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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquz - Destructive Consequences of Solitude IOP

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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquz Destructive Consequences of Solitude IOP Solitude is defined as remoteness from society or the state of being remote from others. In Marquez' OHYOS, solitude is what ultimately brings the village of Macondo to its tragic end. Throughout the novel we explore the interesting theme of the various forms and reasons behind solitude and its consequences. Psychological studies show that, on the individual level, various needs are assumed to promote growth and self-actualization. For instance, John Burton's Deviance, Terrorism and War specifies eight basic human necessities: the need for others' response (and consistency thereof); stimulation; security (for instance, freedom from everyday preoccupation with death fears); recognition (through which individuals receive social confirmations that their reactions to social stimulations are relevant and approved); distributive justice (not merely a consistency in response but a response or reward deemed appropriate in terms of individuals' experiences and expectations); the need to appear rational (which follows from the need for consistency of response-- rationality calls attention to the fact that there is a need for consistent behavior in others); need for meaning to be deduced from consistent response; and the need for a sense of control. ...read more.


The needs are ranked bottom from top as physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, self-esteem needs, and self actualization. These needs must be satisfied in order to get to the top, but one may go backward as well as forward, which relates to the theme of time as a cycle, and the Buendia's inability to progress. Because they are unwilling to communicate outside of themselves, the Buendia family is never able to move forward but moves instead in cycles, or a downward spiral, collapsing in on itself. According to Marlow, when one is unable to achieve the needs of love and belonging, it is assumed they regress back to the stage of securing their safety needs, which is most clearly demonstrated in Aureliano Buendias case. The solitary characters are often contrasted to the antisolitary characters of the novel such as Ursula Buendias and Pilar Ternera, and other characters who combat their solitude. Ursula Buendias and Pilar Ternera both live very long lives and devote their lives to strengthening social bonds. In her younger years, Pilar Ternera comforts the Buendia men with her sex and bear many of their children. She is extremely prosperous as the madame of a nunnery, which stands for a bountiful sexuality. ...read more.


An ordered world is a predictable world and the essence of society is the predictability of its members' actions. There are the needs for solidarity between social members (including, as anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn observed, "a set of common values that give meaning and purpose to group life"), their willingness to accept their social duties and to make personal sacrifices for the welfare of others, and their cooperation with each other. Further, if we perceive social systems to be analogous to organisms struggling to survive in potentially hostile environments, there are such individual needs as defense, coordinated action toward collective goals, and the ability to adapt to challenging new internal and external conditions. The Buendias are obviously lacking in this cooperative quality and often struggle with their meaning in life, which is reflected in the destruction of the town. In quoting HG Wells, "A downtrodden class.. will never be able to make an effective protest until it achieves solidarity." In order for the Buendias to leave their solitude, solidarity must first be achieved. From this it can be concluded that Marquez is promoting the same message for the solitude of Latin America, having been so long controlled by the West, before they must suffer the consequences of Macondo and the Buendia family. ...read more.

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