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Love in the Time of CholeraBy: Gabriel Garcia MarquezRicardo Crisantes000-603-00164/7/17IB English IIIMs. BaylessTotal Words: 1871
An Analysis of how cultural definitions of love become significant to Gabriel GarciaMarquez’sLove in the Time of CholeraIn Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells the unending lovestory of Florentino and Fermina during Colombia’s transition between the 19thand 20thcentury. Marquez presents us with a myriad of expressions of love and how they conformor defy cultural, and conventional definitions of love. In doing so, Marquez compels thereaders to examine their own definition of love. In this novel, Marquez uses love,devotion and aging to illustrate the complexity and ambivalence of love in a conventionalsociety, defining how love is ultimately lived by its characters.The first type of love that is presented to the readers in the novel is illusionarylove. Conventional society dictates that the parents decide for their children, especiallywomen, whom they are to marry.In presenting us the teenage, illusionary love betweenFlorentino and Fermina we explore an aspect of love that may seem unattainableconsidering social norms of the time. The characters idealize each other and fall in lovewith their actions or what they’ve perceived them to be rather than with the person.“Neither one could do anything except think about the other, dream about the other…”(p68) Fermina fell in love with the violin that Florentino plays every night and the lettersthat Florentino sends her. She falls in love with the concept and thought of falling in love,thus shaping an image of Florentino from the letters she receives. Eventually as the lettersgot more passionately they agree to get married. Fermina’s father notices the lettersbetween the two lovers and rejects their love. All that he wanted was for her to be a lady;and for that to happen she had to get married with someone from the upper class. Withthat mentality, after the discovery of the letters Fermina’s father gets furious and ordersFermina to leave with him on a journey that will last years and that will make her forgetthe illusionary love she has with Florentino. During the time Fermina is away from herhome and on the various places she visits, she still receives telegrams that Florentinosends her. So instead of forgetting about him, her love of the imaginary Florentino thatexists in her mind still grows. Using the narrative device of the letters and telegramsFlorentino writes, Marquez is able to illustrate the emotional ambivalence of the romanticexperience when its rejected by the conventional social norms.
Marquez uses the image of illness and suffering to illustrate love in silence. Theuse of the word cholera, not only portrays de decease that has afflicted Colombiahistorically but in Spanish it is also a reference of anger with a passion. Throughout the