Love in the Time of Cholera
How we cite our quotes:
Fermina Sánchez, however, settled on her desire with the blind determination of love when it is opposed, and she married him despite her family, with so much speed and so much secrecy that it seemed as if she had done so not for love but to cover over with a sacramental cloak some premature mistake. (2.101)
Hmmm…sound familiar? Lorenzo Daza completely misses the irony that his daughter's love affair is a repetition of the affair carried on by her mother…with him.
But in those solitary Masses they began to be aware that once again they were mistresses of their fate, after having renounced not only their family name but their own identity in exchange for a security that was no more than another of a bride's many illusions. They alone knew how tiresome was the man they loved to distraction, who perhaps loved them but whom they had to continue nurturing until his last breath as if he were a child, suckling him, changing his soiled diapers, distracting him with a mother's tricks to ease his terror at going out each morning to face reality. And nevertheless, when they watched him leave the house, this man they themselves had urged to conquer the world, then they were the ones left with the terror that he would never return. That was their life. (4.113)
Whoa, Florentino paints a really bleak picture of marriage. The way he sees it, it seems that women give up their identities to marry men who they have to care for like children, then worry every day that their husbands might leave them. No wonder they're happy to be widows. Is there any truth to this, or is Florentino's perspective merely biased because of his love for the (now married) Fermina Daza?
It was against all scientific reason for two people who hardly knew each other, with no ties at all between them, with different characters, different upbringings, and even different genders, to suddenly find themselves committed to living together, to sleeping in the same bed, to sharing two destinies that perhaps were fated to go in opposite directions. (4.126)
When you put it that way, marriage doesn't really make a whole lot of sense. Somehow, though, it works – at least some of the time. What sort of reason, if not scientific, does it follow?