Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 15, 2023
December 8, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary
devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
While the characters in One Hundred Years of Solitude consider total
forgetfulness a danger, they, ironically, also seem to consider memory
a burden. About half of the novel’s characters speak of the weight
of having too many memories while the rest seem to be amnesiacs.
Rebeca’s overabundance of memory causes her to lock herself in her
house after her husband’s death, and to live there with the memory
of friends rather than the presence of people. For her, the nostalgia
of better days gone by prevents her from existing in a changing
world. The opposite of her character can be found in Colonel Aureliano
Buendía, who has almost no memories at all. He lives in an endlessly
repeating present, melting down and then recreating his collection
of little gold fishes. Nostalgia and amnesia are the dual diseases
of the Buendía clan, one tying its victims to the past, the other
trapping them in the present. Thus afflicted, the Buendías are doomed
to repeat the same cycles until they consume themselves, and they
are never able to move into the future.
One Hundred Years of Solitude draws on
many of the basic narratives of the Bible, and its characters can
be seen as allegorical of some major biblical figures. The novel
recounts the creation of Macondo and its earliest Edenic days of
innocence, and continues until its apocalyptic end, with a cleansing
flood in between. We can see José Arcadio Buendía’s downfall—his
loss of sanity—as a result of his quest for knowledge. He and his
wife, Ursula Iguarán, represent the biblical Adam and Eve, who were
exiled from Eden after eating from the Tree of Knowledge. The entire
novel functions as a metaphor for human history and an extended
commentary on human nature. On the one hand, their story, taken
literally as applying to the fictional Buendías, evokes immense
pathos. But as representatives of the human race, the Buendías personify
solitude and inevitable tragedy, together with the elusive possibility
of happiness, as chronicled by the Bible.
Gypsies are present in One Hundred Years of Solitude primarily
to act as links. They function to offer transitions from contrasting
or unrelated events and characters. Every few years, especially
in the early days of Macondo, a pack of wandering gypsies arrives,
turning the town into something like a carnival and displaying the
wares that they have brought with them. Before Macondo has a road
to civilization, they are the town’s only contact with the outside
world. They bring both technology—inventions that Melquíades displays—and
magic—magic carpets and other wonders. Gypsies, then, serve as versatile
literary devices that also blur the line between fantasy and reality,
especially when they connect Macondo and the outside world, magic
and science, and even the past and present.
Ace your assignments with our guide to One Hundred Years of Solitude!