Love in the Time of Cholera
How we cite our quotes:
She often said to him: "I adore you because you made me a whore."
Said in another way, she was right. Florentino Ariza had stripped her of the virginity of a conventional marriage, more pernicious than congenital virginity or the abstinence of widowhood. He had taught her that nothing one does in bed is immoral if it helps to perpetuate love. And something else that from that time on would be her reason for living: he convinced her that one comes into the world with a predetermined allowment of lays, and whoever does not use them for whatever reason, one's own or someone else's, willingly or unwillingly, loses them forever. It was to her credit that she took him at his word. (3.144-145)
Hold on just a second – wasn't the Widow Nazaret the one to make the decision to go to bed with Florentino? Wasn't it Florentino's mom's idea in the first place to have the widow sleep in Florentino's room? So why does Florentino get all the credit for introducing the Widow Nazaret to her sexually emancipated lifestyle? It seems like she was the one to do him a favor.
And yet that first experience, although cruel and short-lived, did not leave her bitter; rather, she had the overwhelming conviction that with or without marriage, or God, or the law, life was not worth living without a man in her bed. What Florentino Ariza liked best about her was that in order to reach the heights of glory, she had to suck on an infant's pacifier while they made love. (4.97)
García Márquez has been accused of portraying women in stereotypical ways. One of his "types," according to his critics, is the prostitute – the promiscuous woman who attains "liberation" through sex. (The Widow Nazaret seems to be the perfect example of this stereotype – just see the previous quote.) When you consider that what Florentino likes best about his girlfriend Sara Noriega is her kinky fondness for sex toys, it makes you wonder: is her character anything more than a stereotype?
In less bitter circumstances he would have persisted in his pursuit of Sara Noriega, certain of ending the evening rolling in bed with her, for he convinced that once a woman goes to bed with a man, she will continue to go to bed with him whenever he desires, as long as he knows how to move her to passion each time. (4.111)
Florentino has some pretty sexist opinions about women. Here, however, Florentino's backwards idea is shown to be false. Sara Noriega rejects him and he goes home humiliated.