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 Post subject: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:21 pm 
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Clan Fraser
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100 Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez


:bagpipe: The contents of current chapters and previously summarized chapters may be discussed as they relate to the story. Please do not post any spoilers in the chapter threads. :bagpipe:

Note: Because this book does not include chapter numbers, we decided that it would be helpful to include the first line of each chapter in the summary so people can make sure they are in the right place.


Chapter 10
“Years later on his deathbed Aureliano Segundo would remember the rainy afternoon in June when he went into the bedroom to meet his first son.”



Aureliano Segundo names his son with Fernanda del Carpio "José Arcadio." It appears those named Aureliano tend to be withdrawn, but with lucid minds, whereas the José Arcadios are impulsive and enterprising, but marked with a tragic sigh. Aureliano Segundo (AS) and José Arcadio Segundo (JAS) were two synchronized machines since birth, or “crazy from birth” as Úrsula told Santa Sofia de la Piedad. Yet in time the one who came out of the game of confusion with the name AS grew to monumental size like his grandfather, and the one who kept the name JAS grew to be bony like the colonel, and the only thing they had in common was the family’s “solitary” air. Shuffled at birth like a deck of cards, each boy’s true nature becomes apparent as they grow older. JAS is eager to see an execution, and AS prefers to remain at home and explore the locked room filled with papers and books that had belonged to Melquíades. The room has been sealed in time and was found in excellent condition.

AS inquires about the presence of gypsies in Macondo who once brought magic lamps and flying carpets with them. Ursula explains “ ‘What’s happening,’ she signed, ‘is that the world is slowly coming to an end and those things don’t come here anymore’ “ (p. 200 Vintage pb). AS cannot get enough of the stories and manuscripts and eventually finds himself in the company of Melquíades, who is described as under 40 years old and wearing the same old-fashioned vest and hat that looked like raven’s wings. “AS recognized him at once, because that hereditary memory had been transmitted from generation to generation and had come to him through the memory of his grandfather” (p. 200). From then on the two men met every afternoon for several years. Mel talked to him about the world but he refused to translate the manuscripts for “No one must know their meaning until he has reached one hundred years of age” (p. 201).

Meanwhile, JAS has satisfied his curiosity about witnessing an execution but soon detests military practices and war because the executions allow the victims to be buried alive. Instead, JAS begins ringing the church bells and assisting Father Antonio Isabel, as well as taking care of the fighting cocks in the courtyard of the parish house. Colonel Gerineldo Márquez is shocked by his behavior and to learn the young man considers himself a Conservative. Úrusla is relieved to hear this and hopes JAS will become a priest.

In fact, Father Antonio Isabel is preparing JAS for his first communion, and hears the young man's confession. The priest asks if he has been with women as well as if he has experienced beastiality. JAS receives First Communion but is curious about the priest’s questions and accompanies the sexton living in the church belfry to a pasture to witness nocturnal raids. Úrsula warns JAS not to bring his fine fighting birds to her home so instead JAS breeds them at the house of his grandmother, Pillar Ternera, who gives him everything he needs in exchange for having him in her house.

Eventually AS also begins to show signs of laziness, like his brother JAS, and starts a relationship with a woman selling numbers for the raffle of an accordion. AS realizes the woman has been sleeping with his brother as well, thinking she was bedding the same man. Since the raffle seller fixed things so AS would win the accordion, he decides to play the instrument instead of returning to his studies with Mel. AS becomes a virtuoso on the accordion and remains famous after marrying and having children.

Both brothers succumb to low-life sickness and are cured separately by Pilar Ternera after three months of secret suffering. While JAS decides never to see Petra Cotes again, AS obtains her pardon and remains with her until his death. When Úrsula learns JAS is a cockfight man and her other great grandson plays the accordion at his concubine’s parties, she declares that no one again will be called Aureliano or José Arcadio. She later rescinds this proclamation and allows AS to use a Buendía family name as long as she is allowed to raise the child. Although Úrsula “was already a hundred years old and on the point of going blind from cataracts, she still had her physical dynamism, her integrity of character, and her mental balance intact” (p. 205). She is determined to raise a virtuous man who is not corrupted by war, fighting cocks, bad women or wild undertakings. If all goes as planned, this child will grow up to become a priest and eventually Pope.

By sheer luck, AS becomes wealthy due to the supernatural proliferation of his animals bearing triplets and the hens laying eggs twice a day. His luck is bound to run out, but AS attributes his good fortune to the influence of Petra Cortes whose love has the virtue of exasperating nature. Thus, with the consent of his wife, Fernanda, AS continues his relationship with Petra. It takes JAS a long time to discover that his brother has supplanted him.

