Sexual Solitude Essay

1532 words - 7 pages

Sexual Solitude

Among other themes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez explores the potential solitude of sexuality in his novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Each of Marquez’s characters, mainly members of the Buendia family, has a similar manner of expressing his or her sexuality, which is often entwined with abuse and incest. Much of the characters’ sexuality and lack of interpersonal love arises from, and contributes to family and individual solitude, the lack of interpersonal connectedness, and individual aloneness. Sexual exploitation displays itself through sexual repression, unrestrained sexual expression as well as more apparent forms of abuse. The family’s sexuality leads to ...view middle of the document...

Her reduction of the act of sex to a set of rules, permitting sex on only forty two days of the year, prevent her from ever connecting to her husband, Aureliano Segundo Buendia, who as a result continues to seek sexual fulfillment elsewhere. She further imposes this sexual repression and resultantly solitude onto her daughter, by indirectly causing harm to her daughter’s lover. Both the girl’s lover, and the girl, who Fernanda unremorsefully ships off to a convent, “died of old age in solitude” (Marquez 291). Fernanda’s need for constant control over others’ sexual expression prevents her from making any interpersonal connections.
Personal promiscuity proceeds to emptiness through a different route; it too produces solitude among the Buendia family. Colonel Aureliano Buendia, the second son, initially has the desire to love a woman, forced to have sex with seventy men per night for ten more years by her heartless grandmother. Later, however, while fighting many civil wars, he completely separates the act of sex from the interpersonal emotional encounter which it is, allowing women to come and go from his room not even knowing their faces. His separation from love is so evident, that even his barely post-pubescent wife’s death does not “produce despair” in him but instead merely a “dull feeling” (Marquez 94). Colonel Aureliano Buendia is indifferent to the many women he slept with, and thus is left in an emotional void, just like many other men and women who search for their complete fulfillment from sex (Young, and Katz par 9). The Macondo prostitute, Pilar Ternera, and surrogate mother to two of the Buendia third generation, is raped as a young teen and then waits in vain for the perpetrator, whom she believes to be a genuine lover. When the realization comes that this rapist will never return to her, she seeks love from Jose Arcadio, but when pregnant, he simply leaves with a gypsy girl, another sexual object, never to return to her either. With his departure, he causes himself and Pilar Ternera personal emptiness. Each try to fill their own solitude with sex with multiple partners; Jose Arcadio “[making] his living” (Marquez 90) as a sexual raffle prize to the whores in brothels and Pilar Ternera as the Macondo prostitute.
Not only does Pilar Ternera prostitute her body to many men, but she also runs a brothel, allowing other young girls to enter into her world of sexual abuse. When her son, Arcadio, attempts to rape her, she escapes her “miserable fate” by paying a virgin to sleep with him, leading to this virgin’s life of solitude among the Buendia family. Not only is Pilar Ternera a prostitute as a result of childhood sexual abuse, a victim, but also becomes a perpetrator of that abuse, demonstrating that she assimilated the values of the system.
Amaranta, the first daughter in the Buendia family, abuses all the men in her life, leading them on and then rejecting them after they proclaim...

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