Love in the Time of Cholera
Literature and Writing Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Florentino Ariza wrote everything with so much passion that even official documents seemed to be about love. His bills of lading were rhymed no matter how he tried to avoid it, and routine business letters had a lyrical spirit that diminished their authority. (4.7)
Florentino's inability to write a decent business letter is a great example of García Márquez's use of hyperbole. The idea that this character is cursed to write in verse so that even his bills come out in rhyme is one of the many exaggerations that contribute to a sense of the fantastic.
This was the period when he spent his free time in the Arcade of the Scribes, helping unlettered lovers to write their scented love notes, in order to unburden his heart of all the words of love that he could not use in customs reports. (4.9)
Why would two people who don't know how to read choose to send each other love letters as a way of expressing their feelings? When Florentino substitutes his own feelings for Fermina into the letters he's writing on behalf of others, it calls attention to the fact that the letter itself is full of symbolic meaning. The contents of the letter don't really matter that much, in this case.
She had put into it all the fury of which she was capable, her cruelest words, the most wounding, most unjust vilifications, which still seemed minuscule to her in light of the enormity of the offense. It was the final act in a bitter exorcism through which she was attempting to come to terms with her new situation. (6.1)
Fermina has never been much of a writer – her teenage letters to Florentino were always much shorter and less expressive than his – but this time her letter is extremely heartfelt. In fact, it's a kind of "exorcism" of all the negative feelings she's experienced since her husband's death.