A Mauricio Babilonia
Always accompanied by yellow butterflies, Mauricio gains access to Meme through the roof over the bathtub, where a man once fell to his death watching Remedios the Beauty. He is mistaken as a chicken thief one night by a guard set by Fernanda and shot. Paralyzed, he dies “of old age in solitude.”
B Jose Arcadio Buendia (II)
The first son of Ursula, Jose Arcadio “was so well-equipped for life that he seemed abnormal.” His hormones drive him to the bed of Pilar Ternera, who conceives Arcadio. Not wanting to face fatherhood, Jose Arcadio leaves with the gypsies. He travels the world and returns as a giant, illustrated from head to toe. His foster sister Rebeca finds him irresistible, and they marry shortly after his return. When the soldiers put his brother against the cemetery wall for execution, Jose Arcadio steps out with guns drawn. Captain Carnicero thanks him for intervening and then joins Colonel Aureliano’s forces. Shortly thereafter, Jose Arcadio is shot to death in his own bedroom by an unknown person.
C Jose Arcadio Buendia (III)
The illegitimate son of Jose Arcadio (II) and Pilar Ternera is known simply as Arcadio. Arcadio suffers from not having a father who acknowledges him. Although raised by the Buendia family, he never believes he is one of them. He is taught reading and silversmithing by Colonel Aureliano, and receives some attention from Melquiades. But when Melquiades dies, he becomes a “solitary and frightened child.” He is a bit of a monster. Not knowing that Pilar Ternera is his mother, he demands to have sex with her. She tricks him and tells him to leave his door unlocked. Then she pays half of her life savings to Santa Sofia de la Piedad to be his lover. Colonel Aureliano makes him civil and military leader of the town. He abuses his position until Ursula attacks him with a whip. He is executed by the Conservatives when they retake Macondo.
D Jose Arcadio Segundo Buendia (IV)
The twin of Aureliano Segundo, Jose Arcadio Segundo becomes a foreman for the Banana Company. For this association, his sister-in-law Fernanda bars him from the house. The working conditions, however, lead him to side with the workers and he is part of their last fatal demonstration. The only survivor, he can convince no one that over 3,000 men, women, and children were murdered. When the soldiers hunt him down he hides in the room of Melquiades’s manuscript. There he remains for the rest of his life, pausing only to pass on what he knows to Aureliano (IV), who then takes his place in the room.
E Jose Arcadio Buendia (V)
Fernanda has decided that her son, Jose Arcadio, will become the Pope. Accordingly, he is sent away to school and then to Rome. From Rome he writes about theology but he is actually living in a garret and waiting for his inheritance. When Fernanda dies, he returns to a nearly empty house. He expects to find money, but instead finds a letter where Fernanda tells him the truths left out of her letters. He is murdered by four children whom he had used as bodyservants and then expelled from the house.
F Rebeca Buendia
She is daughter of parents who are supposedly related but are nevertheless unknown to the Buendia family. She carries their bones in a bag when she is dropped off at the house with a rocking chair. The family adopts her and she is raised as a sister to Amaranta. She sucks her fingers, eats dirt and whitewash, and is “rebellious and strong in spite of her frailness.” Her engagement to Pietro Crespi starts a feud with Amaranta. When Jose Arcadio shows up in all his hugeness, however, she marries him instead and turns him into a laboring man. She is happy until he is killed and she returns to dirt and whitewash, forgotten by all except Amaranta. Amaranta prays for Rebeca to die first and spends her days sewing Rebeca’s shroud, but Rebeca outlasts her and dies alone in her house.
G Remedios Buendia
A fourth-generation Buendia, Remedios is the daughter of Arcadio and Santa Sofia de la Piedad. Remedios the Beauty serves as the femme fatale of the novel, as her beauty kills a number of suitors. People think she is either stupid or innocent, for she often shrugs off civilized behavior and walks around the house naked. One day, while hanging sheets up to dry, she ascends to heaven.
H Renata Remedios Buendia
Renata, called Meme, is the daughter of Fernanda and Aureliano Segundo. Although she seems to accept her mother’s plans for her life, she is a rebel who more closely resembles her father. Unlike the rest of the Buendias, “Meme still did not reveal the solitary fate of the family and she seemed entirely in conformity with the world.” She loves a mechanic named Mauricio Babilonia, with whom she has the bastard Aureliano (IV). For her sin she is banished to a convent, where she lives out her days in silence and solitude.
