There is a connection more intimate than love. Despite the ecstasy of lust, the tenderness of affection, and the resilience of compassion that a love creates, there exists in reality an even greater stranglehold; the bond between a man and his story. The stories one tells are a sum of the perceptions and experiences totalled up and percoléd over a lifetime; Gabriel Garcia Marquez would be the least exception to this rule, known for telling stories of the whimsical and divine with a straight face. For although One Hundred Years of Solitude is the book known for its "magical realism", Marquez creates in both himself and the reader a sense of personal belonging: the author uses a straight faced tone, to create a sense of reality for the reader; he creates parallels between events in the book, and actual history; and lastly, the final chapter exposes Melquaides and the final Aureliano as conduits for author and audience into this mystical world.
Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez is fond of his grandparents. In a matter of fact, this is an understatement; constantly cited by both Marquez and whoever is writing his biography at the time, are the stories his grandmother told him. In his own sentiments, Marquez says that he "feel[s] that all my writing had been about the experiences of the time I spent with my grandparents". Oftentimes, much attention paid as to how these stories were told: as if they were true.
It is no wonder, then, that Marquez makes no distinguishing on how the real or ethereal are told. The magical and the real are provided as equals; from the start of the book, time is automatically put into flux. The first four chapters of the book are laden with hints of what is to come for Colonel Aureliano Buendia; by the time the last foreshadow has arrived, the reader has become well suited to odd time structure of the book. This consistent repetition and overtures to the Aureliano facing the firing squad allow the reader to get used to the new model of time suggested by the author. Another example of this fantastical blend can be found the first chapter of the book: a carnival of gypsies comes to Maccondo, spreading decadence. The author sets a familiar background of a carnival, complete with circus tents and mysterious women; however, with a combination of supernatural elements and understatement, the reader is both assured and compelled with the story. In a single line, a gypsy introduces in a very typical way a carnival act with "and now, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to show the terrible test of the woman who must have her head chopped off every night at this time for one hundred and fifty years as punishment for having seen what she should not have" (Marquez 36). The combination of a familiar attitude with an unfamiliar action slowly etches the reader into this new reality, making these quick but shocking sentences important for maintaining the sagacity of familiarity, while still remaining a brusque fantasy.
However, even more familiar than a tone of voice is the culture and history one's country. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Columbian; scattered throughout are references to Columbian events, some of which Marquez himself has lived to witness. One Hundred Years of Solitude can be seen as a parable of these events; even more so, it can be seen as a parable of the growth of civilization, a pattern familiar to one's collective dreams. From 1885 to 1902, Columbia underwent a civil war, very similar to that in the book. Much like Colonel Aureliano Buendia, General Rafael Uribe won and, for the most part, lost wars. Uribe, the superior officer of Marquez's grandfather, was an incompetent general who lost battles disastrously, but was also a scholar and intellectual. The banana massacre parallels a real event: the infamous Matanza de las bananeras of 1928 involved conflicting parties, and casualty rates were also vague; estimates ranged from 47 to 2000, much like how little news is spread in the book. The tragedy of indecisive truth is harsh and resonating. In the final chapter of the book, the final Aureliano argues with a priest about whether or not Colonel Aureliano Buendia
Marquez integrates all of these real events to the effect of representing a personal crusade of his; the sort of way covering up the truth contributes to a dreamlike reality. Colonial rule hasn't always proven to be the most honest of powers; frequently its removal of the truth has turned living into something more surreal than actual. It is not necessary for one to know the history of Columbia to where this point is derived from. However, without such allusions to these real events, it is often tough to tell what is real and what the not real is; in order not to isolate readers, Marquez creates a tangible background context from which he draws from.
Powerful and moving is the way Marquez ends the novel. Here, a curious parallel is made between the characters, and one's reality; nearing the book's end, time becomes increasingly simultaneous with the perceptions of Aureliano Babilonia as he furiously translates. His translation ends when Macondo ends, the time where history has finally caught up with reality, where the surreal dream finally wakes up, it is found that nothing is left. The book ends and Marquez created in these final pages far reaching implications that make the story one that's even more personal to him. If the scripts were the book, that would make Melquaides the author. Finally, if Aureliano was the translator of all of Macondo's history, this would ultimately make him a parallel to the audience; knowledge seeking, intuitive of the following events, learning about the book and its repetitions as time goes on.
All have stories to tell. Stories, however, are simply interpretations of one's own experiences. It is sometimes hard to relate to one version of reality to another version; Marquez, in infinite wisdom, created several measures both in his diction and his characterization that bring together a cohesive loom that drapes over the entire One Hundred Years of Solitude, no matter how magical it might be.