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
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews March 7, 2024
February 29, 2024
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
One Hundred Years of Solitude
One Hundred Years of Solitude is
the history of the isolated town of Macondo and of the family who founds
it, the Buendías. For years, the town has no contact with the outside
world, except for gypsies who occasionally visit, peddling technologies
like ice and telescopes. The patriarch of the family, José Arcadio
Buendía, is impulsive and inquisitive. He remains a leader who is
also deeply solitary, alienating himself from other men in his obsessive
investigations into mysterious matters. These character traits are
inherited by his descendents throughout the novel. His older child,
José Arcadio, inherits his vast physical strength and his impetuousness.
His younger child, Aureliano, inherits his intense, enigmatic focus. Gradually,
the village loses its innocent, solitary state when it establishes
contact with other towns in the region. Civil wars begin, bringing
violence and death to peaceful Macondo, which, previously, had experienced
neither, and Aureliano becomes the leader of the Liberal rebels,
achieving fame as Colonel Aureliano Buendía. Macondo changes from
an idyllic, magical, and sheltered place to a town irrevocably connected
to the outside world through the notoriety of Colonel Buendía. Macondo’s
governments change several times during and after the war. At one
point, Arcadio, the cruelest of the Buendías, rules dictatorially
and is eventually shot by a firing squad. Later, a mayor is appointed,
and his reign is peaceful until another civil uprising has him killed.
After his death, the civil war ends with the signing of a peace
More than a century goes by over the course of the book,
and so most of the events that García Márquez describes are the
major turning points in the lives of the Buendías: births, deaths,
marriages, love affairs. Some of the Buendía men are wild and sexually
rapacious, frequenting brothels and taking lovers. Others are quiet
and solitary, preferring to shut themselves up in their rooms to
make tiny golden fish or to pore over ancient manuscripts. The
women, too, range from the outrageously outgoing, like Meme, who
once brings home seventy-two friends from boarding school, to the prim
and proper Fernanda del Carpio, who wears a special nightgown with
a hole at the crotch when she consummates her marriage with her
A sense of the family’s destiny for greatness remains
alive in its tenacious matriarch, Ursula Iguarán, and she works
devotedly to keep the family together despite its differences. But
for the Buendía family, as for the entire village of Macondo, the
centrifugal forces of modernity are devastating. Imperialist capitalism
reaches Macondo as a banana plantation moves in and exploits the
land and the workers, and the Americans who own the plantation settle
in their own fenced-in section of town. Eventually, angry at the
inhumane way in which they are treated, the banana workers go on
strike. Thousands of them are massacred by the army, which sides
with the plantation owners. When the bodies have been dumped into
the sea, five years of ceaseless rain begin, creating a flood that
sends Macondo into its final decline. As the city, beaten down by
years of violence and false progress, begins to slip away, the Buendía
family, too, begins its process of final erasure, overcome by nostalgia
for bygone days. The book ends almost as it began: the village is
once again solitary, isolated. The few remaining Buendía family
members turn in upon themselves incestuously, alienated from the
outside world and doomed to a solitary ending. In the last scene
of the book, the last surviving Buendía translates a set of ancient
prophecies and finds that all has been predicted: that the village
and its inhabitants have merely been living out a preordained cycle,
incorporating great beauty and great, tragic sadness.
Ace your assignments with our guide to One Hundred Years of Solitude!