In his old age, Colonel Aureliano Buendía opens up his workshop again and is seduced at last by the charms of old age. In turn, AS decides to devote himself to making gold fishes. During this time Petra Cotes decides to raffle off rabbits, which reproduce so quickly the entire courtyard becomes paved with rabbits. The success of the rabbit raffles is so high that AS suggests she raffle off cows. Úrsula is suspicious of her great grandson’s growing wealth and scolds him for being wasteful. In spite, AS papers her house on the inside and out and from top to bottom with one-peso banknotes that give the house the appearance of a mosque. Úrsula is beside herself and prays for poverty to strike the family again. Her prayers are answered in reverse. One of the workmen removing the bills from the house knocks over a life-statue of St. Joseph and discovers almost four hundred pounds of gold coins have been stuffed inside the statue.
Amarantha recalls three men had asked them to keep the statue until the rains had subsided.

Macondo is swamped in a miraculous prosperity. All that remains of the ancient village are the almond trees. JAS becomes determined to discover a boat line at the opening of the channel. He disappears for a while and returns on the riverbank with the first and last boat ever to dock in the town. After JAS returns he resorts back to the routine of cockfights. The one positive outcome to his journey is the sense of renovation that accompanies the French matrons from France who have followed JAS back to Macondo. They promote the carnival that plunges Macondo into delirium for three days.

Remedios the Beauty is proclaimed queen of the carnival and is made to wear a black shawl to cover her face by her great grandmother for fear that her beauty will cause havoc. Indeed, one young handsome man succumbs to her beauty after he gifts her a yellow rose after Sunday mass. He eventually goes mad with love for RtB and becomes a derelict who is cut to pieces by an oncoming train while he slept on the tracks. The author reveals the RtB was not a creature of this world.

Colonel Aureliano Buendía slowly loses all contact with the reality of the nation. He is consumed with making and selling his little gold fishes and has aged with a twisted spine but the implacable patience awarded him with a peace of spirit. “Taciturn, silent, insensible to the new breath of vitality that was shaking the house, CAB could only understand that the secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude”(p. 216)

Dressed as a lion, AS walks through the carnival and chances upon the visiting Fernanda del Carpio, who had been chosen as the most beautiful woman out of five thousand in the land and taken to Macondo to be named Queen of Madigascar. When fighting erupts at the carnival, it is AS who rescues Fernanda. Six months later he travels the distance to her homeland and brings her back to Macondo where they are married. The celebration lasts twenty days.


Some more dysfunctional activities take place in this chapter, this time focusing on the lives of the Buendía Segundos who share a very special bond.

Did anyone else find Petra’s relationship with the twin brothers reminiscent of Lizzie and the Beardsley brothers in the Outlander series?

Is there any symbolism attached to the meaning of the names of the two women introduced in this chapter –Petra Cotes and Ferdinanda del Carpio?

Were you surprised by Meliqíades’s reappearance in this chapter?

Is it old age that brings the Buendía family members a true sense of solitude?

At the age of 100, Úrsula takes on the upbringing of her great, great grandson, Jose Arcadio (the Third), named after his uncle and great grandfather. Is her dream of having this child become a priest and later on the Pope impossible or a foreshadowing of future events?

Please share your thoughts about this week’s quirky chapter.

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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:25 am 
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Thanks, Lady Jayne. I'm a little confused. On the first line it says the child was named José Arcadio, but your last question calls him something else.

Yes, the twins sleeping with the same woman without her knowledge did remind me of Lizzie and it's not the first thing in this book that has reminded me of the Outlander series.

One more thing. Could you please fix the author's name on the top of the post? I think it was wrong on the previous chapter too. The order of the names is wrong.

I'll need to re-read and return.


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:19 pm 
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Thanks for a great summary of a very confusing chapter, Lady Jayne. :bow: :bow:

I finally recognised a pattern in these chapters. They all start with an event in the future remembered even further in the future. "When X happened, so-and-so (usually an Aureliano or a Jose Arcadio) thought / remembered Y." Then we go back and learn about events leading up to Y.

It is interesting that Ursula thinks there is a specific character linked to each of the names Aureliano and Jose Arcadio.

Lady Jayne wrote:
When Úrsula learns JAS is a cockfight man and her other great grandson plays the accordion at his concubine’s parties, she declares that no one again will be called Aureliano or José Arcadio.

