Life

The eternal themes of loneliness and death in One Hundred Years of Solitude – What Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece teaches us about life

Mo Yan is very famous and powerful, and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature anyway.

But he admitted that he was shocked when he read Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” for the first time, and exclaimed that the novel could still be written like this.

Chen Zhongshi is also very powerful. His film “White Deer Plain” is very soul-stirring, but he is also influenced by Marquez.

Some people say that “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is the least controversial Nobel Prize-winning work.

Some people who love reading even directly say that if there is only one book to put on the bookshelf, it must be “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

Marquez is indeed a writer who is very good at telling stories. The stories he tells in “One Hundred Years of Solitude” are full of twists and turns, bizarre and fascinating. However, he also tells certain truths about life in the form of stories.

Marquez said:

“Reality is often more exciting than fiction. The greatest writer is reality, and our task is to get as close to reality as possible, no matter how humbly or in a perfect way.”

What we read are stories, what we reflect on is reality, and what we get is wisdom, and wisdom is something that can make us live better and better.

01
Many years later, facing the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía would recall that distant afternoon when his father took him to see the ice.

At that time, Macondo was a village with only twenty families. The gypsies brought some strange things to this small village.

Aureliano’s father Buendia was a very imaginative and creative man. In his early years, he married his cousin Ursula. However, according to family legends, the two families Combined, a child with a pig tail will be born.

Nineteen-year-old Buendia said without hesitation:

I don’t care if I have piglets, as long as they can talk.

However, Ursula was very worried. She would not let Buendia get close, which made Buendia a joke. Unable to bear the humiliation, Buendia had a life-and-death duel with someone who insulted him, and accidentally killed him. He died and has been haunted by the ghosts of the dead ever since.

As a result, they were closely linked by the common condemnation of conscience. Unable to bear the torture of conscience, Buendia took a group of people away from home. After more than ten months of trekking, they finally settled in Macondo.

They live and work here, Buendia plans the village and builds life, but the arrival of the Gypsies reawakens Buendia’s ambitions.

When he saw the magnet, he fancifully wanted to use it to find gold. He exchanged a mule and two goats for two magnets. For the next few months, he tried his best to realize his idea, but found nothing.

The plan to find gold failed, and the Gypsies came again. He saw the Gypsies using a magnifying glass to light hay in the sun, and he wanted to use it to create a terrifying war machine.

Buendia carried out experiments selflessly, almost roasting himself and almost setting his family’s house on fire, and finally reported his research and design drawings to the authorities.

However, he waited for years for a reply until he got tired of waiting.

Buendia’s neglect of his job made his wife miserable. Finally, he announced to people:

The earth is round, like an orange.

Úrsula directly said that her husband was crazy, and everyone in the village thought Buendia was crazy.

But Buendia remained unmoved. He reinvested in research and became obsessed with alchemy. He wanted to turn stone into gold. Every time the Gypsies arrived, they would bring news of earth-shaking changes in the outside world to Macondo. All of this Provoking Buendia, he told his wife:

Incredible things are happening in the world, and yet we are still living like donkeys.

He wanted to connect the village with the outside world, so he led the villagers to find a way out, but in the end he had no choice but to announce that the surroundings were full of water.

Úrsula said earnestly to her husband who was not doing his job properly:

Mind your children.

He looked out the window and saw two children playing barefoot in the vegetable garden. Buendia sighed and accepted the reality.

In life, there are always some realities that need to be accepted, and there are always some responsibilities that need to be shouldered.

Man is born free, but he is always in chains.

The world is noisy, but people are always alone.

02
Colonel Aureliano Buendía was still a few years old on that distant afternoon when he went to see the ice.

He was the first child born to the Buendia family in Macondo. He was taciturn and withdrawn. He would cry when his mother was in her womb. When he came into the world, he had his eyes wide open. When the umbilical cord was cut, he squirmed around. Scan the room, observing the people around you without fear.

This child has special abilities and has been different from ordinary people since he was a child.

When he was three years old, he walked into the kitchen and Úrsula had just placed a bowl of boiling soup firmly on the table. The young Aureliano said:

It’s about to fall.

As soon as he finished speaking, the soup bowl seemed to be pulled by some kind of force and moved irreversibly towards the table, falling to the ground and smashing into pieces.

Úrsula alertly told Buendia this time, but Buendia was always immersed in his own fantasy.

However, sometimes he also taught children to read, write and arithmetic, and told them about what was happening in far away places, saying that people could cross the distant Aegean Sea on foot and just jump from one island to another.

Many years later, Colonel Aureliano Buendia could still clearly remember the fascination on his father’s face in front of the firing squad.

Aureliano gradually grew up, and Úrsula became pregnant again. Although the first two children did not have pig tails, she was still full of fear and worry in her heart at this time, for fear of giving birth to a child with a pig tail.

But after the child was born, she was a beautiful girl without that scary pig tail.

Aureliano was as obsessed with alchemy as his father. He was his father’s best helper and finally separated gold despite their disdainful efforts.

