Rewriting rural community and dictatorial history through magical realism in Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

Abu Shahid Abdullah 1
  • 1 Otto-Friedrich University Bamberg, Germany


Márquez was greatly influenced by his grandmother’s story-telling ability, and was highly indebted to the socio-political history of Latin America, particularly Colombia. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, he wants to reconstruct the lost world of childhood by using magical realism which gives expression to the world-view of a rural people who live in isolation from modern world. By retelling the official history from the perspective of the oppressed, he reveals the fact that history is never factual and impartial but serves the interest of those who write it. Through the banana company massacre and the subsequent hide and seek over the number of dead workers, Márquez exposes the way official history becomes fabricated and distorted by authorities, and fails to provide the original occurrences. He was disgusted with the political violence and civil wars which had distraught people; he was also against capitalism, scientific and technological inventions, and so-called modernization, which are the means through which foreign culture brings corruption and brutality, dominates, exploits and oppresses the natives, and threatens the native culture and identity. By employing magical realism, he was able to recreate Colombian history to protest against the way capitalism dominated the socio-political and economic structure of the region.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Ahmad, M. & Afsar, A. (2014). Magical Realism, Social Protest and Anti-Colonial Sentiments in One Hundred Years of Solitude: An Instance of Historiographic Metafiction. Asian Journal of Latin American Studies, 27(2), 1-26.

  • Bell-Villada, G. H. (1990). García Márquez: The Man and His Work. University of North Carolina Press.

  • Bowers, M. A. (2004). Magic(al) Realism. London and New York: Routledge.

  • Conniff, B. (2002). The Dark Side of Magical Realism: Science, Oppression, and Apocalypse in One Hundred Years of Solitude. In G. H. Bell-Villada (Ed.), Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude: A Casebook (p. 139-152). New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Hart, S. M. (2003). Magical Realism in the Americas: Politicized Ghosts in One Hundred Years of Solitude, The House of the Spirits, and Beloved. Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 9(2), 116-123. doi: 10.1080/1470184032000171759

  • Higgins, J. (2002). Gabriel García Márquez: Cien años de soledad. In G. H. Bell-Villada (Ed.), Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude: A Casebook (p. 33-51). New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Márquez, G. G. (1967/1996). One Hundred Years of Solitude. (G. Rabassa, Trans.). Kolkata: Penguin Books India.

  • McMurray, G. R. (1977). Gabriel García Márquez. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.

  • Merivale, P. (1995). Saleem Fathered by Oskar: Midnight’s Children, Magic Realism, and The Tin Drum. In L. P. Zamora & W. B. Faris (Eds.), Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community (p. 329-345). Durham & London: Duke University Press.

  • Minta, S. (1987). Gabriel García Márquez: Writer of Colombia. New York: Harper and Row.

  • Rushdie, S. (1991). Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991. London: Granta and Penguin Books.

  • Sangari, K. (1987, Fall). The Politics of the Possible. Cultural Critique, 7, 157–86.

  • Swanson, P. (Ed.). (2010). The Cambridge Companion to Gabriel García Márquez. UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Vega-González, S. (2001). Memory and the Quest for Family History in One Hundred Years of Solitude and Song of Solomon. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 3(1), 1-9.

  • Warnes, C. (2009). Magical Realism and the Postcolonial Novel: Between Faith and Irreverence. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • William, R. L. (1985). Gabriel García Márquez. Boston, MA: Twayne Publishers.

  • Wood, M. (1990). Gabriel García Márquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude. UK: Cambridge University Press.


Journal + Issues