One Hundred Years of Solitude

Setting the Stage: Comparing the Opening Scenes of One Hundred Years of Solitude and The President College

The opening scene of each the novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The President by Miguel Angel Asturias, is important to the reading of the book because it sets the overall tone and form of the narrative. It does this in three particular ways. First, it presents key themes which will be expanded upon over the course of the novel, second, it introduces characters who are important catalysts for the action of the narrative, and third, it sets the general atmosphere in which the story will take place. Although both books deal with issues of violence, civil war, and dictatorship, they handle them in very different ways. Marquez keeps the focus on family and relationship. He uses humor and magical realism to humanize and soften the harder aspects of reality. Asturias on the other hand keeps the focus on the breaking of family and relationships, using horror and magical realism to make the nightmare of living under a dictatorship more absorbable.

The opening scene of One Hundred Years of Solitude, places Colonel Aureliano Buendia facing a firing squad and reliving a distant memory of his father taking him to discover ice. As the Colonel faces certain death his thoughts take the reader back in time,...

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