Monday, September 12, 2016

Breaking news: Insomnia outbreak at STM

The Indian princess Visitacion must have walked down the halls of St. Martin's, because everyone seems to have gone down with the insomnia sickness. While at their houses during the weekend, many students of St. Martin's forgot they had school on Monday and therefore didn't come to school. After writing notes and labeling objects to remember about school before the insomnia fully kicked in, the people forgot how to read and never made it to school. Where is Melquiades when we need him?

The episode involving insomnia in the town of Macondo has an unclear significance to me. It is only a short episode in the entirety of the book. I believe that it shows the struggle for Latin America to find its identity and maintain control over itself. The insomnia was an obstacle that sidetracked the town of Macondo for a while. It made them forget their own identities and by association all of their beliefs. If the microcosm of Macondo lost this, then all of Latin America lost their identity and will to stand up for themselves. Therefore, the insomnia is symbolic of an obstacle for Latin America that was overcome.

3 comments:

Savannah Watermeier said...

I agree that the insomnia is a metaphor for Latin America's struggles. The Europeans suppressed the natives and made them robots of European culture. The natives were forced to ditch their beliefs and follow that of the Europeans. However, obviously the natives didn't totally forget everything. They didn't need to "label" the items of their culture. Their culture lived on their memories and hearts. Those affected by the plague had no memories and really couldn't live everyday life. While the plague is definitely a metaphor for the natives' struggles, it is important to point out its differences.

Rickeia Coleman said...

I agree that the Europeans suppressed the natives and more or less stripped them of they identity. During the insomnia plague, the natives of Macondo forgot how to read and do basic things and the labeling was meant to remember things important to them. I think this is an important plot point because the book started off with Jose and Ursula attempting to run from their past, but at this point in the book the people are trying desperately to remember past things. The Europeans make this no easy task due to their forced industrialization of Macondo and the natives had to learn to accept their new lives. As a result, the people of Macondo become so disconnected from the past that Amaranta and her nephew end up marrying one another which Ursula feared from the beginning. Everything that Jose and Ursula ran from and feared ended up occurring in the books' end leading to Macondo's ultimate demise.

Julia Scofield said...

I agree that the insomnia plague is a metaphor for the stripping of Latin American identity. The people of Macondo did not choose to forget, they were infected with a disease which made them forget. The side effects of the plague included lack of sleep and eventually death. When European nations came to Latin America originally, many natives died of disease just like with the insomnia plague. Or, instead of such a literal perspective, It could also be viewed as the Europeans coming into Latin America and attempting to change the culture in order to "civilize" the natives. The European "disease" causes permanent damage.