Ghosts and the Ghostly in "One Hundred Years of Solitude"
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The paper analyzes how throughout Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude", ghosts and figures of eerie reincarnation or evocation repeatedly appear. The paper highlights the fluidity that exists between the living and the dead and discusses how the ghosts--or quasi-ghosts--are presented both as figures of wisdom and guidance and also as specters of the impending mortality and destruction that awaits the Buendia family and the town of Macondo. The paper explains how these ghosts spread a mixed message of the need for progress and the inevitability of destruction in a cyclical and ultimately fatal system.
From the Paper:"It does not take long for the specter of death and the appearance of an almost ghost-like figure to make an appearance in the novel. Melquiades, a gypsy with abundant knowledge that instructs the Buendia patriarch in scientific matters, says that "death followed him everywhere" (6). Not only does this help to set the tone for the novel, it also presents direct foreshadowing by tying progress--in the form of the scientific knowledge and awareness that Melquiades passes on--to death. Though this character is still alive at this point, his presence is already somewhat ghostly and otherworldly, as well as unquestionably ominous.
"It is after his death that Melquiades returns to tell the Buendias that they and their town will ultimately be destroyed, though one could argue whether this figure's identity as a ghost can be taken as a matter of fact (ch. 3). Again, this character is appearing both as a source of wisdom and as a harbinger of doom and foreboding, moving the action and the town of Macondo forward but in so doing bringing both the story and the town closer to their termini. On this appearance, Melquiades also brings an invention never before seen in the region--a daguerreotype."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Ghosts and the Ghostly in "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (2013, May 07) Retrieved January 21, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/ghosts-and-the-ghostly-in-one-hundred-years-of-solitude-153213/
"Ghosts and the Ghostly in "One Hundred Years of Solitude"" 07 May 2013. Web. 21 January. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/ghosts-and-the-ghostly-in-one-hundred-years-of-solitude-153213/>