Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Past

As George Santayana once said, "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." In One Hundred Years of Solitude, the Buendia family's primary problem is that they have forgotten the past and are now "doomed to repeat it." Because the prohibition of incest ended with Ursula's death, and the children had forgotten to remember their pasts, history repeated itself. All of history can therefore be viewed as a cycle that repeats itself ad infinitum. However, unlike the myth of eternal return, in the present and future, we can look at our past selves if we remember what our past selves did and instead of being stuck in an eternal return, we can change our futures and hopefully break our cycles so as to not end up like the Buendia family.

1 comment:

Tiffany Tavassoli said...

I completely agree with Alex on the idea that The Buendia family experienced its demise because of their forgetfulness towards what Ursula's message of preventing incest. I think that this is why the past and memory are a crucial part of One Hundred Years of Solitude. As I mentioned in my class essay on this topic, the loss of memory leads to the loss of one's past. Without a past, there is no future. Our past has the power to determine the direction of our future. I think that Marquez is trying to emphasize how destructive of an impact there is when one loses a sense of one's past and memory. Memory and the past help to define a person, and without these two elements, there is no foundation and model to live off of.