If she had decided this a few chapters ago and let us have some Toms, Richards and Harrys, we would have been much less confused! :lol:

I liked the description of the twins mixing themselves up so much that they might have even swapped their characters. I felt sorry for the wife of AS, if he continued to live with his mistress after the wedding.

The start of the chapter mentions AS's first son, but the family tree does not show any more, so I wonder if there are more, or if he just thinks of this baby as being the first son of many?

At long last we have some ages - Ursula is nearly one hundred. If her sight is failing, I am not sure she is the best person to bring up a child, although she certainly seems to be the sanest in this community.

I won't even comment on the scene with the beasts in the field - yuk!

This chapter had my head going round in circles looking for a main theme. I still have not found it.


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:49 pm 
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All fixed Demetria :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:36 pm 
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Thanks for fixing the Author's name. Now, about Ursula's great great grandson's name, it's right there on the first paragraph you wrote, Lady Jayne: "Aureliano Segundo names his son with Fernanda del Carpio "José Arcadio."


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:53 pm 
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I agree that it would have been nice for Ursula to ban more of the same family names before now. I got hopelessly confused in the middle of this chapter about which of the twins did which thing. I suppose since they got confused about identities, we were supposed to also and I definitely did so I guess that's to be expected. ;)

I fixed the author's name in some previous chapters too. I realized it was wrong in the ones I summarized and I knew I'd copied some of the intro stuff from someone else's chapter so I fixed that too. Hopefully it's right in most of the chapters now.

In some ways, I liked this chapter more than some of the recent ones because I was glad to be done with the war. It seemed at moments like Macondo was getting back to it's old self with a bit more magic (Melquiades appearing, the animals proliferating) and more of a positive atmosphere, but then there was the fighting at the end of the chapter that kind of ruined that feeling.

Yes, the two brothers sleeping with the same woman was reminiscent of the Beardsleys and actually reminded me of Pilar giving birth to sons of both of JAB's sons - so she slept with both brothers, though not at the same time (which is different).

As Ursula hits 100, I was thinking that there might be something to her having 100 years of solitude (since solitude has been mentioned with respect to her in some previous chapters) even though she's really surrounded by lots of people (and possibly the only sane one among them). I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I've been thinking about it a bit.

Oh, and no, I wasn't surprised that Melquiades reappeared because I assumed earlier when he supposedly died, that he would appear again, so when it happened, I just thought - Oh! I was waiting for that. :bigsmile: It wasn't something I was consciously thinking would happen in this chapter (or any particular chapter), but something that I figured would occur at some point so no surprise when it did.


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Thanks for the great summary Lady Jayne. Quirky seems an understatement with this book. Confusing we already know.

I agree that two brothers sleeping with the same woman is reminiscent of The Beardsleys.

audiobooklover wrote:
As Ursula hits 100, I was thinking that there might be something to her having 100 years of solitude (since solitude has been mentioned with respect to her in some previous chapters) even though she's really surrounded by lots of people (and possibly the only sane one among them). I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I've been thinking about it a bit.
I thought about this too, but just in general, as to whom is GGM referring? Is it Úrsula? It would seem so, but then Colonel Aureliano is also alone making his golden fish. Is it a theme which applies to all of us?

I found a few things disturbing in this chapter, but mostly the boy watching the execution and the fear that the shot man was being buried alive. I'm not sure why Úrsula used poor judgment and allowed that. I guess she couldn't really control what the menfolk in the Buendia family do.

It was irritating that Fernanda del Carpio allowed Aureliano Segundo to continue with Pilar Cotes. And Pilar Ternera appears again allowing her great grandson carte blanche just so she can have him in the house.

The proliferation was a magical realism, but I almost got them impression the it was due to whichever Segundo boy JAS was because of his bestiality.

The two boys confusing themselves that it was questionable whether they knew which was which, until, I'm thinking, their personalities distinguished each one, was amusing. I'm wondering how the author kept track of everyone, maybe these twins are a way of telling the reader that his proliferation of the Buendias bearing the same name is confusing and that he himself got confused. Funny.
The raffles were funny too, as was the accordion playing and how Úrsula couldn't stand it.

I'm not sure why the rabbits were blue--Were they dead, then?

The Saint Joseph statue with the coins was funny. And that Úrsula was worshipping a statue full of money.

Melquiades' appearance didn't surprise me either, not after he'd already appeared and we also had Prudencio Agular appearing so it was to be expected. Is it loneliness that makes the ghosts appear?

