Aureliano José had been destined to find with [Carmelita Montiel] the happiness that Amaranta had denied him, to have seven children, and to die in her arms of old age, but the bullet that entered his back and shattered his chest had been directed by a wrong interpretation of the cards.

Throughout One Hundred Years of Solitude, the idea of a predetermined fate is accepted as natural. Because time is cyclical, after all, seeing into the future can be as easy as remembering the past. In this passage from Chapter 8, however, a prediction not only foretells the future, but also actually affects it. The act of reading and interpreting has a magically powerful status in this novel. This power will be seen again in the last few pages of the book, where Aureliano (II)’s reading of the prophecies brings about the destruction of Macondo. In addition to assigning magical power to the fictional act of reading within the story, García Márquez also indicates his awareness of the importance of interpretation in any reading.