Critical Essays Sense of Illegitimacy


Another obvious theme of García Márquez is the sense of illegitimacy. In this novel, the logic of incest is always official bastardization, which is expressed in the ancient Buendía fear that incest will eventually produce a child with a pig's tail. García Márquez makes that fear a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy; incest leads to illegitimacy, inter-family rivalry, and a sense of inferiority about their paternity. The women, like Fernanda, create a glorious illusion of their past, and they never dwell on the negative aspects of it. On the other hand, the sense of inferiority in the bastard Buendía males tarnishes any achievement or virtue that they may come to have. In their obsession, we see the long-standing sense of inferiority that Latin America has been made to feel in its relation to the Anglo-American North. Necessary but despised, this South American twin continent of North America has found its brilliant, enigmatic past, present, and future muted in the soiled obscurity of her origins.