Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a famous Colombian novelist, journalist, screenwriter and short-story writer. He is considered one of the most important writers of the 20th century and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1972. He is mostly known for his novels, such as Autumn of the Patriarch, Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera.
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was first published in 1985 in Spanish and in 1988 in English and it tells the story of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza, who falls in love with him but they can not be together because the girl’s father doesn’t approve with their relationship. Fermina will marry a young doctor devoted to science, modernity and progress, Juvenal Urbino. His role in the story is to contrast Florentino’s love for Fermina. Urbino proves not to have been a faithful husband and he confesses Fermina that he cheated on her some years ago, while Florentino’s love is spiritually chaste. In the end, Florentino and Fermina will live their love story during their old age.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, by choosing this title for his book tried to point out that love is an emotional and physical plague, comparable to cholera. Florentino Ariza is the one who suffers from love sickness and he endures both emotional and physical pain as he suffers because of Fermina. He gives everything for his love, but sometimes he exaggerates, for example when he eats flowers and drinks cologne so that he may know Fermina’s scent. His love is like a disease, he becomes sick from worry thinking that Fermina will not respond to his love letter, which shows that in a way, he is mentally disturbed. Florentino’s love and passion for Fermina last for more than 51 years and the author tries to point that love can persist like a deadly plague of cholera and that in this case Florentino was plagued by love.
The novel is also about the fear of aging and death. Florentino and Fermina’s love resists for so many years that by the time they can actually be together they will realize how many things have changed, especially them and their actions both physical and mental. Their love story is a subject of mockery, because of people’s beliefs that love at an elderly age can simply not happen.
Another theme present in the novel is about suffering in the name of love. For example, when Florentino has to spend 3 days because of the serenade he performed for Fermina, but he doesn’t feel bad about it, he actually feels satisfaction for the sacrifice he made in the name of love.
One of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s best novels, Love in the Time of Cholera is a romantic story of two people whose love lasts for more than 51 years, who have the patience to wait for the right moment to be together and that despite of their age when this right moment finally comes, have the power to overcome every obstacle the same way they did for so long.