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Love in the Time of Cholera | Study Guide

Gabriel García Márquez

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Love in the Time of Cholera | Quotes


It is a pity to still find a suicide that is not for love.

Dr. Lácides Olivella, Chapter 1 (Escaped Parrot)

At the anniversary luncheon, Dr. Lácides Olivella breaks from conversation to lament to his teacher, Dr. Juvenal Urbino, about Jeremiah de Saint-Amour committing suicide to avoid old age. While suicide for love is considered an honorable death, killing oneself for other reasons is deemed shameful.


Only God knows how much I loved you.

Dr. Juvenal Urbino, Chapter 1 (Escaped Parrot)

When Fermina Daza reaches her dying husband, Dr. Juvenal Urbino's eyes are filled with tears. He is not weeping, however, at the prospect of his imminent death, but is shedding "tears of unrepeatable sorrow at dying without her." Death does not trouble him nearly as much as the thought of not being able to say goodbye to the woman he has loved for more than 60 years.


I'm nothing but a poor lover.

Florentino Ariza, Chapter 2 (Devastating Youth)

Oblivious to the civil war, Florentino Ariza serenades Fermina Daza with his original waltz, "The Crowned Goddess." Playing outdoors during curfew, he is arrested on suspicion of spying for the Liberal Party and sending coded messages through his music. After three nights in prison, he is released.


There is no greater glory than to die for love.

Florentino Ariza, Chapter 2 (Devastating Youth)

When Lorenzo Daza confronts Florentino Ariza about his relationship with Fermina Daza, he expects to convince the young man to cease his courtship when he hears Lorenzo's plans for her. When that does not work, he threatens Florentino with his revolver. Florentino, madly in love, declares he must know what Fermina wants, and that he will be glad to die, if it is for the love of Lorenzo's daughter.


Love is the only thing that interests me.

Florentino Ariza, Chapter 4 (The River Company)

When Leo XII Loayza reprimands Florentino Ariza for his official documents reading like love letters, Florentino vows to conquer the business letter. When after six months Florentino still has not mastered the dry, unemotional style of customs reports, he admits defeat, saying love is the only topic he cares to write about.


The world became a hell for him.

Narrator, Chapter 5 (Journey to San Juan de la Ciénaga)

After Dr. Juvenal Urbino begins an affair with Barbara Lynch, he is tortured by his desire for his mistress and fearful of a scandal.


My heart has more rooms than a whorehouse.

Florentino Ariza, Chapter 5 (Mourning Bells)

Throughout his numerous sexual affairs and devotion to Fermina Daza, Florentino Ariza believes he can love and honor many people simultaneously. Through the years, he has been careful to reserve romantic love for Fermina alone, although he has many sexual alliances.


I am almost always alone.

Fermina Daza, Chapter 6 (Calling)

It seems that Florentino Ariza's letters have had a softening effect on the widow Fermina Daza. Still, at the conclusion of a visit to her villa, when Florentino asks if he can visit her again, her open invitation comes as a huge, though welcome, surprise.


It is all the river we have left.

Diego Samaritano, Chapter 6 (New Fidelity)

Florentino Ariza, who has taken one river voyage, is surprised by the changes in river travel since then. Fermina Daza thinks the Magdalena River looks like a "delta filled with islands of sand." The captain, Diego Samaritano, explains how deforestation and hunting have damaged the river and depleted the animals.


It is going to be like dying.

Fermina Daza, Chapter 6 (New Fidelity)

After their trip on the river together, Fermina Daza dreads returning to the city. Florentino Ariza is shocked because he had been thinking the same thought since the boat began its return.

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