Fiction, Romance



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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.