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The Significance of the Time Structure in the Novel

Cyclical Time Structure in One Hundred Years of Solitude

Narrative structures vary from novel to novel as a method that aides in the advancement of the plot and enhances the clarification of the literary devices employed throughout the story. In the novel, A single Hundred Years of Solitude, both traditional, or linear, narrative time and cyclical narrative time structures work simultaneously to emphasize the recurrent destructive behaviors of the Buendía family members. A linear narrative structure “follows a straight line — beginning at the beginning, moving to the middle, and proceeding to the end of the story” follows a line of movement such as an ongoing plot, with a somewhat standard exposition, increasing action, climax, and denouement. Even so, One Hundred Years of Solitude is not a novel that mostly depends on a linear narrative structure. In fact, this novel’s structure is also inclusive of a cyclical narrative. The cyclical time “cycles by way of the story a single event at a time to finish back where the story originated”, and reiteratively brings the reader back to key plot occurrences as a signifies of highlighting the impact on the characters. In his novel, 1 Hundred Years of Solitude, Garcia Marquez implements the method of cyclical time to heighten the intensity of recurring destructive behaviors across the generations of a tiny, metaphoric village.

Garcia Marquez employs the device of repetition, by means of names and personalities of distinct characters, in order to display an uncommon series of coincidental events within a cyclical structure. These events are perceived as distinctive and inflammatory in the destruction of a normal society. In the novel, there are a total of five characters that share the name Jose Arcadio, and, as described by Ursula -1 of the novel’s major characters- carry “impulsive and enterprising” qualities related with mischievous behavior, capable of inciting trouble and usually leading to a adverse impact on the surrounding environment (Márquez 181). Marquez’s establishment of recurrent names and related personalities throughout characters provoke the damaging outcomes that happen within plot cycles. Marquez presents repetition within the novel after again with inclusion of twenty-two characters named Aureliano. These men are defined as possessing “withdrawn but with lucid minds”, a qualities that starkly contrast these of Jose Arcadio (Márquez 181). Marquez’s reintroduction of the Aureliano characters ironically advances the plot as Aureliano attempts to reestablish Macondo to the village’s preceding state, nevertheless, this as an alternative creates a crisis and sets up a further subplot that sparks a new cycle. Each of these characters’ reappearances and their polar actions trigger the destructive behaviors that happen historically and repeatedly inside the novel. These cyclical generations produce unfavorable outcomes for the individuals of Macondo, forcing them to repeat disastrous events that eventually move them toward their personal demise.

The destructive recurring event of incest, also recognized in the novel as “the original sin,” introduces and concludes every narrative cycle. It embodies the unnatural actions that the majority of the characters in the novel must endure. Incest additional becomes the major lead to of disastrous abnormal qualities in the Buendia household. Due to the tragedy of a previous incestuous occasion in the Buendía family when “[a]n aunt of Úrsula’s married to an uncle of José Arcadio Buendía, [and had] a son … develop up with a cartilaginous tail in the shape of a corkscrew and with a tiny tuft of hair on the tip,” U´rsula and Jose Arcadio Buendía are exiled from their original village (Márquez 36). This action in the plot cycle was driven by the worry of U´rsula’s mother, who believed pigtails had been an inevitable outcome of incest. This incestuous event marks the beginnings of the “original sin”, thus initiating its recurrence in the novel’s plot. As incest requires place within the Buendía household, it serves as the catalyst for the rebirth of every new cycle, namely foreshadowing the impending destruction of the characters and the village. Whilst the event of incest marks the beginning of every cycle, the aftermath of incest -the pigtail- serves as a symbol for the annihilation of a cycle that only lasts one particular hundred years. All through the incestuous events that take place within six situations amongst the 5 generations of characters in the novel, not 1 of the characters deals with the outcome of a pig-tailed youngster. As a result, the cycle continues and regenerates all through the plot, until the end of the novel when Aureliano and Amaranta Úrsula’s youngster is born. With the birth of their kid, they “turned him on his stomach [and saw] that he had something much more than other males, and they leaned over to examine him… [i]t was the tail of a pig.” Úrsula mentioned in the novel that “the tail could be reduce off when the kid got his second teeth” nonetheless, the couple had been not aware of the family’s history, so the resulting action leads to the youngster permanently keeping his tail. The consequence of incest is acts as a conclusion to the circular plot cycle and the torment of the Buendía family members. Incest is an action that defies social norms thus, it is the explanation that the characters seem destructive and act as facilitators toward their personal demise in the novel.

As the Buendía family’s history duplicates itself, the characters in the novel turn out to be familiarized with the absurdity of their present conditions. Nevertheless, such characters do not raise awareness for these irrational cyclical events. In the novel, “U´rsula confirmed her impression that time was going in a circle”(Márquez 220). She feels “as if time had turned around and [they] were back at the beginning”(Márquez 335). U´rsula is one of the few characters that notices the reoccurrence of odd events in her village, yet she does not take any direct initiative to stop the cycle just like other characters all through the village’s commotive history. Likewise, Jose Arcadio Buendía becomes aware of the absurd, seemingly recurring span of time as he begins to realize the repetition of the days. He even states, “that it is nevertheless Monday, like yesterday… look at the sky, look at the walls, look at the begonias … [t]oday is Monday too” (Márquez 77). He notices the connection among the past and present days that have not gone via change. He, like U´rsula, does not attempt to cease the recurrent events or speak more about the similar occurrences therefore, Jose Arcadio Buendía permits these happenings to cycle by way of the plot and recreate misfortune upon misfortune. The characters that recognize catastrophic events, but do not make any conscious effort to end them resemble the destructive naturalistic history of the metaphoric village.

One Hundred Years of Solitude’s plot advancement relies on the regeneration of cycles within a linear narrative structure. By the finish of the novel, when the Buendía’s are blown off the face of the earth by a hurricane, the last character, Aureliano, “wandered aimlessly by way of the town”(Márquez 413). Because the Buendía’s revolve about restating their family’s history, Aureliano is stranded and left with no connection to the past. Due to his dependence on his family’s history, he starts “searching for an entrance that [goes] back to the past”(Márquez 413). Aureliano desperately searches for a tie to his old way of life in order to salvage himself and his family’s legacy. When he fails to revive his family’s past historical events, he and his family members are condemned to obliteration due to their independence and abandonment of their history. At the finish of the novel, when there is no connection to their previous or recreational source of tragedy, the potential to form another cycle is gone. Hence, the cyclical nature of plot regeneration is extinguished.

Garcia Marquez’s simultaneous linear and cyclical structure in his work One Hundred Years of Solitude follows an axle and wheel metaphor for time, that further defines the Buendía family’s nature. In the novel, Pietro Crespi describes the Buendia household nature as “a machine with unavoidable repetitions, a turning wheel that would have gone on spilling into eternity have been it not for the progressive and irremediable wearing of the axle” (Márquez 396). The wheel is the novel’s temporal mechanism, the axle represents linear time, and the turning of the wheel represents cyclical time. This metaphor offers an imaginative representation of the method and also demonstrates the concept Marquez has created through his intentional repetitive writing. The idea of this everlasting circular time exhibits the deformity the village of Macondo experiences. The events Marquez incorporates into this cyclical structure, like incest, are destructive to the social time period thus, permitting the plot device to act as an instrument for illness. The Buendía family’s reliance on the previous, in order to advance into the future, is one that demonstrates the unnatural destructive mentality the characters have. By means of emphasis of cyclical repetitive events within a broad linear hundred year time frame, Garcia Marquez augments the function of these recurring events and portrays their destructive capabilities inside a metaphorical town intended to mirror that of Colombia.
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