The General in his Labyrinth: a Commentary on the Maze of Life

The General in his LabyrinthGabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, The General in his Labyrinth is a moving tale of a man, an exile, a General who makes the slow journey into his past en route to a future he never actualizes.

 The General, whose labyrinth exists in the complexity of his mind and memories, as well as in his fading, consumptive body relives past victories, defeats and passionate love along the road to his eventual death.

There are many manifestations of the Labyrinth throughout the novel, but the most moving is the puzzle he must complete of his own life, in entirety, before he moves on to that quiet and forever sleep.  The General is faced with reconciling his past with his present before making his transition into a future he has difficulty accepting… the end of the road.

The wilderness in his mind and the wanderings of his party into his past recall the joy and pain of a great man, “A Liberator”, “A General” who is both reviled and respected by his people. His mind, lost in the throws of illness and haunted by his memories, suffers greatly; especially during the quiet of the evening when his thoughts gain the most speed.

The slow journey into death, and the quiet resolution the comes with letting go create a truly beautiful character and one that provides opportunity for reflection- as we are all lost in our own labyrinth with  time- our one true companion.

 

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