One Hundred Years of Solitude

by

Gabriel García Márquez

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Names Symbol Icon

Gabriel Garcia Márquez shows the way that history is destined to repeat itself over and over by using only a few names to represent seven generations of the Buendía family. Úrsula, the matriarch of the family, notes that the men named “Aureliano” are solitary and studious, usually gifted with some sort of psychic ability. On the other hand, the men named “José Arcadio” tend to be very strong, but marked with a tragic fate. The pattern is so recognizable that when the twin brothers Aureliano Segundo and José Arcadio Segundo grow up following the paths of the opposite names, Úrsula believes that they might have swapped places in their youth. The female characters of the book also repeat their names, recycling Úrsula, Amaranta and Remedios in various combinations and forms. All of the names identify the characters’ personalities and determine the ways they are destined to live their lives, a fate that proves inescapable throughout. Though primarily women try to break the cycle of naming, the male characters of the family continue the family lines of naming, insisting on paying tribute to their ancestors, while also dooming the newborns to the same fate they suffered.

Names Quotes in One Hundred Years of Solitude

The One Hundred Years of Solitude quotes below all refer to the symbol of Names. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude published in 1970.
Chapter 10  Quotes

From then on he was never sure who was who. Even when they grew up and life made them different, Úrsula still wondered if they themselves might not have made a mistake in some moment of their intricate game of confusion and had become changed forever.

Related Symbols: Names
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:
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Names Symbol Timeline in One Hundred Years of Solitude

The timeline below shows where the symbol Names appears in One Hundred Years of Solitude. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6 
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Propriety, Sexuality, and Incest Theme Icon
...enemies, who he realizes he truly loved. His last wish is for his wife to name the unnamed eight-month-old Úrsula and that if the unborn child is a boy to name... (full context)
Chapter 8 
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Progress and Civilization Theme Icon
...and José Arcadio Segundo are among the first students. The young Remedios is given the name Remedios the Beauty. Úrsula fails to grow old, growing her business and restocking her savings... (full context)
Chapter 10 
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Solitude Theme Icon
Magic vs. Reality Theme Icon
...his deathbed, Aureliano Segundo remembers the afternoon he meets his son for the first time, naming him José Arcadio (II). His wife, Fernanda Del Carpio agrees with the name. Úrsula believes... (full context)
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Solitude Theme Icon
Propriety, Sexuality, and Incest Theme Icon
Magic vs. Reality Theme Icon
The woman’s name is Petra Cotes, a mixed-race widow. Úrsula bristles at the way the twins seem to... (full context)
Chapter 13 
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Solitude Theme Icon
...Úrsula remains convinced that he and his brother swapped identities at some point, as the name Aureliano would fit him better. It is revealed that he has no home, staying sometimes... (full context)
Chapter 14 
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Solitude Theme Icon
Progress and Civilization Theme Icon
Propriety, Sexuality, and Incest Theme Icon
...is still being mourned. Fernanda and Aureliano Segundo have given birth to a new daughter named Amaranta Úrsula. Meme receives her diploma as a clavichordist, and her dedicated skill in this... (full context)
Chapter 15 
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Solitude Theme Icon
Progress and Civilization Theme Icon
Propriety, Sexuality, and Incest Theme Icon
Magic vs. Reality Theme Icon
...her tumor, but a nun appears with a basket containing Meme’s son, baptized with the name Aureliano. Fernanda plans to drown the child in a cistern, but, in the end, she... (full context)
Chapter 20
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Solitude Theme Icon
Progress and Civilization Theme Icon
Propriety, Sexuality, and Incest Theme Icon
Magic vs. Reality Theme Icon
...he can find no record to indicate this. The priest tells him he is likely named after a street in town. When Aureliano confronts the priest about his skepticism regarding the... (full context)
The Circularity of Time Theme Icon
Solitude Theme Icon
Propriety, Sexuality, and Incest Theme Icon
Magic vs. Reality Theme Icon
...Sunday, Amaranta Úrsula goes into labor. When their son is born, Amaranta Úrsula wants to name him Rodrigo, but Aureliano says they will name him Aureliano. When the midwife cleans off... (full context)