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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The setting of One Hundred Years of Solitude is the fictional town of Macondo, Columbia, which is much like García Márquez’s own hometown of Aracataca. The time is span is unclear at times, but it is roughly from the early-mid 19th century to the mid-20th century. Macondo is isolated, rural, and surrounded by jungle.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
The Buendía matriarch who keeps the story of the pig’s tail alive in the family; as she ages, she shrinks, until she looks like a doll and people have forgotten she is still even alive.
José Arcadio Buendía
The Buendía patriarch who marries his cousin but is prevented from consummating the marriage for months because of fears surrounding the story of the pig’s tail; discovers Macondo and kills Prudencio Aguilar.
The mysterious gypsy who is the friend of José Arcadio Buendía; returns periodically to Macondo, even when he is thought dead. His parchment turns out to be the story of the Buendías written in Sanskrit.
Colonel Aureliano Buendía
The first person born in Macondo, and as such can be seen as in some way characteristic of the city and the novel; is clairvoyant and prophetic.
José Arcadio (II)
Son of José Arcadio and Úrsula; saves his brother, Colonel Aureliano Buendía from the firing squad but dies violently himself.
The motherly mistress of José Arcadio (II) and Colonel Aureliano Buendía; with the former she has José Arcadio (III) and with the latter she has Aureliano José.
Adopted daughter of José Arcadio Buendía and Úrsula and becomes the wife of José Arcadio Segundo; is also a second cousin of Úrsula which causes Úrsula to oppose the marriage out of fear of the incest curse.
The daughter of José Arcadio Buendía and Úrsula; considered strange.
José Arcadio (III)
The son of Pilar Ternera and José Arcadio (II); is called Arcadio for short; is a cruel leader in Macondo.
The son of Pilar Ternera and Colonel Aureliano Buendía; falls in love with Amaranta (his aunt).
Santa Sofía de la Piedad
The mother of Remedios the Beauty and the twins José Arcadio Segundo and Aureliano Segundo, with José Arcadio (III).
Remedios the Beauty
The daughter of José Arcadio (III) and Santa Sofía; ascends to heaven.
The twin of José Arcadio Segundo and the son of Santa Sofía de la Piedad and José Arcadio (III); he is the reckless and passionate lover.
José Arcadio Segundo
is the twin of Aureliano Segundo and the son of Santa Sofía de la Piedad and José Arcadio (III); leads strikes among banana workers.
Fernanda del Carpio
The proud wife of Aureliano Segundo, heir to Úrsula's control of the house.
The mistress of Aureliano Segundo and José Arcadio Segundo.
José Arcadio (IV)
The sickly son of Aureliano Segundo and Fernanda del Carpio who is sent off by Úrsula to seminary in Rome with the hopes that he will become pope; he drops out but stays in Rome as a dandy while writing back saying that he is studying.
The daughter of Aureliano Segundo and Fernanda del Carpio; called Meme for short; is the mother of Aureliano Buendía with Mauricio Babilonia.
The father of Aureliano Babilonia.
The son of Renata Memedios and Mauricio Babilonia; continues the translation of Melquide’s parchment; is the father, with his aunt, of the Aureliano with the pig’s tail. Thus, he is responsible for the deciphering of the family narrative and the destruction of the family narrative.
The mother of the pig tailed baby with her nephew, Aureliano Babilonia.
The name given to the last of the Buendías, the son of Aureliano Babilonia and his aunt, Amaranta Úrsula. He is born with the pig’s tail and is carried away by ants.