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Love in the time of cholera – Gabriel García Márquez

Love in the time of cholera” is a book written by Gabriel García Márquez in 1985. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. It is a work that shows us how love can survive in the midst of adversity and difficulties. He introduces us to two characters who, after many years, decide to retake the love of their youth and be truly happy in their old age, next to the person they love.

After the constant rejection, Florentino could not kill love with his passions, and after 51 years he tries to be with his beloved again, this time succeeding in being reciprocated, already in his last years of life.


Characters from “Love in the Time of Cholera”:

Within the play, the central character of the story is Fermina Daza, she was married to Juvenal Urbina for 50 years. But then she decides to live her true love story after so many years. For his part we find Florentino Ariza, Fermina’s love, with whom he decides to be after 51 years. Her father also appears; There is also Fermina’s paternal aunt, Scholastica, who is single and has no daughters. She took care of Fermina’s upbringing when her mother died, whose name was Fermina Sánchez.

Summary and synopsis of the work:

This work tells us the love story, but a love that despite adversities manages to survive. It takes place in a town in Colombia in the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. He introduces us to the love life of Fermina Daza, who was carried away by his father and had to leave his boyfriend named Florentino Ariza. For this, her father decided to take her on a trip.

After Fermina returned to town, Florentino wanted to speak to her immediately and when he saw her in the Plaza de la Catedral, he decided to follow her until he stopped to tell you that she was like a goddess with a crown. But she did not feel the same as him.

Later Florentino continued giving him letters with Fermina’s servants. But this one only received rejection. However, since Florentino lived in the same city, he had some encounters with her. But Fermina was still with her life, so she married a young doctor, she had two children. She lasted 50 years married until her husband Juvenal Urbina died in an accident. The funeral was attended by important prominent people, and Fermina Daza noticed Florentino Ariza, was in the room. She felt joy and was surprised to hear how he reminded her of the love he had for her, even though 51 years had passed.

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However, she was offended and asked Florentino to leave and not to return. She had already rejected him twice, and yet he kept sending her letters to win her over. Due to his insistence, he was able to contact her.

At the end of “Love in the Time of Cholera” Fermina agreed to visit Florentino, and thus she realized that she still had feelings for him, and even more when she found out, through a local newspaper that her husband Juvenal she had been betraying what she thought was her best friend.

Later, Florentino invites her to take a ride on a boat, and he accepted to forget a little about the scandal of the newspaper news. Also, a year had passed since the death of her husband.

On this walk through the rivers of Colombia, she realizes that she is falling in love with Florentino, and that she had never really forgotten him, and that getting married was a mistake, and at her age, she decides to resume her love story. The ship they were on was called “New Fidelity,” and it now represented the beginning of a new love.

Finally, between the liquor, the music were Florentino and Fermina together, celebrating the triumph of love. She asked Florentino how long it would take her to come and go and he replied that all life, and thus ends this magnificent story.

Analysis of the work:

In this work the central theme of the story is love, as reflected in its title “Love in the time of cholera”, where a man named Florentino waited 51 years for his beloved Fermina to decide to accept it. After that time, she decides to be happy and acknowledges that having married had been a mistake that distanced her from true happiness, since society had encouraged her to do something for convenience.

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In this sense, love had to go through many difficulties, and overcome the adversities that were presented to them, so it is a survivor who fought to achieve its splendor. Florentino tried to kill his love by having relationships with many women, with about six hundred, but failed.

In this sense, the author in this work shows us the realism based on love and the aspects that define the fidelity and conservation of this feeling over time, associated with the hope of being able to consummate it. Furthermore, love and death are a constant in the novel, where the past of the characters significantly conditions their present.

Finally, “Love in the time of cholera” is a work that tells us about different themes where love is involved in different adverse situations, in which death plays an important role, since some of Florentino’s women died tragically. In this way, we can also observe the evolution of the characters, which reveal their true feelings, as is the case of Fermina, who after 51 years decides to let herself be carried away by love.

Verbatim quotes from “Love in the Time of Cholera”:

“It was inevitable: the smell of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of disgruntled loves.”

“There is not going to be any crazy love here who will give him an opportunity one of these days.”

“Neither one nor the other had life for anything other than thinking about the other, to dream about the other, to wait for the letters with as much anxiety as they answered them.”

“Both were letting themselves betrayed by the memories, talking to each other unintentionally, loving each other without saying it, and ended up dying of love on the floor, smeared with fragrant foams.”

“The most absurd thing about the situation of both was that they never seemed so happy in public as in those years of misfortune. Well, in reality they were the years of his greatest victories over the hidden hostility of a medium that was not resigned to admitting them as they were: different and novel, and therefore transgressors ”
  “Love of the soul from the waist up and love of the body from the waist down”.