Monday, September 14, 2015

60 Years of Solitude

The other day, I came across an article about an 80 year-old Iranian man, Amou Haji, who hasn't bathed in 60 years. He claims, "cleanliness brings him sickness" and "the thought of a bath makes him angry." Haji lives in extreme isolation, sleeps in a hole, lives off of rotten porcupine meat, drinks water from a rusty can, and smokes animal feces or 5 cigarettes at a time when he is bored. He apparently adopted this lifestyle due to "emotional traumas" from his youth. He reminded me of Jose Arcadio Buendia, who also lived in complete solitude. Both men voluntarily removed themselves from society because they wanted to do their own thing. (I know JAB did not go to the chestnut tree on his own, but by obsessing over the inventions and being so hungry for knowledge, he emotionally disconnected from Macondo.)

4 comments:

Jac said...

It's strange to consider Amou's association with cleanliness/structured lifestyle with sickness. If Ursula had associated with him, she would have lost her mind! Ursula was so consumed with her family being organized and structured and bringing good fortune to the family name that I assume she would not support Amou's lifestyle. Amou's smoking of animal dung also reminds me of Rebecca's consumption of Earth. it is strange to us to think of them ingesting things that are not "food" but at the same time they become closer to the earth. This is another example of solitude: connecting with no one except the earth. Really cool article, Abbey!!

Belin Manalle said...

I agree with Jaclyn, Amou reminds me a lot of Rebeca. Along with her consumption of Earth, her deliberately removing herself from the Buendia family would compare to Amou in my opinion. I doubt that he is extremely close with his family considering that he hasn't bathed in so long. Most people wouldn't associate with a smelly family member who lives this disgusting life style if I had to guess. When it comes down to it, it might be the idea of being forced to live a certain lifestyle that makes him feel "sick" as opposed to actually bathing that does it. Like Rebeca, he may tired of conforming to the family's ways and rituals and as a way of rebelling, he refuses to bathe. A good way to get your family and friends to leave you alone in my opinion...

Jack Zheng said...

Wow! We do need to keep in mind that this man obviously doesn't have the best mental health, as evident in his actions, and him stating that he had been traumatized years before. He reminds me of Ursula's great-great-grandmother, who is traumatized by war and sits on a hot stove, destroying her sanity and ending her social activities forever. However, she is fortunate to have a husband who cares for her and gives up everything to live with her peacefully. This man just seems lonely as the last human on earth.

Sri Korrapati said...

this is dirty. @abbey