I Ursula Iguaran Buendia
Ursula is the Buendia matriarch who even in death “fought against the laws of creation to maintain the [family] line.” She is obsessed with the idea that a son begotten with Jose Arcadio (a near cousin) will have a pig’s tail. Nevertheless, she has three children without the feared tail. When her husband Jose Arcadio loses himself in his scientific experiments, Ursula starts a candy pastry business that makes the family rich and gives them a grand house. When her firstborn disappears, she searches for him but brings back immigrants instead. Through such luck, she succeeds in making the town prosper. Throughout her 115-plus years she rules the family-even disciplining her ruthless dictator sons. Her long life gives her insight that time is a wheel, for events keep repeating themselves. She becomes blind, but knows her house and her family so well that nobody notices-though her manner of walking around with her “archangelic arm” out is curious. Gradually she shrinks and becomes a plaything for her great-great-grandchildren.
J Fernanda del Carpio de Buendia
Fernanda is the daughter of a fallen nobleman, who has been raised to believes she is a queen. As the “most beautiful of the five thousand most beautiful women in the land,” Fernanda is brought to Macondo to be “Queen of Madagascar” at the carnival. Aureliano Segundo makes her his wife, but he keeps a mistress and nobody else in the family likes her. She tries to rule the house but succeeds only when Amaranta dies. She is a bitter woman with a mysterious illness, so she corresponds with “invisible doctors” who eventually attempt “telepathic surgery.” Unable to direct their telepathy properly-because in her prudishness she was never able to properly describe the location of her problems (uterine)-they are unable to cure her and cease corresponding. She is forever praying, keeping up appearances, and keeping to her extraordinary family planning calendar. In the end, she dies wearing her queen costume. Her son finds her body four months later with no signs of putrefaction.
K Petra Cotes
The lover of Aureliano Segundo, she makes money by raffling off animals. She causes Aureliano Segundo’s animals to reproduce at an incredible rate. After he dies, she secretly helps Fernanda keep food on the table.
L Amaranta Buendia
Daughter of Ursula and Jose Arcadio Buendia, Amaranta is a lively girl until she discovers that her foster sister Rebeca has won the heart of Pietro Crespi. She becomes bitter and withdraws into solitude, doing all she can to prevent Rebeca’s wedding. Even after Rebeca forsakes Pietro for Jose Arcadio, she continues holding grudges against both of them. She allows Pietro to woo her, only to drive him to suicide when she ultimately rejects him. She thrusts her hand into burning coals with remorse, and the black bandage she wears from that day serves as a symbol of her solitude. Instead of accepting the love of Pietro or Gerineldo Marquez, she indulges in furtive, incestuous gropings with her nephew, Aureliano Jose. She dies a virgin.
M Bruno Crespi
Pietro invites his brother Bruno to help him with his business. Bruno manages the whole affair while Pietro pursues first Rebeca and then Amaranta. Eventually, Bruno inherits the works, marries Amparo Moscote, and opens a theater where all the national hits perform.
N Pietro Crespi
“The most handsome and well-mannered man who had ever been seen in Macondo,” Pietro Crespi comes to the house to set up the pianola. He settles in Macondo and opens a shop of wonderful mechanical toys and instruments. He wants to marry Rebeca but the jealous Amaranta declares she will kill her first. When Rebeca marries her foster brother Jose Arcadio, Pietro turns to Amaranta, who encourages and then refuses him. On All Souls’ Day his body is found amidst a racket of clocks and music boxes, a suicide.
O Colonel Gerineldo Marquez
Colonel Marquez is Colonel Aureliano’s right-hand man. When he is placed in charge of the city, he spends his afternoons wooing Amaranta. She refuses him too.
Melquiades is the death-defying, plague-exposed, all-knowing King of the Gypsies. He introduces science and death to Macondo, and gives the first Jose Arcadio an alchemical laboratory. When he eventually dies, he haunts a room in the Buendia household, where he helps successive members of the family with his manuscript. The last adult Aureliano (IV) discovers that the manuscript is the history of the family-and his decoding of it is the novel.
