Love in the Time of Cholera
Old Age Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
She clung to her husband. And it was just at the time when he needed her most, because he suffered the disadvantage of being ten years ahead of her as he stumbled alone through the mists of old age, with the even greater disadvantage of being a man and weaker than she was. (4.157)
This is one of the many times that García Márquez makes the observation that elderly men are weaker than their wives. Is this true? Or is their dependency more due to culture than biology?
At Dr. Juvenal Urbino's time of life, that night at the film, men blossomed in a kind of autumnal youth, they seemed more dignified with their first gray hairs, they became witty and seductive, above all in the eyes of young women, while their withered wives had to clutch at their arms so as not to trip over their own shadows. A few years later, however, the husbands fell without warning down the precipice of a humiliating aging in body and soul, and then it was their wives who recovered and had to lead them by the arm as if they were blind men on charity […] (5.99)
According to the narrator, men and women age differently – men seem to have the advantage at first, while women retain control of their faculties for longer. Is this a fair trade-off? Could this gendered pattern of aging account for some of the differences in social roles between men and women?
The years of immobilized waiting, of hoping for good luck, were behind him, but on the horizon he could see nothing more than the unfathomable sea of imaginary illnesses, the drop-by-drop urinations of sleepless nights, the daily death at twilight. He thought that all the moments in the day, which had once been his allies and sworn accomplices, were beginning to conspire against him. (5.106)
Florentino's perception of time changes as he gets old. It seems like he's counting every moment, because he knows there aren't as many of them left. These moments aren't enjoyable, though. Can you imagine counting the drops of your own urination to pass the time? Pure torture.