Theme of Family

Marquez most essential points of focus and reflection have been around the theme of the family. The family has been seen to decide the fate of many of the characters in the novel. In a nutshell, families are seen as the most important source of inspiration and love for any individual. In fact, in most cultures, families are the fabrics that strengthen a community together and create a harmonious coexistence (Summaries, 2016). In the build-up of the novel, Marquez has highlighted a family man who is deeply passionate about leaving a legacy for his father. He is desperately in need to set the pace for the generations to come. In the novel, families are seen as virtual prisons that lock up individuals or limited their freedoms in the things they desire or want to do (Summaries, 2016). Although some characters have gone beyond the principles established by their families, the role of the family in the community continues to be central. Marquez has portrayed that inherited family characteristics are not inescapable because most habits have moved from the founding father of the family to the seventh generation. Family fate is seen to be shared by all the relatives regardless of their belief system, or actions. Leaving the comfort of the family is seen as a big challenge. Outsiders who come into the family are assimilated and are unable to speak their minds in a free manner (Summaries, 2016).

The family is locked down in psychodrama and a firm relationship to the extent that whoever comes into the family develops into a relative. This fact has turned almost all relationships into incestuous. Lack of privacy and freedom is characterized by the family (Summaries, 2016). Members of the family are seen as not able to think independently because of the close nature of interaction among the family members. Father and daughter relationships are not seen to be normal. While it is the same for mother and son relationship, siblings relationship are seen as intense and deep leading to a romantic attraction. The novel has had scenarios where siblings fell in love, and this only shows the foundations set by the patriarch as wrong. According to Summaries (2016) family was a core social unit despite many issues being affecting the members of the family. Ursula was so concerned of the family that she sought to expand the house “Úrsula suddenly realized that the house had become full of people, that her children were on the point of marrying and having children, and that they would be obliged to scatter for lack of space. Then she took out the money she had accumulated over long years of hard labor, made some arrangements with her customers, and undertook the enlargement of the house.” In as much as it is difficult to understand what values the family members subscribe to or what they stand for, the novel shows a lack of family intactness. Instances of family separation in pursuit of independence are seen. The first case is that of Rebeca and Jose Arcadio II and briefly by Ursula and Gaston (Summaries, 2016). It is, however, difficult to ascertain as to why no individual can survive away from the family. The theme of family is however not balanced as the novel primarily focuses on men and not women. Marquez has depicted an utterly patriarchal society that is obsessed with the interests of men and not the women. The novel has proved that women are only helping men live their lives and do not have an independent life of their own.

Traits passed down from the ancestors are a great pride among the individuals. The people are not proud of their parents, and this brings into question on how the family has been structured. The stability of the families is all because of the role of the ancestors (Summaries, 2016). The life of the Buendia family line is sophisticated, but this does not in any way show the insignificance of the family. In building up a generation, a family is the most essential and primary tool to start with. The family has been affected by dark magic, a death many tales of incest, love, and debauchery but all these have not weakened the family. Some of these like love and abuse have contributed to a stronger family Úrsula and Amaranta are about to be pretty disappointed. This is such a strange and telling description. Why do you think to grow into a hardened soldier distances Colonel Aureliano from his family? Is it because he’s too used to ordering people around? Because he’s seen too much?”

In the 100 years of solitude, the family has been tied by unique facts. True to the title, the different generations have been making the same mistakes and choices like the previous generations (Summaries, 2016). This habit shows how the family is entrenched in them and that no one is daring enough to move away from the norm of the family. Jose Arcadio is seen as a family man who after conflicting with Prudencio had to find a shelter for his family. This led to him establishing the Macondo. The novel shows several scenes of daring moves all with the aim of saving the family. Ursula in one instance orders the twenty men to drag Jose and tie him to a tree until his death. The move by Ursula was to safe keep her family intact.

In most communities and families there is the patriarch, and the matriarch and the two are by which the stability of a family is founded on. Ursula, in this case, is the matriarch in the family. Although the fate of women is tied to the lives of men, Ursula has proved otherwise. Through the whole of the novel, Ursula has remained the mother figure in the family, and this strongly shows the value and impact of a mother to the family (Summaries, 2016). Men, on the other hand, became least concerned with the activities and chores of home management Hey, here’s an idea: maybe it would be nice if when they came home, they still had to “concern themselves with everyday necessities.” Is it any wonder the Buendía men became lazy? We would, too, if we had someone waiting on us hand and foot!”


Summaries, B. (2016). One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez (Book Analysis): Detailed Summary, Analysis, and Reading Guide. BrightSummaries. Com.

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