Q General Jose Raquel Moncada
General Moncada is the leader of the Conservative forces who becomes great friends with his adversary Colonel Aureliano. After the war, he succeeds in making the city a municipality and himself the first mayor of Macondo. Despite overseeing “the best government we’ve ever had in Macondo,” he is executed by Colonel Aureliano when the next war breaks out.
R Don Apolinar Moscote
Apolinar Moscote is sent by the government to be magistrate in the town of Macondo. He arrives quietly and begins to exert control. When he demands all houses be painted blue, Jose Arcadio-the founder of the city-ushers him out. When Apolinar returns with soldiers and his family, Jose Arcadio says he and his family are welcome but the soldiers must leave and the people can paint what color they chose. Apolinar complies but eventually introduces more government control and then becomes a figurehead for the army captain.
S Remedios Moscote de Buendia
The first Remedios is the daughter of the first city magistrate. Colonel Aureliano falls in love with her when she is only nine, and chooses her for his wife. She becomes a promising young woman who takes care of Jose Arcadio (I) and even speaks a little Latin with him. She is killed by the blood poisoning during her first pregnancy, and Amaranta feels responsible because she had hoped for something to postpone Rebeca’s wedding. The daguerreotype of fourteen-year-old Remedios becomes a shrine for the family.
T Father Nicanor
Father Nicanor uses a levitation trick to attract people’s attention and purses to the building of a new church. He discovers Jose Arcadio Buendia’s mysterious language is Latin and tries to convert him until Jose Arcadio’s “rationalist tricks” disturb his faith.
Nigromanta is the last Aureliano’s mistress. When Amaranta Ursula dies and he gets horribly drunk, she “rescued him from a pool of vomit and tears.” She cleans him up, takes him home, and erases the number of “loves” he owes her.
V Dr. Alirio Noguera
Quack doctor Alirio Noguera is a revolutionary recruiter. He hopes to place people throughout the nation who will rise up and kill all the conservatives. He tries to convert Colonel Aureliano. His execution disturbs Colonel Aureliano because it lacked due process.
W Amaranta Ursula Buendia
A fifth-generation Buendia and daughter of Fernanda and Aureliano Segundo, Amaranta Ursula finishes her education in Belgium. There she marries a rich aviator named Gaston. She returns home to find only Aureliano left at the house. Unaware that he is her nephew, she begins a secret relationship with him. When Gaston leaves, the two give in to their passion and live as husband and wife until she dies in childbirth.
X Santa Sofia de la Piedad
When her lover Arcadio dies, Santa Sofia moves in with the family and helps Ursula with her candy pastry business. She is regarded as a servant by Fernanda and often sleeps on a mat in the kitchen. She is the mother of Remedios the Beauty, Aureliano Segundo, and Jose Arcadio Segundo. She “dedicated a whole life of solitude and diligence to the rearing of children,” whether they were hers or not. After Ursula dies, Santa Sofia loses her capacity for work and leaves the house, never to be heard from again.
Y Pilar Ternera
Priestess of the city and second matriarch, she sits at the edge of town reading her tarot cards and letting prostitutes use her rooms. She waits for the man promised her in the cards. She bears the children of both Colonel Aureliano and Jose Arcadio (II), and helps arrange liaisons for several other Buendias. After a hundred years in Macondo, “there was no mystery in the heart of a Buendia that was impenetrable for her.”
Z Aureliano Triste
One of the seventeen Aurelianos born to the colonel outside Macondo, Aureliano Triste inherited his grandfather’s inclination for progress but his grandmother’s success. He builds a canal, brings the train to Macondo, and sets up an ice factory.
Visitacion is an Indian queen who renounced her throne to escape the insomnia plague. She finds refuge as a family servant. Unfortunately, the plague arrives with Rebeca and the town is gripped by insomnia until Melquiades arrives with the antidote.
