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Week 5: Yellow Butterflies and Heavenly Ascents: A Closer Look at Magical Realism

Novel: One Hundred Years of Solitude


Students will draw on their reading and discussions from the previous seminars to prepare a short presentation (5 minutes) on key images/symbols from the text and their role in constructing the “magical” reality, historical and fictional narratives of the text.

Images/symbols will be assigned randomly at the end of the seminar in week 4 from the following list (so watch out for these while you’re reading the novel)

- The yellow butterflies of Mauricio Babilonia

- The red ants that devour the pig-tailed child

- Remedios the Beauty’s ascension into heaven

- Colonial Aureliano Buendía’s little gold fishes

- The Spanish galleon in the jungle

- The yellow flowers that accompany José Arcadio Buendía’s death

- The four years, 11 months and 2 days of rain

- The insomnia plague

- The family tree

- The pig-tailed child

- Melquiades’ manuscripts

- The hurricane


red ants