METAPHORS AND SYMBOLS IN ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE

One Hundred Years of Solitude, written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is a novel which follows seven generations of the Buendia family, as well as the rise and eventual demise of Macondo. It is rooted in history and magical realism and dwells deeply in political turmoil and resistance. It begins with the originators of the Buendia family, Jose Arcadio and his wife (who is also his cousin, a theme which will be returned to over and over throughout the story) Ursula. They create Macondo and, throughout the years and generations, build the world that sees rebellion and uprising, bloodshed and upheaval. It is a generational novel that displays, in a microcosmic way, the fears and uncertainty of a world that is constantly changing and developing, one that leaves a wake of change and revolution and, inevitably, ends in isolation and sadness. There are a number of symbols and metaphors in One Hundred Years of Solitude which are key components in the storyline. These all represent abstracts concepts which play a role in the developing narrative.

SMALL GOLDEN FISH

The first is the symbolism of the goldfishes. Colonel Aureliano Buendia, the son of Jose and Ursula, who becomes a symbol of independence and rebellion during the civil wars, is a prophetic man who is affected deeply and empathetically by the outside world and, eventually, cannot bear to be a part of it. He has seventeen sons, each of whom he gives a small goldfish as a symbol of his love but, ultimately these fish are a symbol of misplaced ideals and dreams for the future.

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