Colonel' and Many Other Short Term Paper

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This takes him to the house of rich man in town, Sabas, but when he arrives "he wished he had arrived an hour later and missed Sabas" (165). This is because Sabas was evil and corruption personified. He was not born rich but had taken advantage of the political situation of the country and was now reaping the rewards of his clever political manipulation. It is at Sabas' place where the colonel meets a young doctor who plays a significant role later as he tries to restore "health" to the colonel's household which was trapped in a time-frame. The colonel and his wife are unable to move beyond a certain point in their lives because of constantly waiting for the mail which colonel believes is the only possible way they can live with dignity for the rest of their lives. It is through the doctor that we learn about Sabas and his fortune. Doctor explained that Sabas knew town's mayor and it was through such connections that he had built his fortune. He seemed to better understand the greed and ambition that marked Sabas' character. The colonel on the other naively saw the good in everyone and in every situation- one thing that irritates his wife.

But naive or not, the colonel is a well respected man in the town. His sense of dignity and strong character have won him ample respect as we see from this one occasion when a policeman pulls a gun at him for carrying a clandestine lampoon in his pocket. But colonel remains unmoved and "gently pushes the rifle barrel away with the tips of his fingers." He then excuses himself as if demanding to be allowed to go. At this point he is shown considerable respect when the policeman surprising answers: "you may go Colonel" (170).

Throughout the story, we see the colonel steadfastly sticking with a routine. He goes to check his mail every Friday and takes the rooster for trials at a local pit. The rooster is cheered like an icon or idol would be and everyone expects him to win the big upcoming fight.
Colonel believes that in the absence of his pension which he knows he will receive one day, there best chance of survival lies with the rooster winning the fight. His wife however remains skeptical and shouts "and meanwhile what do we eat?" (181). To this, the colonel calmly replies "Shit" (181).

The social, political and economic depravity portrayed in this story is historically connected with real events of 1950s when the gap between the country's poor majority and small elite minority had grown enormously. The civil wars that had plagued the country close to the end of 19th century also played an important part in Marquez's works. The events that dominate this particular story include the War of a Thousand Days, La violencia (the Violence), and the banana strike of 1928. However their influence can go unnoticed if close attention is not paid to various symbols, setting, dates etc. The novella opens with readers learning that it had been sixty years since the Colonel has participated in "the last civil war" (119). This alludes to the civil wars that took place in Columbia in 1899 to 1902. This period is known in history as the War of a Thousand Days. The violence that gripped this nation in 1950s is alluded to in the form of Agustin's death. And the third event i.e. The banana strike of 1928 also features in this story and is alluded to in many ways including the most prominent reference i.e. when the colonel says rather irately: "The odor of the banana is eating at my insides" (161). All of Marquez's works are somehow connected with each other since they mostly deal with economic and political turmoil of Columbia during the first half of 20th century.

Work Cited:

Gabriel Garcia Marquez,….....

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