But when his brother explained to him the beauty of love, he became curious about it all and asked:

What does that feel like?

Brother said:

Like an earthquake.

Later, when her eldest son disappeared because of love, Úrsula went to look for him, but did not return for several months. When she came back, she discovered the path to a more civilized world that Buendía had been searching for in vain.

Living in this world is a kind of spiritual practice. What many people pursue hard but cannot get is easily obtained by others. The life we ​​are looking for may not be what we like. The love we are looking for , may not lead to good results.

When all the noise dissipates, what fills our hearts is still the endless loneliness and the death that humans cannot escape.

03
Macondo became more and more lively, but Aureliano guarded the abandoned laboratory and mastered the craftsmanship of gold and silverware through his own exploration.

The young Aureliano lost his sweet childish voice and became taciturn and lonely. However, his eyes were as firm and persistent as when he was born.

He was obsessed with experiments and forgot all about food and sleep.

Úrsula said to her husband:

Crazy parents have crazy children.

But before they had a chance to go crazy, Macondo collectively suffered from insomnia, and everyone forgot more and more things. At first, people were happy because they didn’t have to sleep, but gradually they fell into panic.

Until the old gypsy came again and relieved Macondo’s insomnia.

Although death has always followed the old man’s footsteps, it has never made up its mind to deal him the final blow.

The old man sighed and said:

He did die for a time, but returned to the world again in unbearable loneliness.

Aureliano fell into an emotional whirlpool because he could not bear the loneliness, but he felt that he was incompetent and a failure, so he just wanted to escape to work.

But when he met Remedios who was still wetting the bed, he fell in love with her at first sight. Aureliano felt that age was not a problem. He had waited so long in his life and would not care about waiting a little longer.

The days are getting better and better, and Macondo is becoming more and more lively, but people’s loneliness is still hopeless. People escape into the pigsty of fame and fortune, rolling around and getting dirty.

Time flies and the old gypsy passes away.

The only person who understood Buendia passed away, and Buendia’s world became lonely. He went completely crazy and allowed his imagination to lead him to an eternal state of delirium from which he never recovered until he died. Die alone under a tree.

He wanted to realize the value of his life all his life, but he could not avoid death after all. The crow ate his flesh, and he fell from the loneliness of the world into the loneliness of death.

Those who come into this world alone will also die alone.

04
One day Aureliano’s lover said to him:

You are suitable for fighting, and you will always hit the mark.

His lover was pregnant, but she was right when she said that Aureliano was indeed fit for war.

Later, Aureliano decided to lead an uprising and began his military career.

He said to others:

I am now Colonel Aureliano Buendía.

Colonel Aureliano Buendia launched thirty-two armed uprisings, none of which were successful, but he also became a great war hero and was admired by countless people.

However, the war also brought him pain and danger, as well as the threat of death.

He survived fourteen assassinations, seventy-three ambushes, and one execution. He was also poisoned with enough poison to kill a horse, but Aureliano still survived.

His reputation grew and he became a feared figure.

However, driven by fame and fortune, Aureliano changed. He became ruthless and ruthless. He took a guard with him wherever he went. No one else was allowed to come within three meters of him. Even his mother. Inaccessible.

Wherever he went, he stayed at the center of the circle drawn by his lieutenants in chalk and accessible only to him, where he issued brief but unquestionable orders that determined the fate of the world.

He held great power, but fell into loneliness and began to lose his direction in life.

He killed his friends for the sake of revolution.

A friend told him:

You hate soldiers so much, have fought with them for so long, and thought about them for so long, but in the end you have become just like them. No ideal in this world is worth the price of such sinking.

He also gradually realized that his confused mind had lost peace forever. He reflected on himself:

He was forced to wage thirty-two wars, break all agreements with death, and wallow like a pig in the pigsty of honor. Finally, it took him nearly forty years to discover the value of innocence.

Later, Aureliano returned to Macondo and indulged in alchemy until his death.

What was once a real experience, an irresistible passion in his youth, has now become a distant footnote to him: nothing more.

Death is the only ending of life.

Fame and fortune are just nothingness.

Many things in the world are so void.

However, many people just waste their precious time pursuing such vain things.

05
Time passed day by day, and the Buendia family became extremely prosperous.

Old Buendia died, and Ursula was getting older day by day. She saw the number of children and grandchildren growing day by day. In the blink of an eye, several generations were running their own stories on this land.

Among the younger generations in the family was a man named Aureliano Segundo. Many years later, on his death bed, he would recall that rainy June afternoon when he walked into the bedroom to see his first child. child.

Without thinking, he named him José Arcadio. His wife discovered from the family tradition of repeated naming that all people named Aureliano were withdrawn but had sharp and insightful minds. All people named José Arcadio are impulsive and enterprising, but their fate is destined to be tragic.

This child may not be able to escape such a fate.

Later, the family raised livestock, rabbits were everywhere, and cows and wooden horses gave birth quickly.

In just a few years, they earned unimaginable wealth and became the richest family in Macondo.

