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colonial references in One Hundred Years of Solitude

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Introduction

Jim Graziano February 9, 2007 EGL 396.01/Professor John Gomez/2nd Journal/One Hundred Years of Solitude Religion is often treated in this epic tale as fabulous sight gags or biting satire. There are three priests that are mentioned up to chapter 14 and I will give my impressions and interpretations of their meaning and significance in this book. The first priest that we encounter is Father Nicanor Reyna, brought out of the swamps or civilized world, as we see with people who are later brought in by the train. "Nica" is the prefix for Nicaragua, a Central American country with a tormented past. His arrival in Macondo coincides with that of Don Apolinar Mascote. We have the introduction of both politics and religion into this land untouched by these forms of European civilization. I'm going to compare his arrival to that of the first wave of colonialism and imperialism brought by the Europeans. ...read more.

Middle

is emphasized throughout the book. Nicanor later suffers from hepatic (liver) fever and eventually succumbs to this illness, perhaps through an overindulgence of chocolate. He is replaced by Father Coronel(war veteran), which happens to be the Spanish pronunciation for colonel. This is an allusion to the European military, bringing its hand of imperialism down upon the new world in the name of religion. His nickname is "the Pup", cachoarro or macoso, in Spanish. This reference to a young dog could represent the subservient position that the church had held under the military in the post-colonial period. The absence of this character for a large portion of the book might be a depiction of the lassitude by the church in its silent compliance to the neocolonialism of the time. Father Coronel is succeeded by Father Antonio Isabel who could represent the churches position in the last hundred or so years of Western imperialism and the current situation in Latin America. ...read more.

Conclusion

By anointing the foreheads of the 17 sons of Colonel Aureliano Buenida, with an indelible cross of ash, Isabel provides the perfect target for the leaders of the conservatives. But Marquez is perhaps hinting at this symbolism through the complicity of the church with organized right wing killers. Were these marks or targets not only destined for the destruction of the Buenida bloodline, but do they also display the obedience of the church over the last 50 years of Columbian politics in complying with certain political parties. As trying to remove the smell of gunpowder from Jose Arcadio's lifeless body, Colonel Aureliano's sons don't have time to realize that the stench of violence is unending and is very difficult to remove. Father Antonio's decline could be synonym for the decline of the power of the Catholic Church in the political affairs of Latin America of the 50's, 60's and 70's. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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