Hundred Years of Solitude closely mimics passages and parables found throughout The Bible, beginning with the city of Macondo itself. An allusion to the Garden of Eden, Macondo is a lush and vibrant world wherein citizens live very long and subject their morals to the natural law. This and other occurrences resonate parallel to stories and characters found in the Old Testament. Religion itself is regarded with skepticism, illustrated through the arrival of the Priest Father Nicanor Reyna in One Hundred Years of Solitude.
These references and characters both serve to validate the novel’s epic relevance and exemplify Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s view on the impact of organized religion on indigenous society. The novel begins with a very distinct introduction, one of “biblical” proportions. The beginning of the book of Genesis and One Hundred Years of Solitude are similar in several ways. “The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them, it was necessary to point (1).
In the Bible, Adam’s job is to name the animals, exercising his power over them referencing them into his (and mankind’s) vision of the world. In establishing Macondo, Jose Arcadio Buendia does the same thing. In this analogy, he represents the archetypal man, Adam. Also in the first chapter, there is a parable for the human quest for knowledge, as is mentioned in the book of Genesis. At the end of Chapter two, Jose Arcadio Buendia mimics Adam again.
... the Poem “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” by Adam Zagajewski, the point that the speaker is trying to ... . Additionally, an estimated 5.5 million non-Jews, including hundreds of thousands of Romani (Gypsies), Polish nationals, homosexuals, Jehovah ... Today, Inc. . 4 Nov 2008 . Zagajewski, Adam. “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” Literature, Reading, Reacting, Writing. 6th Ed ...
Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden for eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and this novel fulfills the same cautionary occurrence. Jose Arcadio Buendia’s relentless pursuit of knowledge, arguably, drives him to foolishness and insanity. In his madness, he is tied to a tree. This can easily be seen as a reference to the tree whose fruit tempted Adam and Eve to their original fall. It is not just the technological forces of modernization that cause Macondo’s Eden-like town to transform, but the arrival of organized religion in the form of priests and magistrates.
In chapter five, Father Nicanor Reyna arrives and begins to build an elaborate church. “Thinking that no land needed the seed of God so much, he decided to say on for another week to Christianize both circumcised and gentile, legalize concubinage, and give the sacraments to the dying. But no one paid attention to him. They would answer him that they had been many years without a priest, arranging the business of their souls directly with God, and that they had lost the evil of original sin. (81)” Before the priest’s arrival, shame is unknown in
Macondo—like Adam and Eve before the fall, the citizens are “subject to the natural law” sexually and worship God without a church. Father Nicanor’s arrival disturbs the untouched innocence that the town maintains. Further, Father Nicanor can decipher that Jose Arcadio Buendia does not speak jargon, as the town assumed, but perfect Latin. “Father Nicanor took advantage of the circumstance of being the only person who had been able to communicate with him to try and inject the faith into his twisted mind. 83)” It is certainly implied that Macondo was a better place, with more freedom, and spiritual integrity before organized religion came to the city. However I do not feel that One Hundred Years of Solitude is an anti-religious novel. Gabriel Garcia Marquez places great stock in miracles and in faith. However religion, like the general moral and ethical nature of the book, rests lightly on its adherents. Religion is a matter between man and God, free of intermediaries. One Hundred Years of Solitude suggests that life is best when lived with few inhibitions.
Furthermore, through echoing the book of Genesis (and also, several allusions to the book of Revelations) in One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez demonstrates his attempt to re-write history in its entirety. He consciously formats the novel this way to exemplify the history of the world and the human race, in a novel that has everything in it. Historically the imposition of organized religion onto foreign societies has such prevalence in Latin America. Marquez alludes to this influence satirically and magically, in order to capture the madness in a less ruthless way than it occurred.
... to determine her actions instead of blindly adhering to God's command, as Adam would probably have done. Milton suggests that, since ... thing, foolish because she is not as fearful of God's warning as Adam. Eve goes about her labors and is portrayed ... only to have faith in God, which supersedes all intellect, for God is the most knowledgeable being. Adam has the undying faith necessary ...