It's no coincidence that Gabriel García Márquez uses the words solitude or solitary on nearly every page in One Hundred Years of Solitude. But if the novel seems to focus on the generational span of a family and the community it came to create, then why is the notion of solitude—which seems to contradict the ideas of family and community—such an important and ongoing theme?

The popular saying, "History is written by the winners," remains a sad reality for almost everyone in the world who hasn't been in a position of political power. Being forced into the margins imposes an uncomfortable and collective psychic identity upon entire groups of disenfranchised people.

García Márquez wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude precisely because he respected this identity enough to want to capture its voice in literature. After all, who else would tell their story? This is a book that is viewed by many as the crowning achievement for the voice of the marginalized.

How did Gabo embody this voice—and why was telling the tale of solitude so important to him?


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