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Free Study Guide-100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez-Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 5

Summary

Remedios is told what puberty means by her mother, and one day runs into the room with chocolate paste smeared on her panties; she and Aureliano are married one month later by Father Nicanor Reyna, who had been brought to Macondo solely for the wedding ceremony.

During the reception, Remedios takes the largest piece of cake to José Arcadio, who has been tied to the chestnut tree because they think he is insane.

Nicanor Reyna decides to stay because there is no other priest and he thinks that the town needs saving. In order to raise money to build a church, Reyna goes door to door levitating with the help of a cup of chocolate. José Arcadio is the only one who does not believe it to be a miracle.

Rebeca and Crespi were supposed to be married at the same time as Remedios and Aureliano, but circumstances arose to prevent it. Later, it was decided that when the new church is completed, they will be married. Crespi intends to speed things up by paying for the completion himself. Amaranta, to stop the wedding, takes the moth balls out of the box that holds Rebeca’s dress. The dress, although damaged, is easily fixed, so Amaranta tries a more treacherous means to stop the wedding: she will poison Rebeca’s coffee with laudanum shortly before the wedding. However, before this plan is to be executed, Remedios dies suddenly with a pair of twins in her womb.

José Arcadio (II) returns; he has been around the world. On his trips, he has had his penis tattooed with intertwining words in numerous languages and colors. The women are so excited by this that they pay him to have sex with them. His father, mother, and brother all foresee a great earthquake. Rebeca is transfixed by José Arcadio (II) and enters his room one afternoon, and they have sex. They are married three days later. Since Rebeca is his sister (although not biologically), Úrsula is terrified and will not let them in her house.


The town is ruled by the Conservatives, but the Liberals, after having seen enough corruption seize the weapons from Mayor Moscote and establish themselves as the military power in Macondo, under the self-appointed Colonel Aureliano Buendía.

Notes

The government has already arrived in Macondo, but now is becoming much more visible in the people’s everyday lives. The church also begins its foray into the town. Reyna is a foil to José Arcadio: Reyna uses levitation to impress the townspeople, but José Arcadio is the one man who does not believe that he is really levitating. José Arcadio, on the other hand, believes in alchemy, sees a ghost, and goes insane. We have the conflict between superstition and science and yet they do not appear much different. While Macondo is still secluded, the elements of the outside world are becoming part of the town.

Aureliano and Remedios are married, even though she has not yet reached puberty. No one seems to care that Remedios is only a child. It seems that so long as she is not related, it is okay. This shortsightedness leads to her death and the death of the twins inside her. It leaves Aureliano without any legitimate offspring (and his illegitimate sons are all doomed too).

The family, especially Úrsula, objects to the marriage of José Arcadio (II) to his adopted sister Rebeca because of the pig-tail curse, even though she is already pregnant and she is not is not biologically related. Despite the fact that Crespi no longer comes between Amaranta and Rebeca, the feud continues.

Aureliano Buendía helps overthrow the Conservatives and establishes himself as a hero figure. The colonel is true to his ideals and represents the best of political dissent. By seeing him at this point, we know how far his ideals fall and then how forgotten he becomes later on.

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