Past cannot exist simultaneously alongside present or future, and vice versa. This is how traditional Western theory and thought posits the nature of time. However, this is not the nature of time the reader is exposed to in Gabriel Garcia Marquezs work One Hundred Years of Solitude. In this work, Marquez asserts a vision of time that is typically only seen in Eastern traditions. He asserts the possibility of a more fluid nature of time, which allows past, present, and future to interact with each other. Marquez also asserts the idea that time has a delicate relation to solitude, and that a conscious choice of solitude seems to lengthen any given period of times duration.
In Marquezs work, the progression of time and chronological order of Mocondo and its people goes against traditional Western ideologies. It is not impossible to have a mixed view of time, where there is past, present, and future all at once. The span of the novel is not 100 years. In fact it is much shorter, and only covers the duration of time that it takes to actually get through the narrative itself. Yet, it covers the lives of four generations of one family. This shows that in order for this narrative to be possible, time must be flexible and allow many spans to exist together at the same time. In Marquezs work there are massive time lapses, where there are changes of speeds and complete halts which contradict each other, yet create a perfect blend of synergy within the structure of the narrative itself. There is one instance which portrays such a unique view of time, where past, present, and future are all possible at once. When Remedios Moscote is only very young, Colonel Aureliano from the future meets and falls in love with her. This a bridge between the past and the future, and Marquez is showing that these time frames can interact and exist together rather than completely independent of each other.
Time is related in many ways to solitude in Marquezs novel. Take for example the character of Armanta, who for years after a rejection as a teenager spurs all possible suitors. Even when Pietro Crespi, who had originally rejected her and caused her fear of relationships, comes to her as a suitor she rejects him. She consciously makes the decision to be alone, a fact which she later must accept. However, it is this decision that allows her to survive through such a long duration of time. She dies an old woman, much unlike many of her siblings and other relatives who chose to be with others rather than a life of solitude. Rebecca, who also later makes the decision to live her life in solitude, also survives the duration of the length of the novel. After Joses strange and unexplainable death, she lives alone; she is then allowed to show up in later stories and tales outside of the novel itself, showing that her choice of isolation led her to seemingly lengthen her time. In this, Marquez is making a statement that isolation and solitude can lengthen time.
Marquez is making a huge statement about the nature of time and how it affects the people within it. Rather than a complete separation, Marquez allows different stages of time to blend together, as well as to influence the characters within the novel. With such a different view of time, the novel creates a new and interesting way for the reader.