AB Colonel Aureliano Buendia
The second son of Ursula is Colonel Aureliano, who begins the story and remains in the limelight almost until the book’s climax. He is a quiet boy who takes to the alchemical laboratory with enthusiasm and becomes a wealthy silversmith famed for his little golden fishes. Born into the world “with his eyes open,” he has premonitions throughout his life. These later enable him to avoid several assassination attempts. He becomes a man of action after the execution of the Liberal agitator Dr. Noguera, when the soldiers become downright abusive of innocent citizens. Seeing enough abuse, Colonel Aureliano gathers 21 men and declares war on the Conservatives. He starts and loses 32 wars. While on the warpath he has seventeen sons by seventeen different women, in addition to his son by Pilar Ternera. (His wife Remedios, with whom he fell in love when she was nine, dies during her first pregnancy.) At the height of his power, he stands with a chalk circle marked around him, where no one may enter. He dies while urinating against the tree where his father was tied up. Colonel Aureliano is forever “stupefying himself with the deception of war and the little gold fishes.”
AC Aureliano Jose Buendia
The son of Colonel Aureliano by Pilar Ternera, the second Aureliano is adopted by Amaranta after she blames herself for the accidental death of little Remedios. He awakens to manhood while in the bath with her. When their caresses threaten Amaranta’s virginity, he leaves with his father but returns years later “sturdy as a horse, as dark and long-haired as an Indian, and with a secret determination to marry Amaranta.” His death comes when he ignores Pilar’s pleas to stay indoors and goes to the theater. While attempting to flee from the soldiers searching for revolutionaries, he is shot in the back by Captain Aquiles Ricardo. In return, the Captain is filled with bullets discharged by a line of 400 townsmen.
AD Aureliano Segundo Buendia
The third Aureliano is one of the twin sons of Arcadio and Santa Sofia de la Piedad. Aureliano Segundo is a glutton who holds wild parties and bathes in champagne. The passion he shares with his mistress Petra Cotes overflows to ensure he is rich in animals and money. He is mostly good humored and tells his livestock, “Cease, cows, life is short.” In answer to family criticisms, he papers the entire house with monetary notes. He brings Fernanda del Carpio home as his lawful wife but he lives with Petra Cotes. He moves home during the rains, but after they cease he returns to Petra. The rains bring ruin and poverty, during which he and Petra discover true love with each other. Unfortunately, Aureliano falls ill at this time, but he manages to collect enough money to send Amaranta Ursula to school in Belgium before he dies.
AE Aureliano Buendia (IV)
Son of Meme and Mauricio Babilonia, Aureliano is a sixth-generation Buendia and a bastard. Due to his scandalous birth, he grows up in deeper solitude than the rest of the family. He is kept in a single room for the first few years of life, and never leaves the house until he is grown. His occupation is learning all that is required to translate Melquiades’s manuscript. He winds up being the sole occupant of the house when Amaranta Ursula and Gaston arrive from Belgium. Unaware that Amaranta Ursula is his aunt, he falls in love with her. He ignores the Catalonian bookseller’s recommendation to leave the city and thus witnesses its demise. As a hurricane approaches to wipe out the city, Aureliano translates the manuscript.
AF Aureliano Buendia (V)
The child of Aureliano and Amaranta Ursula survives his mother’s death. The last Buendia has realized Ursula’s fear of the family’s inbreeding-he has a pig’s tail. Left on the floor by his grieving father, the child is eaten by the ants that have taken over the house. The vision stupefies Aureliano because it presents the key to understanding the parchments of Melquiades: “The first of the line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by the ants.” With this key, he quickly takes up the parchments which, like the baby’s skin, are slowly being obliterated.
AG Jose Arcadio Buendia
Jose Arcadio is the patriarch of the family and founder of the town of Macondo. After he marries his cousin Ursula, he becomes a subject of amusement in their hometown of Riohacha because people believe she is still a virgin. After a cockfight, he takes his spear and kills Prudencio Aguilar because of his insults. With this original sin on their conscience, the first Buendia couple ventures into the wilderness with some followers to found a new city. This “New World” begins as a paradise where death is unknown. Melquiades the gypsy introduces “science” to the town, and later death when he inhabits the first grave. But by then, Jose Arcadio is too busy “searching for the mythical truth of the great inventions” with the toys he wastefully purchased from the visiting gypsies. Eventually, Jose Arcadio goes mad and speaks only Latin after the reappearance of Prudencio Aguilar’s ghost; the family must tie him to the chestnut tree.