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Big Mama

            Gabriel Garcí Márquez story, Big Mama's Funeral, is a story filled with fantastical scenes and events much in line with Don Quixote and Candide. The introductory paragraphs of Big Mama's Funeral and Candide sound so similar in voice the two authors could be mistaken for the same. In Candide, one finds a series of episodes that are so far from the truth and yet perfectly explainable. The story of the fate of Dr. Pangloss, the death and resurrection of Cunegund and of her Jesuit brother, and the story of the old woman with one buttock are farcical in the same way as the episodes in Big Mama's Funeral. In Don Quixote, we find a man, for the most part average, who wishes to become a knight-errant. In his quest is as series of happenings so ridiculous they are nothing short of tabloid-style sensationalism, or drug induced hallucinations.
             In Big Mama's Funeral, we are told the story of the death and funeral of Big Mama. In the events of her life and the days proceeding and proceeding her death we find events and stories of the past that are truly fantastical. In the annals of her past we find that in her family the "uncles married the daughters of their nieces, and the cousins married their aunts, and the brothers their sisters-in-law, until an intricate mesh of consanguinity was formed." Here, Garcí Márquez takes the simple act of incestuous relationships, which do occur, and elevates them to an extreme level. This is the writing style of Garcí Márquez and the two aforementioned writers, Cervantes and Voltaire. Another example of this fantastical writing can be found in the listing of immaterial possessions for Big Mama's will. In her list of immaterial possessions we find such items as the territorial waters, the colors of the flag, the rights of man, His Illustrious Eminence, et al. Laughter abounds in this story in which the death of a woman is distended to immense proportions.

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