When I got home today I turned on my TV and Back to the Future III was on. It was just ending and all of a sudden I hear Doc say, "...Your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one..." I immediately thought of Oedipus and even One Hundred Years of Solitude. I realized this post could go on forever so I tried to compact my ideas into the "categories" below so it wasn't too hard to follow.
While Doc's statement might be true for normal human beings like us, it is certainly false for Oedipus (and the citizens of Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude)!! There is a strong sense of fatalism in both of these stories--the characters, from the beginning, are doomed. Neither Oedipus nor the Macondians had the free will to write their own lives, contradicting what Doc said. Melquiades predicted the future for Macondo in his manuscripts (everything he wrote came true) like the oracle at Delphi prophesied Oedipus's life. When Oedipus learns he is going to kill his father and sleep with his mother, he tries to avoid his fate just like Ursula tried to avoid the fate of the incest taboo. Let us not forget that Jocasta and Laius, too, tried to escape their fates and thwart their destinies. Neither character is able to escape their pre-determined lives and everything just comes full circle in the end and the prophecies are fulfilled. No matter what they try to do, it will, unfortunately, not matter. Oedipus's major downfall comes from him trying to gain more knowledge and learn the truth just as Jose Arcadio Buendia's destruction comes from his persistence to acquire more knowledge.
In Back to the Future (the first one), Marty McFly travels to the past when his mother, Lorraine, was his age. Long story short, Marty's mom ends up becoming deeply infatuated with Marty, not knowing that he is her future son. (For those who have not seen the movie, this interaction interrupts the timeline and almost prevents Marty's birth because Lorraine fell in love with him instead of his father.) This reminded me of Jocasta and Oedipus. Oedipus, unlike Marty, did not initially know Jocasta was his mother when he married her. Jocasta, like Lorraine, had no idea Oedipus (in Lorraine's case, Marty) was her son at the time. There is a sense of dramatic irony in both cases. The viewer/reader is a little weirded out because he/she knows the actual relationship between both "couples." Had Marty not gotten mixed up with time travel so had he not tried to gain more knowledge, the idea of his existence not happening would not have been possible. And had Oedipus not been so determined to change his future, his story would not have ended the way it did.