Love in the Time of Cholera
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Analysis: Writing Style
Circular, Repetitive, Complex, Imaginative, Humorous, Rich, Foreboding
You may have noticed that the plot of this story doesn't progress in a linear fashion. In fact, García Márquez starts us off pretty near the end of our protagonists' lives, and then spends most of the book filling us in on the backstory. We're left with the feeling that this is all being narrated from some distant point in the future, by someone who keeps getting sidetracked, getting ahead of himself, or remembering an important bit that he left out a few chapters back. The result is a style that's circular, often repetitive, and complex – yet told with such humor and richness of detail that we don't mind hearing any of it out of order or more than once.
The narrator's tendency to get ahead of himself also often leaves us with a sense of foreboding, especially because most of the things that he hints will happen in the future involve death and destruction. He's always sneaking little phrases in, like "until the day of his death" (3.56), that remind us not only that the characters are mortal, but that he knows the exact circumstances of how they'll meet their end. If we pay attention, he'll tell us all about it.