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The Devil Incarnate - Analysis of Fernanda from One Hundred Years of Solitude

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Introduction

The Devil Incarnate "The damnation of the family had come when it opened its doors to a stuck-up highlander" (348). That and other unsavoury comments have accompanied Fernanda's stay in the Buendia household in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Unfairly perceived as the devil incarnate, Fernanda del Carpio's megalomanical actions are actually her ways of hiding her burning insecurities and showing her love for the Buendia family. Restricted by her past, Fernanda tries to meld into the family by impressing them with her impeccable upbringing and changing the family, to her, for the better, though that backfires upon her miserably. Fernanda is to be a queen. (222). She is raised in imposed solitude and spends her time in expensive lessons that teach her how to be a queen but not a person. She does her business in a gold chamber pot with her family crest on it and travels for two blocks in a coach drawn by horses. (222). For all her lessons on how to deal with nobles and the Pope, Fernanda has never known how to deal with ordinary, everyday people, having never had a friend in her life. ...read more.

Middle

Fernanda works hard to keep peace in the family and to prevent open friction. During her drive to reform the Buendia family for the seeming better, she wants Colonel Aureliano Buendia to not be the "loose piece in the family machinery", so to say, so that the Buendia family would exist in harmony. However, Fernanda tolerates Colonel Aureliano Buendia and gives him a wide berth because she is afraid that the Colonel would "(uproot) the foundations of the house". (229). She gives in to Aureliano Segundo's request to name their son Jose Arcadio and compromises with Ursula by naming her daughter Renata Remedios. To maintain civility in the house, Fernanda puts up with her husband's philandering and makes a silent truce with Amaranta so as to avoid catfights. Proud Fernanda has to swallow her pride time and again to keep the family together. Together with Ursula, Fernanda fights to maintain the splendour of the Buendia family though they have different methods. When Ursula sinks into the shadows, Fernanda is the one who tries to hold up the family against the invasion of the banana company and the outsiders. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fernanda cedes Aureliano Segundo over to Petra Cotes to keep him happy and to keep peace within the family; however, she makes him promise to die by her side. Is that not the epitome of love: to let go of one's happiness in order to grant the loved one his? It is proof of her love that she wants him to die by her side, for if she could not have her love in life, at least she could keep him in death. If that is not enough, in a rare burst of emotion, Fernanda ran through Macondo madly searching for Aureliano Segundo on the night of the extermination of the Aurelianos. Such anxiety for the safety of her husband can only mean she really loves Aureliano Segundo. It is unclear exactly when the damnation of the family had come - perhaps when Ursula and Jose Arcadio Buendia first start the cycle of incest, or when the outsiders come in. One thing is clear though; it certainly did not arrive with the proud yet unconfident highlander who wants to uphold the House of Buendia and truly loves her family. ...read more.

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