Feed on
Posts
Comments

In a novel so saturated with the fantastic, one fantastic element that stood out to me was the circumstances surrounding deaths. The two that stick out the most to me are the deaths of Melquíades and of Remedios the Beauty. The fantastic element of Melquíades’ death was not the actual death but the lasting effect it had on the household. His death was surprisingly ordinary; he was swept away by the river he was bathing in, and found “washed up on a bright bend in the river” the next day (72). His room remained the same for years, locked up until Aureliano Segundo convinced Úrsula to let him see when he was 12. The rest of the house aged and changed, but other than the “padlock whose parts had become fused together with rust” the room was, if anything, cleaner than it was when it was shut up (183). The spirit of Melquíades stayed in the room, which leads me to believe that the reason that Aureliano Segundo found the room in such good shape was because the spirit either changed how time worked in the room, or that the spirit was able to interact with the world enough to keep the room tidy. Both possibilities are intriguing ideas that, while never fully explored, leave the seed of an idea in the reader’s mind. The other most striking death is difficult to even classify as a death simply due to the fantastic circumstances surrounding it. Remedios the Beauty did not exactly die, but rather levitated until “not even the highest-flying birds of memory could reach her” (236). I took that to be an allusion to the Assumption of Mary. The Catholic influence within the novel lends itself to this connection because in Catholic belief it is ambiguous as to if Mary was already dead before her Assumption allowing for an interpretation of Mary to be alive in the way that Remedios the Beauty was. Another fantastic element was the reactions to her ascension. The only individual reaction we know of was the reaction of Fernanda. She did not freak out after witnessing the miracle but instead “kept on praying to God to send back her sheets” (236). Fernanda’s acceptance of such a miracle while being annoyed by the physical consequences provides a fairly decent explanation of her character as a whole. She is firmly rooted in the material world, even while participating in and experiencing the spiritual and religious world. These two deaths are examples of the kinds of fantastic used in most deaths within the novel, the use of spirits and religion is a key factor.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.