Friday, September 9, 2016

Incest is the best?

Incest is frowned upon and even in illegal in the Western world. However, it is an important part in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Ursula and Jose Arcadio Buendia are cousins. who marry and have kids together. There are also many other instances of incest in the book. We discussed in class different theories for why Marquez included this aspect. One interesting theory is that incest represents Latin America trying to be independent. By not mating with Europeans, the natives are moving away from relying on the Western world and from their oppression.


Joseph Martin said...

The title of this post certainly draws attention. I agree that in the case of Marquez's novel, incest can be seen as a way for the creole population to separate themselves from the Europeans and Westerners. Jose Arcadio Buendia, who took part in the primary case of incest, does not actually want to be isolated from the rest of the world. He and Ursula fled from the interior to search for the sea and the coast. The coast represents a connection to the Europeans because the Spanish conquistadors must first land on the coast and conquer their way inward. He also loves it when the gypsies bring new inventions, and he enjoys the pursuit of knowledge. Therefore, Jose Arcadio Buendia does not necessarily use incest to show Latin American identity. In conclusion, his character is used to demonstrate that too much isolation would only further make Latin America less advanced and easier to dominate, like Wallerstein's theory.

Julia Scofield said...

Also importantly, because Ursula and Jose are cousins, Ursula is concerned about the possibility that their child will have a deformity. Or, more specifically, a pigs tail. The deformity of their children can be seen as a metaphor for the mixing of European and Latin American nations. As Marquez said in his speech, when Europeans interfere with Latin American nations, the Europeans hold those countries to European standards even though they aren't as far along in their development. Holding Latin American nations to these cultural standards causes devastating results. I.e. A pigs tail.

Dylan Bryan said...

I agree with Savannah in that incest in the book can be seen as represent Latin America's attempt for independence, and the attempt to conserve their own culture. I also find Joseph's and Julia's points on Jose Arcadio Buendia's search for the outside world and Ursula and he's fear of incest interesting. I would also point out that many of the family, such as Jose Arcadio and Colonel Aurelian Buendia, not just Jose Arcadio Buendia, leave Macondo in search for contact with other civilizations. I see this as possibly representing Latin America's failure to conserve their culture and be left alone by Europeans. The Europeans had outside information and more progressive culture that could attract and influence some Latin Americans, as it does some members of the Buendia family. Although Latin America desired their own individuality, the European influence dominated and forced its way into their culture.