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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 11

Summary

Aureliano Segundo marries Fernanda del Carpio, but almost immediately brings Petra back in as his mistress. We discover more about Fernanda’s past, which is morbid and ominous. She went off to school, but when she returned, she made funeral wreaths. Fernanda had been educated in a convent, and adhered strictly to the idea of chastity. Even after her wedding, she had calculated that there were only forty-two days in the year on which she could have sex, and she kept herself from her husband for the first two weeks of their wedded life. When she finally appeared to him, she was in an ankle-length gown with a small hole sewn in beneath the waist.

Eventually, they have children: the first is a boy whom Aureliano Segundo names José Arcadio (III); the second is a girl whom Fernanda names Renata but Úrsula names Remedios, so she is baptized Renata Remedios, but everyone calls her Meme (a nickname for Remedios). Fernanda and the children receive many gifts from her family’s town, and one Christmas they open a package and it is her father’s corpse.

Aureliano stays in his room, but one day Úrsula knocks on his door to say that, without any conscious coordination, all seventeen of his sons have appeared at their house. This occurs during the annual carnival time. At the end of carnival, Úrsula takes them all to Ash Wednesday services, where the priest marks their forehead with an ashen cross. However, they soon discover that it will not come off; they have been permanently marked. Only one of the seventeen, Aureliano Triste, stays in Macondo and sets up an ice factory. Aureliano Triste decides to rent a house in Macondo, and unwittingly goes to Rebeca’s house where a strange old woman points a gun at him and chases him out. When he recounts this episode to the rest of the family, Úrsula realizes that it must be Rebeca and that she must still be alive in the old house.


Some time later, the other sixteen brothers returned to Macondo simultaneously, and a second, Aureliano Centeno, decides to stay and help his half brother. Aureliano Triste’s ice factory is growing, and Aureliano Triste decides that the business will be even more profitable if they have train service to and from Macondo, so he sets off to bring the trains to Macondo. While he is away, Aureliano Centeno begins experimenting with fruit to make ice and inadvertently invents sherbet.

Notes

Fernanda is the figure of sexual repression in the story and Petra is one of sexual freedom. Similarly, Fernanda is a figure of death- -she made funeral wreaths when she was younger and her father’s corpse is sent to her on Christmas--while Petra is one of life--the animals becomes exceedingly fertile when she is around. Aureliano Segundo is placed between the two poles and repeatedly chooses life and yet, like all the Buendias is tied (married) to death. There is something about being a Buendía which entails a movement toward death.

The arrival of all seventeen of Aureliano’s sons at carnival is reminiscent of the arrival of the gypsies. The simultaneity of the event adds to the magic of the novel. Aureliano Triste’s decision to build an ice factory recalls the first page of the novel when his father, Aureliano, remembers seeing ice with his own father. The ice factory is symbolic of the cyclic nature of Macondo, the Buendías, and those with the name Aureliano.

The discovery of Rebeca in the broken-down house recalls the broken down ship in the jungle: Macondo is about forgotten history that is periodically discovered, only to be forgotten shortly thereafter.

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