were the ash crosses that marked Colonel Aureliano Buendia's sons. The ash crosses, used by the Church to mark people's forehead on Ash Wednesday, announce the beginning of Lent.  Lent ultimately leads to the death of Christ, the crucifixion. I think Marquez uses the crosses to foreshadow Colonel Aureliano's Buendia sons' death as ashes are a symbol of preparing for death. Once the sons get the ashes on their foreheads, it is almost like a pronouncement of their own deaths. The crosses also serve as targets. The crosses make it very easy to identify the sons, and they are shot in the forehead on the cross. Another idea that came to me was that maybe the crosses signify that the sons of Colonel Aureliano Buendia are victims of the Church and of organized religion. Since Marquez fails to promote organized religion, maybe he is also saying these sons are examples of "victims" of the Church, which leads to death.

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