García Márquez’s characters in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude‘ are often depicted with similar names to their parents, with few distinguishing features such as appending roman numerals to the names of succeeding generations. The characters repeat the mistakes of their forebears and bask in the glory of their ancestors as well.
José Arcadio Buendía
José is the patriarch of the Buendía family and the founder of the town of Macondo. He is drawn to the esoteric and mystics which leads him down the path of insanity. His quest to decipher the mystery of Melquíades writings and gifts, eventually led to his madness. He is consequently chained to a tree outside the Buendía house, where he lives out the remainder of his life.
Úrsula is the matriarch of the Buendía family and wife of José Arcadio Buendía. She is the longest living member of the family, reaching the age of 120 years. She is the voice of reason and vitality in the Buendía family. She is also the mother of Jose Arcadio, Colonel Aureliano Buendía, and Amaranta.
She is the daughter of José Arcadio Buendía and Úrsula Iguarán. She is depicted as an embittered and jealous woman. She believed Rebeca stole Pietro Crespi from her. When Pietro Crespi finally falls in love with her, she toys with him and rejects him. This led to Pietro Crespi’s suicide. Amaranta dies a lonely virgin.
Colonel Aureliano Buendía
He is the second son of José Arcadio Buendía and Úrsula Iguarán. He was hardened by the war between the Conservative government and the Liberal rebels. He fought for the Liberal army and rose to the ranks of Colonel. After many battles, he retires to his workshop alone and enigmatic. He slowly loses his memory as well as his ability to feel emotions. He is the father of seventeen sons — from seventeen women — all named Aureliano.
She is the child-bride of Colonel Aureliano Buendía. She died mysteriously.
He is the first son of José Arcadio Buendía and Úrsula Iguarán. He runs off with a gypsy girl and returns to Macondo, a savage brute. He marries Rebeca, an adoptee of the Buendía family.
She is a mysterious girl who appeared at the doorstep of the Buendía family. She has a habit of eating earth and mash. She marries José Arcadio but soon after, withdraws from society following José Arcadio’s death.
He is the son of Aureliano Buendía and Pilar Ternara. He falls in love with his aunt Amaranta, but she rejects him. He later joins the Liberal army but is killed by the Conservatives.
He is the son of Aureliano Buendía and is seemingly a mild-mannered fellow but soon turns into a brutal dictator when Aureliano Buendía leaves him in charge of Macondo. Arcadio marries Santa Sofía de la Piedad and is the father of Remedios the Beauty, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo.
Santa Sofía de la Piedad
She is a quiet and meek woman who seems almost invisible in One Hundred Years of Solitude. She is the wife of Arcadio and the mother of Remedios the Beauty, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. She lives long and mysteriously walks out of the Buendía family, never to be seen again.
Remedios the Beauty
She is the most beautiful woman in the fictional world of One Hundred Years of Solitude. She is unaware of her charm over men, which drove them to their demise. She is the daughter of Arcadio and Santa Sofía de la Piedad. She mysteriously floats to heaven one day.
José Arcadio Segundo
He is the son of Arcadio and Santa Sofía de la Piedad. He is a cockfighter, and a drifter and led the strike against the banana company during the capitalist boom in Macondo. He is the lone survivor of the strikers and is distraught that nobody recalls the massacre. He retreats to deciphering the works of Melquíades the gypsy.
He is the son of Arcadio and Santa Sofía de la Piedad. He is boisterous, extroverted and a hedonist. He has a mistress by the name of Petra Cotes and is married to Fernanda del Carpio. He has three children with her; Meme, José Arcadio (II), and Amaranta Úrsula.
Fernanda del Carpio
She is from a family of poor aristocrats. She is deeply religious and tries to impose her standards on the Buendía family. She is the wife of Aureliano Segundo and the mother of Meme, José Arcadio (II), and Amaranta Úrsula.
The first child of Aureliano Segundo and Fernanda del Carpio. He is proclaimed to become Pope by Úrsula Iguarán. He eventually turns out to be a hedonist and ends up getting murdered by the townspeople.
She schools in Europe and returns to Macondo with her husband, Gaston. She is the daughter of Aureliano Segundo and Fernanda del Carpio. She ultimately falls in love with her nephew Aureliano (II), and they have a child together. As predicted by Úrsula Iguarán, the child — being a product of incest — is born with a pigtail and represents the last of the Buendía bloodline.
He is the husband of Amaranta Úrsula. He is a European who feels unease in the desolate town of Macondo. He travels to Belgium and never returns on hearing about the relationship between his wife and her nephew.
Her real name is Renata Remedios. She is the daughter of Aureliano Segundo and Fernanda del Carpio. She is a hedonist and has an affair with Mauricio Babilonia, much to the chagrin of her mother. Meme is eventually sent to a convent where she births Aureliano (II).
The last of the Buendía family. He is the child of Meme and Mauricio Babilonia. Because of the illegitimacy of his birth, his grandmother — Fernanda del Carpio — hides him in the workshop of the Buendía compound. He grows up to develop an interest in knowledge and mystics. He finally deciphers the prophecies of Melquíades.
Non-members of the Buendía family
He is the gypsy who brings technological marvels to Macondo. He is the first person to die in Macondo, and his works become a source of mystery among the Buendía family, who try to decipher his writings. In the end, his prophecies foretell the entire history of Macondo.
She is a prostitute. She births Arcadio for José Arcadio and births Aureliano José for Colonel Aureliano Buendía.
She is Aureliano Segundo’s mistress. Their lovemaking causes an abundance of livestock, and thus, makes them very rich.
He is the lover of Meme (Renata Remedios). He is shot by a guard when he tries to sneak into Meme’s house, causing him to be permanently paralyzed. He is the father of Aureliano (II).
He is an Italian musician who is the object of affection of both Rebeca and Amaranta. Rebeca, however, married José Arcadio, while Amaranta rejects him. He commits suicide thereafter.
Colonel Gerineldo Márquez
He is a colleague and fellow Colonel of Colonel Aureliano Buendía. He falls in love with Amaranta.
Don Apolinar Moscote
He is the father of Remedios Moscote. He is a Conservative who helps rig the election for his party.
Who is the protagonist of One Hundred Years of Solitude?
While there are several characters in this book, the character that stands out the most is Úrsula Iguarán. She is the longest-living member of the Buendía family and the glue that holds everyone together. She caters to her great-grandchildren and tries her best to keep the family lively.
What character most embodies the theme of One Hundred Years of Solitude?
Aureliano (II). He is the perfect example of One Hundred Years of Solitude, as he lived in solitary for the majority of his life. He was hidden by his grandmother, Fernanda del Carpio, because she was ashamed he was born outside of wedlock. He grows up to be a scholar and decodes the prophecy of Melquíades.
Who is the most consequential character in One Hundred Years of Solitude?
It is José Arcadio Buendía. He is the patriarch and the founder of the Buendía family. If he did not procreate with Úrsula Iguarán, the troubles of the Buendía family would not have existed. Also, the shift from the mystics to the scientific charms of modernity ultimately drove him insane.
Who is the strangest character in One Hundred Years of Solitude?
Rebeca. She mysteriously appeared on the doorstep of the Buendía family. She eats earth and mash. She also infected the town with amnesia.