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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 6

Summary

This chapter begins with a brief description of Colonel Aureliano Buendíaís campaigns. All 32 uprisings that he leads fail. His seventeen sons (all with different women) are killed (most on the same night, when the eldest turns 35). He survives 14 assassination attempts, a firing squad, and 73 ambushes.

José Arcadio (II) is placed in control of Macondo, and after a series of decrees, Úrsula decides to assert her power, and publicly humiliates him. At that point, she becomes the real power in Macondo.

Pietro Crespi asks Amaranta to marry him, but she turns him down. He tries all possible means to change her mind, but she is unmoved. Having failed, Crespi kills himself.

José Arcadio (II) also spends his time trying to revive Melquiades through the study of his parchments. He also meets Santa Sofía de la Piedad while he is at Pilarís brothel. It is Santa Sofíaís first night (Pilar bought her from her parents) and Arcadio becomes taken with her. He builds her a house and takes her as his personal mistress. He marries her after she becomes pregnant. A messenger arrives saying that the rebels are being defeated. José Arcadio (II) leaves with a small army, all of which is destroyed. He is caught and before he is to be executed, asks that his wife be told to name their daughter Úrsula after her


grandmother.

Notes

This chapter begins with a discussion of Colonel Aureliano which presents him as a doomed or tragic figure. His military endeavors fail. His sons are to be killed. And yet he survives numerous attempts on his life. We do not know if we are to respect and honor him or to pity him.

José Arcadio (II), like his father and namesake, establishes himself as an authority figure within the town (his father has the authority given a founder). In a rather obvious attempt to take over the role of his father, he attempts to revive Melquiades, but he does not succeed. José Arcadio provides a counter to his brother, Aureliano, who fights for the Liberal cause, by being a Conservative politician. He is corrupt, but as we shall see, no more corrupt than any other political or social figure in the town.

Since José Arcadio is not a very adept corrupt politician, his mother Úrsula is able to humiliate him and assume real power. She now directs the events of the family and the city; this enables us to see Macondo as representative of the Buendías and vice versa. We can also see Macondo and the Buendías as representative of Colombian politics as well as those throughout South and Central America: a good or well meaning leader is replaced or becomes corrupted and the people suffer. This theme is repeated with Aureliano, the banana company, and the new republic.

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