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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
That December, Amaranta Úrsula returns to Macondo leading her husband, Gaston, by a silk rope. She attempts to make the house marvelous again, and wants to create a social life for Macondo. However, after a year, she has yet to give a party or make a friend.
Aureliano begins to wander throughout Macondo and discovers that no one can remember his family, not even Colonel Aureliano Buendía. He makes friends with four other young men, Gabriel, Álvaro, Germán, and Alfonso. Even among these, only Gabriel believed the stories about Colonel Aureliano Buendía, but that is because his great-great-grandfather was Colonel Gerinaldo Márquez.
When Amaranta Úrsula returns from Belgium, Aureliano is attracted to her, but he is forced to satisfy his sexual desire with another, Nigromanta. However, one day, while Gaston was waiting for an airplane, Amaranta Úrsula comes into the room while he is translating and there is a moment when he knows that the attraction is mutual. Before anything can happen, she remembers that she was supposed to put quicklime on the anthills. One day Aureliano overtures become too much and she threatens to leave for Belgium on the next boat. After that, he is walking through the town when an old woman calls out "Aureliano." It is Pilar, now 145 years old, and unbeknownst to him, his great- great-grandmother. Then form a close relationship and she tells him about the past. He tells Pilar about his problems with Amaranta Úrsula and Pilar tells him that she is waiting for him. He goes home and catches her as she is getting out of the bath. He follows her to her room. She tells him no and that Gaston is in the next room. He picks her up, throws her on the bed, and they begin to struggle silently. Although Amaranta Úrsula is sincerely trying to fight him off, she consciously does not make any noise which would alert Gaston that something was going on. Eventually, Aureliano has sex with her.
The relationship between Amaranta Úrsula and Gaston, while very sexual, is never shown as particularly deep or substantive. Thus, events of this chapter should not surprise us.
One of Aureliano’s friends is Gabriel Márquez, who happens to be in love with a woman named Mercedes. It should be pointed out that the author, Gabriel García Márquez’s wife is also named Mercedes. This is the author’s subtle way of locating himself within the novel. In this way he can say that the novel is his history as well as the history of his region.
At the point when Amaranta Úrsula and Aureliano have sex, they think they are brother and sister, but since they have not heard the pig-tail curse, the taboo is not felt as strongly by them.
Pilar’s presence in this chapter establishes her as the longest living person in the novel and also the one who has known all the Buendía men. She is the source of history for Aureliano about his own family.