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.