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Thematic Functions of Myths

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A myth can be defined as a story that provides some explanations about our history and beliefs. Myths often contain some significance to some culture and they address the essential and most challenging questions a reader might ask concerning the story. They often used to describe the origin of the universe, tell stories about great men, forces of the good and evil, gods and other supernatural beings. However, it is important to note that myths are always considered true by the culture of rather people from which the myth has originated since some spiritual or religious significance is always attached to it,according to Wood, and this is probably the reason as to why different writers have decided to incorporate the use of mythology in their works. This essay will consider the use of myths in the writing of novels, and will explore the thematic function of myths in the novel written by Garcia Marquez.

The use of myths in the novels

In the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, Garcia Marquez, writes of a story about the history of the documentation, development and the demise of a human settlement during a particular time.  The Buendia family lived in a town known as Macondo, which was prone to various kinds of calamities. To begin with, we find that the author has used myth to provide meaning to the unexplainable. Macondo is a town that is frequented by calamities and misfortunes that affect the Buendia family. It is obvious that questions directed at knowing more about these calamities, for instance, the reason as to why they were taking place, and probably the source of such events could be asked. To evade the need to provide explanations to such questions, the author has applied the use of myths. It basically provides explanations about the mysteries this population was facing. In addition, myths try to provide some understanding regarding the natural world, for instance, they can always offer the reason as to why a calamity such as famine has occurred. Looking at Garcia Marquez’s novel, the author has used myths to provide explanations about such issues. Although he does not have a clear understanding regarding these events, he applies the use of myths to explain such events to the generations that have preceded  the Buendia family, which gives the readers of a picture of how at some time, there existed a human civilization that was faced with calamities. In addition, the author has used myths to depict the origin of this population.  For instance, from the story we learn that it is from the marriage between Jose Buendia and Ursula that this family was formed. We also learn that it is from Jose’s dream about the city of mirrors that the town of Macondo was found at the river side. It is from this myth that we are able to know the origin of this population and how it was formed. Myths have also been usedto make the story fascinating. They are often applied in the writing of novels to give the readers that urge to continue reading the story as they make the story more entertaining and humorous. The reader is left with the feeling of wanting to know more regarding the explained unusual calamities. For instance, in this novel, the author gives us a picture of what the world was like during those times. It is from the dream that the town was formed and after some time the town starts experiencing calamities. The reader is then left to wonder how such events took place. They have actually made the story more fascinating.

Garcia Marquez has also used myths to depict the culture of that specificpopulation. Myths have the ability of establishing a culture’s rituals, social structures, customs and religious tenets, territorial claims and power hierarchies. It is from the use of myths that we are able to know about the culture of the Buendia family so that we can validate them in order to transmit them to the preceding generations. For instance, the end of destruction that would befall the Buendia family and the town of Macondo provides an overview of how the ideological and cultural heritage of Spain in the modern world would end. In addition, the author has used myths to provide stability and continuity to some culture. The novel outlines the existence a human population who had their own culture at some point in time. However, the novel outlines that Garcia could have been probably the only surviving generation of the time. However, we are able to read about the cultures of this population, some of which have been validated and applied by the contemporary societies. It is apparent that ancient myths still exist in the present cultures and the references are found in the contemporary expressions and words.

Mythology has also been applied in the novel to depict the author’s creativity. We cannot tell if such a population was existent or not.  However, the author has presented it in a way that makes it so real and convincing that whatever has been written is actually true.  It therefore becomes challenging to question about this writing since we are not certain if whatever the novel claims is true or not. We can therefore ascertain that myths can be applied in displaying the author’s creativity. It is therefore apparent that the author has applied the use of mythology in this novel to illustrate his creativity.

In conclusion, myths play significant roles in the writing of novels as noted in the work of Garcia Marquez. As noted, the author has applied the use of myths to provide explanations for the unexplainable, create some humor and fascination, and show the origin of this population as well as providing explanations about the culture of the named population. We can therefore conclude that myths play a major role in the world of writing due to the functions that have been identified above.

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