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Qwiz5 Quizbowl Essentials: 100 Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a work of magical realism written by Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. The novel tells the story of seven generations of the Buendia family and their life in the town of Macondo.

A picture of Macondo, the town at the center of "One Hundred Years of Solitude". Part of the Qwiz5 series by Qwiz Quizbowl Camp, written to help quiz bowl teams power more tossups!

By analyzing questions, you can see patterns emerge - patterns that will help you answer more tossups. Qwiz5 is all about those patterns. In each installment of Qwiz5, we take an answer line and look at its five most common clues. Here we explore five clues that will help you answer a tossup on "One Hundred Years of Solitude"


Jose Arcadio is the patriarch of the Buendia family and the founder of the town of Macondo. He is married to Ursula Iguaran (who lives for more than a hundred years) and spends his final years chained to a chestnut tree in the throes of madness.


Col. Aureliano Buendia fathers seventeen children by seventeen different women, but all are born with an Ash Wednesday cross permanently on their foreheads, allowing them to be hunted by mysterious assassins. After all his children are killed he spends his final days in a workshop crafting tiny goldfish out of gold.


In one scene in the novel, there is a massacre of 3,000 workers who are striking at a banana plantation outside of Macondo.


Melquiades the Gypsy visits Macondo many times throughout the novel. He cures an insomnia plague and introduces ice to the town (a story that is remembered by one character many years later as he faces a firing squad). His biggest contribution, though is by writing a prophesy in Sanskrit about the Buendia family.


At the end of the novel, the only child of the seventh generation of Buendias is devoured by ants, fulfilling a prophecy made a century earlier by Melquíades the Gypsy. The child was born with a pig’s tail, the result of being conceived by incest.


Quizbowl is about learning, not rote memorization, so we encourage you to use this as a springboard for further reading rather than as an endpoint. Here are a few things to check out:

* Vanity Fair published a really interesting article detailing the story behind the writing of One Hundred Years of Solitude.

* In this article, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the novel’s release, The Atlantic posits why One Hundred Years of Solitude has been so successful.

* Check out the One Hundred Years of Solitude episode of the “Overdue” podcast.

* In this video, TedEd makes a case of why you should read One Hundred Years of Solitude.


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