full title Love in the Time of Cholera
author Gabriel GarcíEscolasticaa Márquez
type of work Novel
genre Fiction, Romance
early 1980's, bogota, colombia and mexico city, mexico
date of first publication 1985
publisher Penguin Books
point of view The narrator is continuously omniscient throughout the entirety of the novel and provides an objective view of each character through sequence of events, dialogue, and description.
tone The narration is written much like poetry; the language is dense and somewhat formal, though it is beautified by lyricism and rich description. Despite its very formal use of language, the poetic tone is often injected with humor.
tense Frequently shifts in tense from present to past; the book begins in the present, and makes references to a yet unknown past, which is explained later on in the book. In explaining the history of the first scenes, the author builds up to the final, current scene.
setting (time) Turn of the century
setting (place) Fabricated, tropical Caribbean port ("District of the Viceroys"), turn of the century
protagonist Florentino Ariza and/or Fermina Daza
major conflict Florentino Ariza suffers for more than fifty years without Fermina Daza, his first love, and tries to win her back after the death of her husband, Dr. Juvenal Urbino.
rising action Dr. Juvenal Urbino falls to his death on Pentecost Sunday, after trying to retrieve his pet parrot from the mango tree in the yard.
climax After more than half a century, Florentino Ariza reiterates his love for Fermina Daza on the night of her husband's funeral.
falling action Florentino and Fermina, both of whom are now elderly, fall back in love on a riverboat cruise.
themes Love as an Emotional and Physical Plague; The Fear and Intolerance of Aging and Death; Suffering in the Name of Love
motifs Birds; Flowers; Water
symbols The Yellow Flag of Cholera; The "Tiger;" A Camellia Flower
foreshadowing Jeremiah Saint-Amour's suicide, and the discovery of his secret lover foreshadows the narrative explanation of the love affair between Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza. Fermina's refusal of Florentino's camellias, "flowers of promise," and the bird droppings that fall on her embroidery work when he asks for her permission to court her, foreshadow the anguish their tortured affair will entail.