Analysis of Love in the Time of Cholera
An in-depth analysis of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s `Love in the Time of Cholera.`
This paper discusses a variety of critical viewpoints of Marquez’s novel “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Each stance is evaluated through textual examples. Emphasis is placed on how to interpret the ending of the novel. The characters are discussed in great detail as to how their actions influence the outcome of the novel.
“Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera is often interpreted as a sentimental love story whose characters embrace romantic stereotypes while validating the clich’s which dominate them. Thomas Pynchon aspires to this view when he describes the novel as an offering of hope; a revolutionary work which suggests “that the vows of love made under a presumption of immortality ” youthful idiocy, to some ” may yet be honored, much later in life when we ought to know better, in the face of the undeniable”. For Pynchon, Marquez wants to assert the possibility that a character such as Florentino can keep his promise to love Fermina Daza forever. “To live a long, full and authentic life based on such a vow, to put one’s allotted stake of precious time where one’s heart is”(Pynchon, 1). Elizabeth Beverley cites this premise as the reason the novel spent several months on the New York Times’ bestseller list. People want to read about a kind of love which both defies and redeems time, anger, and contagion. However, she more perceptively points out the ironic metaphor of the opening chapter. Juvenal Urbino finds out that his friend, Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, is not the person he seemed to be. It unsettles him; he cannot keep his footing, literally cannot keep his footing. And so he falls(Beverly, 2). Juvenal’s mortal fall parallels the reader’s loss of footing. As the novel unfolds, we find that it is not the sentimental love story we wanted to read about. We are like his man (Juvenal), believing that we know certain facts about these kinds of big books, believing even that we are being invited to read the lives of one set of characters. Then, astonishingly, we find out that this novel isn’t what it seems to be at all; we must readjust. We feel unsettled; we lose our footing(Beverly, 2). Love in the Time of Cholera is not just a simple story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. Nor is it the triumph of love in old age. Marquez may seem to support these sentimental notions on the manifest level, but he savagely attacks them on the latent level.”