Friday, May 15, 2009

45. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

History: The book was first published in Spanish in 1985. The title is very famous, and has been used in several popular tv shows and movies. The funniest, In The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Rival," Marge is reading a book entitled "Love In The Time Of Scurvy." Also, in the episode titled "Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade," Lisa is on the bus reading "Love in the Time of Coloring Books."
Plot: The main female character in the novel, Fermina Daza, is the strong axis around which the story revolves. Fermina easily rejects Florentino Ariza in their youth when she realizes the naïveté of their first romance, and she weds Juvenal Urbino at the age of 21, the "deadline" she had set for herself, ultimately because he seemed to be able to offer security and love to her. Urbino is a doctor in medicine devoted to science, modernity, and "order and progress." He is committed to the eradication of cholera and to the promotion of public works. He is a rational man whose life is organized precisely and who values his importance and reputation in society to the utmost. Urbino is a herald of progress and modernization.
His function in the novel is to provide the counterpoint to Ariza’s archaic, romantic style. He proved to be a faithful husband, save for one small affair late in their marriage, though the novel suggests that his love for her was never as spiritually chaste as Ariza's was. By the end of the book, Fermina has recognized a change in Ariza and their love is allowed to blossom once more in their old age. For most of the novel, their communication is limited to correspondence by letter; not until the end of the book do Fermina and Florentino converse at length
Review: García Márquez's main notion is that lovesickness is a literal illness, a disease comparable to cholera. Ariza suffers from this just as he might suffer from any malady. At one point, he conflates his physical agony with his amorous agony when he vomits after eating flowers in order to imbibe Fermina's scent. In the final chapter, the Captain's declaration of metaphorical plague is another manifestation of this. The term cholera as it is used in Spanish, cólera, can also denote human rage and ire. (The English adjective choleric has the same meaning.) It is this second meaning to the title that manifests itself both on the level of Ariza's hatred for Urbino's marriage to Fermina, as well as the theme of social strife and warfare that serves as a backdrop to the entire story.
Opening Line: “It was inevitable; the scent o biter almonds always reminded him of the fate o unrequited love.
Closing Line: “Forever” he said.”
Quotes: “A man should have two wives: one to love and one to sew on his buttons.”
Rating: mediocre

No comments:

Post a Comment