One Hundred Years of Solitude Read-along Week #4

REVIEW OF CH. 12 - 14

Chapter 12: The people of Macondo were fascinated by the new inventions that came to town via the new railroad, but they did not know what to make of the theater. They were apprehensive about it because acting was similar to the illusions presented by the gypsies that used to visit. Reality was truth, but illusions were lies.

Macondo was changing for the worst, especially when foreigners came, built a wall, and grew banana trees; they also brought prostitutes and other scandalous behavior like gambling, shooting galleries, and fortunetellers.

Meanwhile, Remedios the Beauty was in her own world and didn't notice that she had an affect on everyone else around her. She later floated away, never to be seen again.

Remedios the Beauty
Col. A.B. realized that the foreigners growing bananas were a bunch of white guys, and they had taken over the government of Macondo. When he thought he could put the thought of war behind him, he was called to arms again; he planned to enlist all 17 of his sons, until all but one of them was murdered. Because they were all marked with ashes on their foreheads, Col. A.B. blamed religion.

Chapter 13:

This chapter was mostly about Ursula and how she represented the progressive breakdown of time. She lost her sight, but was keen with her other senses and had a better understanding of her family. She could see with her memory. She knew that her son Col. A.B. never loved anyone and was incapable of love because of his sinful pride. Her daughter Amaranta was not really cold hearted, but actually afraid of being loved.

Fernanda became more controlling. Her husband, Aureliano II, moved back in with his lover, Petra, who was a party animal. He almost killed himself with his reckless behavior, and he returned to his wife, part time, either to slow down or to keep up appearances.

Finally, Col. A.B. had a weird dream and died standing up in the backyard under the same tree his father died.

Chapter 14:

Fernanda and Aureliano II had another baby girl, Amaranta Ursula. Meme came home after finishing school. She learned about her father's "side wife" and actually agreed with him for living two lives. In fact, Meme was a lot like Petra...a wild child. During one of her drunken nights, she woke with a splitting headache and drowning in vomit. Fernanda did not understand, but Ursula, who was now completely blind, gave an exact diagnosis:
As far as I can see, that's the same thing that happens to drunken people. 
Amaranta was visited by death and told to make her shroud. When she realized she was going to die, she asked if anyone wanted her to take mail to the dead, and she received a whole bag full of letters.

Meanwhile, Meme fell in love with Mauricio Babylonia. When she was with him, yellow butterflies enveloped her. Well, Pilar Ternera told Meme all about sex and birth control and abortion. Meme began fooling around with Mauricio. When Fernanda found out, she locked Meme in the house.

One night, Mauricio attempted to sneak into the back room to see Meme, and guards that Fernanda requested to protect her chickens she claimed were being stolen shot him in his spine. "Mauricio died of old age in solitude...."


There is a day or week in spring that comes along when little painted lady butterflies come through my yard. They flutter in a northwesterly direction, rather quickly. My property must be directly in their path. They fly over my house and dip into my yard, and then they are gone. They come in  batches, for several hours in the late afternoon when it is warmer. They are coming now as I write this. And it makes me laugh...are Meme and her lover nearby? I don't think I can ever not think of them whenever I see a butterfly.

Yes, the Buendia family is really growing on me. How about you?

In the impenetrable solitude of decrepitude she had such clairvoyance as she examined the most insignificant happenings in the family that for the first time she saw clearly the truths that her busy life in former times had prevented her from seeing. 
Her life was spent in weaving her shroud. It might have been said that she wove during the day and unwove during the night, and not with any hope of defeating solitude in that way, but quite the contrary, in order to nurture it.
She lost her mind over him. She could not sleep and she lost her appetite and sank so deeply into solitude that even her father became an annoyance. 


  1. I'm glad you're enjoying Solitude. I am a few chapters into it and it just seems to drag. Maybe I'll enjoy reading your review more than I read the actual book. That happens sometimes.

  2. LOL! That works for me! I hope it's at least entertaining.

  3. I also find that some books benefit from a readalong and the research that a readalong usually makes me do more than others. This is one that is definitely enhanced by the extra effort.

    How lucky to be visited by a swarm of butterflies every spring. I also read that when Marquez died, yellow paper butterflies fluttered down around his coffin and that his memorial site in Colombia has used yellow butterflies in homage to the author's symbol of love. A beautiful and touching image, I feel.

  4. Yes, I saw those images of Marquez's funeral. You can search it. Very beautiful. Yellow is forever his color, too.