1. On page 90, we discover that Father Nicanor Reyna, who has come to Macondo to officiate Aureliano's wedding, can levitate when he eats chocolate. What do you think this episode might represent in the broader context of the novel? How is it written to seem real? How is it written to seem fantastic?

2. Why do you think Rebeca repeatedly postpones her wedding after the death of Remedios? What does she gain—if anything—from the community by remaining single? What do you make of her choices?

3. Discuss the political events that take place from pages 103–111. What do you make of the "mad operation," undertaken by table knives and tools, commanded by Aureliano as the chapter ends? What do we learn about war in Macondo or war in general? What does it reveal about Aureliano's character?

4. Discuss the episode of Arcadio's death. What do you make of his calmness at the end and his final pronouncement?

5. What do you think about the fact that Colonel Aureliano Buendía escapes the firing squad and seems to have "nine lives?" How is the plight of Aureliano portrayed convincingly throughout this section of the book?

6. Talk about Úrsula. In the first section of our reading, you learn of her strength and cunning. How does that continue to show itself throughout the book? In what ways is Úrsula innovative? If she is the natural Matriarch of the family, what decisions does she make that you agree with? Does she make any that you disagree with or are confused by?

7. During this section, what do you learn about the Liberal Party? What is its importance in the community of Macondo?

8. Why does Amaranta never marry? Especially, why does she reject Pietro Crespi after she has yearned for him for years? Is there any religious meaning to her virginity?

9. Discuss the complicated, fecund and very unusual sexual patterns of the Buendía clan. Do you find them to be different from the sexual mores of the United States in the 21st century? If so, how?

10. Talk about the role of Colonel Gerineldo Márquez. Why do you think the author gives this man his namesake and not the rest of the Buendía family? What is his place in the structure of the novel?

For a deeper understanding, read the chapter explanation!


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