Love In The Time of Cholera

Love In The Time of Cholera  (El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera)
-by Gabriel García Márquez
348 pages (1985)

cholera: an effective metaphor for love

Love in the Time of Cholera, an arresting tale of unrequited love, dramatically chronicles a 50-year love triangle set in Columbia, spanning from roughly 1880 to 1930. Gabriel García Márquez's novel, with an intensity that rivals the classics, explores the concept that suffering for love is akin to a genre of nobility. Based on the perception that love-sickness is a literal infirmity, the author effectively uses cholera throughout the novel as a metaphor for love - love as a malady comparable to a devastating ailment. 

The condemned vertices of the love triangle include the obsessive lyricist, Florentino Ariza, who falls desperately and dangerously in love with the beautiful headstrong Fermina Daza. After meeting only briefly, the two commence an intense 3-year romance-by-letter. As years pass and Daza matures, she ultimately casts off any feelings towards the romantically love-sick Ariza, and instead, offers her hand in matrimony to the practical and respectable Doctor Juvenal Urbino - a specialist in overcoming the wide sweep of choleraic outbreaks. 

Heartbroken and rejected by the only woman he will ever truly love, Florentino Ariza does everything in his power to try to forget Daza, to no avail. And so, for over 50 years, he is left to be tormented by his passion for the woman he cannot forget, attempting to move on and yet hoping all the while she will return to him, even in the winter years of his life. 

Aside from the unnecessary sexual content in certain chapters, the story-line and García Márquez's poetic style are captivating.

The touching bitter-sweet conclusion to the severity of Love in the Time of Cholera will be sure to satisfy.

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