Anyway, I thought this was a tough chapter and you did a fine job with it LJ. Thank you. :bow:

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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:12 pm 
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This chapter is worse at going around and around than some others. Like DLT, I also noted the pattern of being told what's going to happen and then looking back at the event. This time, and maybe not for the first time, we have multiple circles like that, and some are within others. I noticed we have a big circle with Aureliano and a smaller circle with Remedios the Beauty within it. Aureliano's quotable quote here is "Waiting for my funeral procession to pass." The procession that passes causes other people's funerals, not his, but it reminds us of his unreliable premonitions. He is now an old man who is bent over and has lost much of his eyesight making those intricate little gold fish out of the coins that he charges for them. Another circle there. He has left politics behind. It's politics and war that he's trying to get away from by concentrating on this task. He doesn't even want to hear the fantastic alternative news ;) provided to him by his business associate. He's harmless, and so is Remedios the Beauty who Aureliano is the only one to consider to possess "some penetrating lucidity" that "permitted her to see the reality of things beyond formalism." Neither one of the two saw the massacre coming, even though they were the ones who inadvertently brought it on. How? The Conservatives still hate CAB and when they hear that a Buendía will be the Carnaval queen they choose a queen of their own and send armed soldiers dressed as regular people having fun with the festivities. R the B also causes other deaths and suffering but unrelated to CAB. There is, though, one good thing coming out of the bloody carnival (the Red Carnival?), and that's that Aureliano Segundo meets his future wife, Fernanda del Carpio because of it. She's also painted as being very beautiful but not very bright. She doesn't know about the ambush, and we know that she allows her husband to keep a concubine. About her name, I don't know what meaning it could have. I'm curious now.


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:24 pm 
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ND and ABL, about Ursula turning 100 I related it to Melquiades telling Aureliano Segundo that only a centenarian would be able to read his texts. I guess we'll be told what the manuscripts are all about soon.


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Lady Jayne that really was a good summary and it was clear too.

It's true that first line about Aureliano Segundo reminds us exactly of the first line about CAB, his great uncle. In other respects this chapter about Arcadio's three children is very reminiscent of the earlier one about Aureliano, José Arcadio and Amaranta when they were younger. In other words it's as though this generation is reliving the experiences of that one. In that sense I think that Petra Cotes is more like Pilar Ternera than like Lizzy and the Beardsley twins - although the comparaison is there too. I sometimes wonder if DG didn't have some influences from GGM.

Only there's that mixed up mirror image feeling you get where you see José Arcadio Segundo behaving like Aureliano and Aureliano Segundo behaving like José Arcadio. I agree, it's as though the twins switched places so much that they got somehow scrambled up. One thing I don't understand is how they were so identical when they were young but they seem to have become very different when they grew up. It says that José Arcadio Segundo grew up bony like his uncle CAB and Aureliano Segundo grew up to be huge like his grandfather José Arcadio.

I was so not surprised to see Melquiades again. It was almost as though he had never died. But in fact it was a "hereditary memory" of him. I love that idea. That and the ability to have conversations with ghosts. Somehow I was always expecting to hear from him again. I think you're right there is something significant about Ursula reaching 100. That and the fact that in many ways she is the sanest member of the family.

I don't know if there is any symbolism about Fernanda and Petra Cotes. I looked them up and didn't see anything. Petra is a female version of Peter. She seems to have something to do with the mysterious multiplication of the animals. I really didn't get the connection of that at all. Was it maybe that she had some kind of contagious sexuality that affected the animals too?

Along those lines, how funny that it was a statue of Saint Joseph - ie. Saint José - who had all that money. This isn't the first time that Ursula mysteriously has a treasure chest of coins. So that's another thing that reminds us of the beginning of the book. Maybe we're somehow beginning a new cycle?

Did anyone think that maybe Remedios the Beauty was autistic?

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Donne-moi mille baisers, et puis cent, et puis mille autres, puis une seconde fois cent, puis encore mille autres, puis cent.


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:25 am 
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Thank you for the great comments, everyone.

I hadn't thought of Remedios the Beauty as being autistic, but that is quite possible.

Regarding the significance of the names of the two new female characters in this chapter, the word "petra" means rock or solid, which would imply Petra Cotes has a strong personality.

Ferdinanda's surname, "carpio" is the past tense, third person singular of the verb carpir (Spanish/Latin American), which means to weed or to hoe, so perhaps this implies she is there to remove the excess and to cultivate new life, thus the birth of her son, Jose Arcadio.

