Create a 4 page essay paper that discusses Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
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Unabashedly anti-capitalist, particularly in the climax of the story wherein striking workers at a banana plantation were systematically killed by a fascist and capitalist government that afterwards censored all news of the incident, Marquez nonetheless manages to deliver the message with restraint and sans any ideological fulminations. This, however, does not dilute the impact of the message, and anyone who has read the novel, will probably have the image of the butchered banana workers in his or her head forever. It is instructive to revisit his treatment of war and revolution and analyze how much of his commentary still find resonance in this day and age, particularly in light of the fact that a “leftward” drift is apparent in Latin America’s southern hemisphere since the start of the decade.
This paper will discuss the treatment of war and revolution by Marquez on two levels: first, war and revolution as product of class relations – i.e., the adoption of a pronouncedly Marxist framework. and second, war and revolution as product of human frailty and generational sins. The question implicitly posed by Marquez is likewise importance: are all things indeed cyclical Are revolutions inevitable for as long as there is dissent and want and greed
The worker plays a very important role in Marquez’ novel. Jose Arcadio Segundo, who was once the foreman of the banana plantation, gave up his job to organize the workers. Because of his dogged advocacy, he was able to generate public attention towards the inhuman working conditions in the plantation. The workers went on strike and Macondo is placed under a state of martial law. The notion of “strike” – “workers of the world, unite!” – is undeniably Marxist. That Marquez uses this image points to and reflects his ideological leanings. That the town of Macondo is placed under Martial Law is likewise instructive. There are very few state-sponsored mechanisms that represent oppression and tyranny more than the declaration of Martial Law. Democratic rights and civilian rule are momentarily suspended. In many instances, the declaration of Martial Law has been used as a handy excuse and tidy justification for wantonly violating the rights of citizens suppressing their civil liberties.
Using deception in its most evil and depraved form, the government calls the striking workers, ostensibly to dialogue. What follows is carnage of the most horrific kind. The army rounds up the people and executes them by gunshot. Jose Arcadio Segundo is left for dead and brought to a train full of corpses. He manages to jump off but when he gets back to his beloved town, he realizes to his consternation that the government has managed to erase all recorded history of the incident. The rain, never stopping for five years, is his only reminder of the incident. Everyone else has forgotten and the workers who have died will never get their justice. It is more convenient, it would, seem to forget. Even the courts have been coopted. They support the theory og the government that unionizing among the workers is prohibited, even going so far as to deny that there are workers in the plantation.
The problem, Gabriel Garcia Marquez seems to be telling us, is that of class. The problem is that of hegemony.