One Hundred Years of Solitude Read-along Week #5

REVIEW OF CH. 15 - 17

Chapter 15: Meme was distraught after Mauricio was shot; and, Fernanda sent her to live in a convent, where she later died, but not before giving birth to a baby boy named Aureliano. The nuns brought the baby to Fernanda, and she kept the baby hidden for years, telling everyone she found him inside a basket, like Moses. But she really wanted to drown the baby.

José Arcadio encouraged his workers at the "Banana Republic" to strike because they were required to work on Sundays and were not paid in cash. Ursula worried,
It's as if the world were repeating itself.
The army attempted to establish order through martial law, but the workers organized and caused chaos. When the workers and their families assembled in the square to discuss the problems, they were gunned down, including women and children. Later the bodies were loaded onto the train to be removed; but José Arcadio, who was wounded, escaped alive.

The government lied about the workers going home and instead abandoned the plantation. José Arcadio hid out in Melquíades room for a while, and four years of rain began to fall on Macondo.

Chapter 16:

So, it rained and rained and rained. Aureliano II was stuck at Fernanda's house during the rain, while Petra was worried because all of Aureliano's animals were drowning. When he went back to Petra, he realized he had nothing more to do with her, and he returned to Fernanda where things got worse.

For two and a half pages, in one dragged out sentence, Fernanda complained to her husband about everything in her life, sending Aureliano into a massive violent rage.

The rain finally stopped, but the damage to Macondo was done.

Chapter 17:

Ursula thought she would die as soon as the rains ended, but instead was able to get her house in order. She spent time with her great-great grandchildren until she lost her senses completely. Finally she died on Good Friday, which is today for me. She was 120 years old!

Then came a heat wave, which put the people into a stupor and made them lazy. The gypsies revisited the town with all of their inventions as they did in the beginning.

Rebeca died. She was a mess. Something was wrong with Fernanda's health, but she refused to go to a real physical doctor. Aureliano II became a loner, and José Arcadio developed a pain in his throat, which he thought was caused by Fernanda doing witchcraft against him.

Finally both Aureliano II and José Arcadio II died on the same day, leaving everyone still confused over who was who.



What a week! Felt like a month. The massacre of the banana plantation families was very disturbing. And the 2 1/2 pages of Fernanda's complaints do run in one marathon sentence. The only period came on the third page. Pretty amazing. My notes in these chapters from my previous reading included: "weird," "like a weird dream," "so weird," "sick," and even "I hate this dumb book." Márquez may have been wearing on me back then because truly his manner is consistent from the beginning. But, as I said last week, the Buendía family is growing on me, and I was sad to see so much death now, especially Ursula, the wisdom of the family.
The spirit of her invincible heart guided her through the shadows. 
Gabriel García Márquez


But Aureliano himself seemed to prefer the cloister of solitude and he did not show the least desire to know the world that began at the street door of the house.


  1. 'seemed to prefer the cloister of solitude' was me last week too!
    After being off work for over a month (we had suffered flood damage back in Feb forcing a major refit/repair even before Covid-19!) I went back into the office. The bookshop is still not open (one more week) but the boss and I had paperwork to catch up on, reps to see (via facetime) etc. That first day as I was dressing to leave the house for work, made me realise I had become used to the quiet life very quickly. I had to push myself to go out again and mix in the world.
    Perhaps there's a little bit of Buendia in all of us :-)

  2. So interesting. Some of us have more Buendia than others! LOL!!!