Naomi, it is ironic that Ursula was praying to the statue of St. Jose, which was full of gold coins. St. Joseph is said to have died in the "arms of Jesus and Mary" according to Catholic tradition, and is considered to have received grace at the moment of death. He is the patron of a happy death. Also ironic is that Colonel Aureliano Buendia is waiting for his death, this moment of grace.

The cycle of life is indeed repeating from one generation to another, with some of the characters living through the same challenges of their namesakes.

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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:46 am 
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This is what I found about the Carpio name in Ancestry.com:
"Carpio Family History. Spanish: habitational name from Carpio in Valladolid province or any of various places in southern Spain named with this word (a regional term meaning 'hill'), as for example Carpio-Bernardo or El Carpio. Italian (Naples): from the personal name Carpio, a short form of Eucarpio."


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:17 pm 
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Lady Jayne said: "At the age of 100, Úrsula takes on the upbringing of her great, great grandson, Jose Arcadio (the Third), named after his uncle and great grandfather. Is her dream of having this child become a priest and later on the Pope impossible or a foreshadowing of future events?"

He would be the Fifth if we are to count all the José Arcadios. True that he's the son of an Aureliano, but he's the grandson of a José Arcadio who we called Arcadio, great-grandson of José Arcadio and Great-great-grandson of José Arcadio Buendia. That's four, plus his uncle José Arcadio Segundo makes five.

About Úrsula being able to raise him to become the pope, I won't say anything is imposible in this book :) Úrsula was happy his uncle José Arcadio Segundo was spending time in the church because she wanted him to become a priest. That didn't go very well. It was the priest himself who introduced him to cockfighting. But she's one step ahead now. It could be, why not?


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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 am 
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A million thanks, Lady Jayne and to everyone else. 100 years is not an easy book to summarize. (I've finally caught up)

I'm pretty sure the circular motion in the main and individual stories is intended to reinforce the concept "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Macondo being virtually isolated is a microcosm of the Latin American world -- except for the war topic -- which GMM gives it global importance. Úrsula's outburst: "I know this by heart. It's like time has circled back and we've returned to the beginning." Supports that notion. (BTW, I'm reading Spanish, I apologize if the quote is a little different)

Lady Jayne wrote:
At the age of 100, Úrsula takes on the upbringing of her great, great grandson, Jose Arcadio (the Third), named after his uncle and great grandfather. Is her dream of having this child become a priest and later on the Pope impossible or a foreshadowing of future events?


Úrsula is the only sensible character in the book (my opinion). Yet futility and irony surround her. Like her outburst against silver and her prayers to return to the beginning when the family was poor and simple. Meanwhile, she's been praying to a statue of St. Joseph full of gold coins. :lol:

I'm not so sure she dreams of having a priest in the family, rather it's a desire to bring God into the home and stop all the activities-- cockfight, absurd projects, war, women of ill repute, incest, and four other calamities -- which have resulted in the decline of her lineage. The Buendias have not followed protocol, the long-standing tradition of "one child goes to the church".
Up to recent years, Latin families assigned their children specific duties or roles. Out of a brood of several, one is always designated to be priest or nun, a contribution to the church and to ensure God favors the family. For duties and such, read Like Water for Chocolate.

Speaking of LWfC, this chapter reminded me of that book. The insane proliferation of animals each time a bottle of champagne was popped. :lol:

Melquiades's words should be taken as a warning or a foreshadow. In order to understand the manuscripts, the reader must be 100 years-old. If not...

According to the authorial voice, Remedios la bella is not autistic or slow. She's a creature from another world, innocent, pure, and above all conventions, (although eerily pragmatic). CAB sees in her the same affliction soldiers suffer after a long war, PTSD, to us.

One more thought. Úrsula is worried about her lineage. When did her line begin, when she and JAB were born or with the birth of Jose Arcadio II?

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 Post subject: Re: CLASSIC READ: 100 Years of Solitude - Ch. 10
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:05 am 
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It's great to have you join us Anam-Charaid! :) Thank you for your insights into this challenging novel. I would gather Ursula's lineage begins with the first of her offspring with JAB, who would be Jose Arcadio II. (I can't keep track of all of the subsequent JAs.)

Great point about none of the Buendia offspring having chosen a religious life as a priest or nun, as would have been expected. This is a mega unconventional family, which keeps getting stranger and stranger, and we are only half-way through the book.

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