They have so much money that they don’t know how to spend it. They live a luxurious and luxurious life and are so bored that they stick their bills on the wall.

Úrsula had wanted to raise a child who would be free from wars, cockfights, prostitution and madness, and who would become a priest.

These four things are regarded by Ursula as the main culprits of the family’s decline, and she wants to revive the family.

However, when the family became the richest family, Ursula sighed:

Let us be as poor as we were when we first built our village, lest God punish us for such waste in the next life.

However, everything seems to be reincarnating. The new children are as crazy as the original Buendia. Time seems to be reversed and they are back to the past.

Many things keep repeating, and many things keep going on. People, like animals, are busy living, busy dying, and busy loving.

06
The more a person sees, the more he can understand.

The more experience she has, the stronger her tolerance for certain things becomes. The older Amaranta gets, the more she can understand Colonel Aureliano’s actions of making little goldfish and then destroying them.

She knew it was just loneliness.

The world is just something outside her body, and her heart no longer fluctuates with any pain. She just regrets that she did not gain such an understanding many years ago, when she had time to purify her memory and rebuild the world in a new light.

One generation dies and another generation is reborn.

As life goes on, Macondo becomes more and more prosperous, there are more and more strange things, and there are more and more deaths. As a witness to all this, Úrsula is over a hundred years old. She sighed:

The world seemed to be spinning in circles.

A sudden disaster befell Macondo, a strange village full of stories. It rained heavily for four years, eleven months and two days.

Torrential rains fell from the sky, and hurricanes came from the north, tearing down roofs and walls, uprooting the remaining plants in the plantations, and killing livestock one after another.

The people in Macondo are doing boring things, waiting for the rain to stop, just like the colonel doing the little goldfish, they keep repeating it, just to pass the time.

The heavy rain made everything moldy and rotten. After the rain stopped, Macondo was in a mess. After the heavy rain, there was a long drought, and Macondo had no rainfall for another ten years.

During the disaster, the wealth of the Buendia family became less and less. Arcadio, the head of the family, began to make money again. He sold lottery tickets. He showed the lottery tickets to others and said:

Don’t miss the chance, life is shorter than you think.

In this short life, everyone is lonely and has lonely moments. That is the most primitive nature of human beings shown to us by the background of life.

07
Time passed, and a new child of the Buendia family named Aureliano had grown up, and a girl named Amaranta had also grown up.

Little Aureliano was obsessed with alchemy, frantically studying parchments with prophecies, and living a claustrophobic life.

However, although the research on the parchments has gradually deepened, they have not yet been successfully interpreted.

Compared with little Aureliano, little Amaranta was innocent, straightforward, unrestrained, and had the style of a modern free woman. The moment she walked in, Aureliano was at a loss.

At this time, Amaranta was married to another man and her husband was very wealthy.

But Amaranta still fell in love with Aureliano, so in the long dusty and scorching hot weather, little Aureliano and little Amaranta fell madly in love.

Just like the first-generation Buendia, with the frivolity of youth, he fights against all unpredictable futures and all the rules and constraints in the world.

Even though they are relatives and have different backups, they still choose to be together.

They were imprisoned by love and lonely love in a home where they could not sleep because of the crazy gnawing of red ants, but they felt that they were the only happy creatures and no one in the world was happier than them.

Amaranta sighed:

What saddens me the most is that we wasted so much time.

The two of them drifted in an empty world, where day after day, the only eternal reality was love.

Amaranta became pregnant and gave birth to a child with a pig’s tail.

However, the child did not survive. Instead, he was eaten by ants and died, leaving only a piece of swollen and shriveled skin. Ants from all over the world came together to drag him back to the nest.

Aureliano finally understood the prophecy on the parchment:

The first member of the family is tied to a tree, and the last member is being eaten by ants.

Macondo disappears mysteriously, and the family destined to endure a hundred years of solitude will never have a second chance to reappear on earth.

There is a sentence in it that says:

No matter where you go, you should remember that the past is false, memories are an endless road, all past springs no longer exist, and even the most tenacious and crazy love is nothing more than a fleeting moment. A fleeting reality.

This is our life, and perhaps a fleeting reality.

What we can do is to cherish this moment. Since nothing will be left behind in the end, we can live this life happily without having to leave behind anything.

08
People come to this world just to live a better life.

However, how can we live better? We have neither past lives to draw from, nor future lives to correct. We can only live once.

Therefore, there is no standard for what is better. It can only be felt by everyone. When we are satisfied with our lives and our lives, I think that is a good life.

In “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, the rise and fall of a family for hundreds of years, the birth and death of several generations, some are bound by fame and fortune, some are bound by emotions, and there is also the inevitable loneliness and death for everyone.

Loneliness is the background of life. We are lonely, so we need love, career, and self-realization.

Death is the end of life. Because everyone is going to die, we will cherish it more.

People are caught between loneliness and death, seeking survival, love, meaning and value.

Everyone can read something different from the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, depending on what kind of questions we have and what kind of answers we want to find.

Therefore, everyone has only one life, but reading can let us experience the lives of others and let us live one more time.

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