Love in the Time of Cholera
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love in the Time of Cholera Theme of Love
You know what love is like? Love is a lot like a disease. Or a battle. Or death. OK, we're not being fair – that's only what love is like sometimes, at least in this novel. There's a lot of pleasure mixed in with all the pain and suffering, but, really, love is so diverse that it's hard to say what we should compare it to. All sorts of people love in Love in the Time of Cholera – from lusty teenagers to dirty old men – and the novel spans so many decades that we can see how the ways that they love change over time.
Questions About Love
- How do the three protagonists in this novel think about love? How do their perspectives change over time? Do any of their ideas seem right on the money or completely off the wall to you?
- Does love produce more happiness or more suffering in the novel?
- What does it mean when García Márquez writes that love is "more solid" the closer it comes to death (6.221)? What is the relationship between love and death in the novel?
- Why does Fermina's love for Florentino dissipate so quickly when she sees him in the Arcade of Scribes? Were her feelings for him really just an illusion?
Chew on This
Of the three main characters, Fermina has the most pragmatic understanding of love – she's able to feel passion without relinquishing her obligations to herself, her family, and society.
Dr. Urbino doesn't love as deeply as Florentino or Fermina, but he is the happiest of the three.