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Free Study Guide-100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez-Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 16

Summary

A plague of rain begins; it rains for four years, eleven months and two days. Úrsula decides that she will die when it stops raining.

Aureliano Segundo goes to Petra’s and realizes that she is old. She sends him away. Walking back to the house, he thinks that all of Macondo is waiting for the end of the rain to die, not only Úrsula. Also while it is raining, Aureliano Segundo begins searching desperately for the gold that Úrsula has hidden in or around the house, but cannot find it. Pilar tells him that it is on the property, tells him how much is there, and tells him that it will not be found for three years after the end of the rains.

During the rains, Amaranta Úrsula and Aureliano play together in the puddles. They also carry around Úrsula and play with her like a doll. Once it stops raining, it does not rain again for ten years. The town is in ruins


Notes

Rain, the fourth plague, arrives (the previous three have been insomnia, forgetfulness, and rain of yellow flowers). This adds to the Biblical qualities of the novel and heighten its magnitude. The fact that it rains for nearly five years makes the Biblical deluge pale in comparison. The fact that Úrsula and others feel that they will die when it stops raining supports the mythic nature of this rain; the people know that it means something and assume that it is the sign of their impending death.

The fact that Aureliano Segundo searches frantically for the hidden gold is symbolic of the tough times that have befallen him. In the past he was immensely wealthy, but now, things have changed. The town is in ruins and he is broke.

Úrsula is the sign of regression. Where once she had been the powerful matriarch, now she is the doll of two small children. She shrinks beyond belief, but we have realized long ago that reality as we know it is suspended in this novel. The children who play with her, Amaranta Úrsula and Aureliano, will become lovers who create the cursed Buendía. Thus, their "doll" is the one who has been the prophet of the curse, but she no longer is listened to; she is a toy and the power has been transferred to Fernanda, who will not even tell the children that they are really related.

After the rain is an even longer drought. Macondo eschews moderation.

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