One Hundred Years of Solitude

Disillusionment

In Gabriel García Márquez’s <i>One Hundred Years of Solitude</i>, Colonel Aureliano Buendía experiences several metamorphoses that grant him his multidimensional character. However, these metamorphoses become regressive, and he finds himself in despair as he struggles with the never-ending cycle of his transformations. He constantly fluctuates between his polar identities as scientist and as soldier, and he eventually loses any true commitment to either. Each shift from one persona to the other causes Aureliano to become more disillusioned with his nature and further entangled in his nostalgia, leading eventually to his demise. Aureliano is Márquez’s greatest harbinger of the eventual demise of the Buendía family, a foreshadowing of the disaster to come.

After the Liberals lose their fruitless war and the Colonel recognizes his growing hubris, he falls back into his hermetic cocoon, where he begins to manufacture gold fishes in his workshop. His obsession with science leads to a greater withdrawal from society, but his nostalgia for waging war brings him back to his pride. Considered the original and the most serious of sins, pride further handicaps Aureliano from humility and from love, a trait of which he seems to...

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