Transfer of Power
Power is not given yet it is transferred from one source to another. Ursula Buendia acquires her power from her husband in a series of events. First Jose Arcadio I Buendia goes senile and the role as head of the family and the power that comes with this role is transferred to Ursula. When Jose dies, Ursula also takes on the role as the moneymaker of the family. By selling candy animals Ursula supports her family even though adding this to her already full list of duties made it so that she “did not have a moment’s rest”. This makes her an indispensable part of the household and helps define the amount of power she has received.
Ursula uses this power that she received to come out on top of many situations that might not have turned out so well without her guidance. There are at least two times when the state of Mocondo is in a horrible condition. Ursula prevails through the seemingly never ending rainstorm and the Banana Company massacre. Also during these events she continues to work in the house as best she can when many other Mocondo villagers just become idle. Ursula ses her personal power when her 17 grandsons are executed and yet she remains calm and collected. Ursula not only uses her power to help herself she maintains it for nearly a century.
Incredibly Ursula is able to maintain her power for more then three generations after the death of Jose. Ursula accomplishes this not by making decisions that are always necessarily agreed upon but by standing by her decisions and not wavering. When money is found in a statue of Saint Joseph, whose owner is unknown, Ursula decides to bury the money, which she believes, is not rightfully theirs. Her children question her for years about where the money is but she never divulges the answer. Even when she is about to die she refuses to tell her grandson whose attempts “were useless once more”. By not giving in Ursula sends a clear message that she is strong and this strength allows her to maintain her power for most of her life time.
Ursula’s power begins to diminish when she is about one hundred years old and go blind. In an attempt to hold on to her power and not seem useless, Ursula doesn’t tell a soul and actually succeeds in deceiving her own family. She accomplishes this by using her memory of smells and sounds “which saved her finally from the shame of defeat.” Ursula is even able to find things people have lost in the house by remembering where that person strayed from their everyday routine and looking there. Ursula is unable to keep up this charade forever and eventually loses her power as head of the family.
During the rainstorm Ursula becomes senile and begins to lose track of time. After four years the storm subsides and the winds shift returning Ursula to her normal state. This doesn’t last long because the winds shift again and “She never got her reason back”. Ursula soon died and the power she had received, used, maintained and finally lost was transferred to Fernanda.