Progress and Innocence in One Hundred Year of Solitude Â Â One Hundred Year of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez projects itself among the most famous and ambitious works in the history of literature. Epic in scope,Â Marquez weaves autobiography, allegory and historical allusion to create a surprisingly coherent story line about his forebears, his descendants and ours. It has been said that there are only about 18 or so themes that describe the human condition. This quote was made in reference to Shakespeare, and posited that all of the books and movies that we digest and assimilate can be shown to have their roots in these canonical themes. In Cien Anos, Marquez addresses several of these themes in the subtle and interlocking ways that they deserve. This paper will concentrate on two interrelated themes: progress and innocence. In its exploration of these concerns, this novel provides no less than a rendering of the trajectory of human evolution. Loss of innocence is a time-worn theme in the literature of every culture. It traditionally takes the form of some type of epiphany visited upon an unsophisticated character as she grows up and encounters the larger world. The focus of this theme is normally personal, in the point of view of an individual, or the omnipotent third person account of the reaction of an individual. While this aspect can be found in the novel, it additionally explores the loss of innocence of a family, people or race, called estirpe in the original edition. In the Western sensibility, the march of progress is normally deemed positive and inevitable. In recent Western history, from the Middle Ages forward, successive improvements in the spread of knowledge, dissemination of culture, and the av... ...s of Solitude." In McGuirk and Cardwell, 65-79. Griffin, Clive. "The Humour of One Hundred Years of Solitude." In McGuirk and Cardwell, 81-94. James, Regina. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Revolutions in Wonderland. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1981. McGuirk, Bernard and Richard Cardwell, edd. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: New Readings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). Martin, Gerald. "On 'magical' and social realism in Garcia Marquez." In McGuirk and Cardwell, 95-116. Williams, Raymond L. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Boston: Twayne, 1984. Williamson, Edwin. "Magical Realism and the Theme of Incest in One Hundred Years of Solitude." In McGuirk and Cardwell. 45-63. Wood, Michael. "Review of One Hundred Years of Solitude." In Critical Essays on Gabriel Garcia Marquez. McMurray, George R., ed. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1987. Â Â
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