Saturday, September 6, 2014

My theory of time in One Hundred Years of Solitude

       In the article about One Hundred Years of Solitude that Ms. King distributed in class, they analogize the Buendía family to a wheel to illustrate the cyclical nature of their family. I loved this analogy, so I extended it to include the both Macondo and the Buendía family: when a wheel rolls on the ground, the system moves linearly in a macroscopic sense; however, each point on the wheel moves in a circular manner. Thus, the entire system represents Macondo, for it moves linearly through history, while the points on the wheel represent the family.
        Consider one point on the wheel: as the wheel rolls, the point touches the ground and leaves the ground in the same way each time, but at a different spot on the ground (i.e. - later in linear time). In my analogy, each time the point approaches the ground, touches the ground, and leaves the ground represents the birth, life, and death, respectively, of each member of the family with the same name. This offers an explanation for 1.) everyone sharing names with at least one more person; and 2.) everyone who has the same name sharing similar mannerisms/life experiences.
         For instance, each Aureliano is born with his eyes open and is exceptionally bright. Further, José Acardio (first son) is brawny and demanding, and Acardio (son of José Acardio and Pilar Tenera) becomes a despot ruler of Macondo. The reason their lives are not identical is because they are born in different periods of linear time, and therefore have different life experiences.


Iris Mire said...

I'm not disagreeing with your general premise, Joe, but how do you fit the "outsider" Buendias - Fernanda, Santa Sofia de la Piedad - into the mix? Also, what about the twins? How do they fit into the naming pattern when we aren't even entirely sure which is which? What do you think about Meme's son Aureliano? I don't think his life experiences directly reflect those of his predecessors in that he does, in a sense, break free from the cycle of solitude (at least momentarily) by falling into mutual love with Amaranta Ursula and having a child with her, born of love.

Joe D said...

Interesting point. Maybe (just having fun here) we could consider them as pebbles on the ground of linear time.
In the case of Sofia de la Piedad, she stays in the family for one generation and then jumps ship. Thus she only stays on the wheel for one point in linear (ground) time while also making a lasting impression (a dent in the wheel, perhaps) on the characteristics of Aurelianos. Her son Aureliano goes on to marry Fernanda, another foreigner (unlike Colonel Aureliano Buendia, who married a Mocandan), which caused an additional dent in the wheel of circular time. Further, Meme can be argued as pure like Remedios the Beauty (due to her relatively sheltered life) yet tainted by her mother's foreign-ness.
Thus, the dent/bump in the wheel caused by Sofia de la Piedad could indeed be viewed as the chance event in a book rooted in fatalism that caused the demise of the Buendia family and, by extension, Mocando as a whole. Just a thought.

Joe D said...

Clarification: the accumulation of "dents" makes the wheel fall over eventually. After the wheel stops moving, note that the ground (linear time) still continues; therefore, Macondo is destroyed only in a the sense that there's nothing happening there anymore (the wheel stopped moving, and the buildings were destroyed).