One Hundred Years of Solitude

Death-ception: An Analysis of the Different Layers of Death in One Hundred Years on Solitude and the Ways in Which They Affect Characters Both Alive and Deceased 12th Grade

In the majority of literary works, death is fairly permanent condition and one that is not normal escaped. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude however, the act of dying and its resulting condition are more akin to lifestyle adjustments. Throughout the book, there are numerous examples of the dead communicating or affecting the lives of the living. For example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar visits José Arcadio Buendía shortly before the latter’s mania sets in, and Melquíades himself is said to have died numerous times and yet persist in coming back to life (García Márquez 72, 77). This apparent tendency of the dead to remain on the earth in some fashion or other is seen time and time again, and reveals that death is neither absolute nor even binding in the world of One Hundred Years of Solitude. However, there is a form of death that appears to be closer to what we in the actual world consider death to be; the trouble is that this form is mentioned only once in the book, and in a very off-hand manner at that. As stated above, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar returns to visit José Arcadio Buendía, and in his reasons for returning is hidden a startling piece of information regarding death. Regarding Prudencio...

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