The Campaigner

The Campaigner


Marquez actually provides the answer himself when he departure (Marquez' symbology), leaving the town

says that Aureliano "had not stopped loving his family utterly destroyed beyond the hope of reconstruction.

because he was hardened by the war...he had never loved Macondo was raped by the Americans, as all Latin

anyone...he had not fought so many wars because of America has been raped by the primitive capital acidealism...but

because of the same motive, pure and cumulation practiced on the continent. What Marquez

sinful pride...He was simply a man incapable of loving." expresses in this episode is no less than the total im-

Aureliano goes to war to bridge the impasse of his potence of the Latin American population (Macondo)

alienation, to acquire a sense of identity in the world by when faced by the superior technology and competence

attempting to mold reality. He is unsuccessful because of the North.

he cannot see reality as such; he cannot think. The workers' strike, like Aureliano's wars, is no more

His wars can be no more than an existential act; the chan an eruption of outrage at the brutal practices with

brutalized hope that action by itself can establish which they are being afflicted. Against these outrages

communication with the world; his alienated internal self they can only protest, magically hoping that protest in

cannot feel and therefore cannot understand. He cannot itself can correct the situation, lacking any indication

conceptualize clearly the aim of his actions and their end whatever of positive measures in the face of the

result is correspondingly out of his control. Hence, it is _,merican menace. The destruction of Macondo after the

inevitable that the government he helps to establish is American departure makes clear the nature of their

indistinguishable from the one it had defeated, relation to the native population. The strike of the

workers is exactly analogous to the tantrum of an infant

When Marquez speaks of Aureliano's incapacity to

love, he is addressing the same internal psychological who feels himself incapable of correcting a situation and

hence can do no more than cry for Mommy to do it for

problem. The alienated man cannot love for the same

reasons that he is barred from directly grasping reality, him. If Mommy then responds unexpectedly by leaving,

The inner self is locked inside the mind and can only the weak infant is left to fend for himself and eventually

reach outward as it is mediated through the services of die-- as Macondo begins to die. The strikers place

the persona. Thus, it cannot touch or be touched by the themselves passively at the mercy of events and reality

inner self of another human being, victimizes them.

The genesis of this problem we have already seen in It is interesting to note Marquez' reaction to this

studying the prototype of the Latin American woman as episode. Behind the wit there lies a total acceptance of

exemplified by Ursula, Amaranta, and the others, the situation. More than acceptance, the Americans are

a positively welcome instrument in effecting the erosion

The home, under the auspices of brutalized women,

with their insulation from the world of real events (e.g.. of the outer world Marquez wants. Throughout Cien

Anos there are countless references to a fascination with

science), imposes its distorted irrational fears upon every

new generation. The females grow into wretched sadists death which permeates each and every character. This

facination is a true picture of the Latin American and

(in identification with their elders), and the males are

forever crippled by the arbitrary separation between the ultimately of Marquez himself. It is the expression of an

home and the outer world. They grow up carrying the entropic conception of the world based on the incapacity

internalized version of this separation in their of the bourgeois ego to conceive of itself as capable of a

corresponding mental dichotimization of an inner and positive relationship with, and thus growth in, the real

outer self. "The world is absurd" attitude expressed world.

throughout Cien Anos is therefore the lawful existen- Marquez' Philosophical Outlook

tialist pattern which must inevitably arise from this state

of affairs. Life can only be an impotent nightmare of In economic terms, Cien Anos is analogous to simple

total withdrawal or irrational, desperate acts. reproduction, as opposed to the Marxian conception of

A forceful example of this is the response of the entire expanded reproduction.

population of Macondo to the wholesale takeover of their Simple reproduction, however, is in real life no more

city by an American banana company, than a theoretical fiction. In order for society merely to

For the natives the American phenomenon is no more exist it must be continuously increasing its technological

than a curiosity unrelated to their lives. When finally the mastery of nature and qualitatively altering nature. But

workers do strike,, under the leadership of Jose Arcadio the mind is a determinate aspect of the social process,

the Second Buendia, the ousting of the company signals and a particular form of consciousness is as much a

the beginning of five years of torrential rain which the determinant of human development as a particular mode

Americans magically cause to fall in the wake of their of production. The two are no more than different

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