Love in the Time of Cholera is a novel that was written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This novel revolves around a love affair between Florentino Arizo and his ex-wife Fermina Daza. These are the main characters in the novel. Other characters include Lorenzo Daza, Jeremiah Saint-Amour, Transito Ariza, Dona Blanca and Miss Barbara Lynch among others (Marquez 2007).
Florentino Arizo was an old-man aged seventy eight. He was deeply and secretly in love with Fermina Daza for an extraordinarily long time after their separation. Florentino declared to Fermina his love for her twice, though she declined. He declared to her eternal fidelity and everlasting love.
Florentino suffers from this secret love in a severe manner similar to how one would suffer from cholera. He, however, manages to tolerate and to carry on with his physical and emotional pains. Florentino has been infected by a persistent passion for Fermina (Fahy 2003). This condition started when Fermina rejected him through divorce several years ago.
He is portrayed as an impassioned sex addict who is obsessed with love. His addiction to sex forces him to have sex with other women in order to overcome his emotional pains and headaches that result from his obsessive love for Fermina. He uses sex as a means of forgetting his psychological torture and mental illness, despite his declaration of eternal fidelity and deep love for Fermina (Reinholtz & Bloom 2010).
In the second chapter, Florentino is very ill and at the same time worried about the response he would get from Fermina after his second declaration of love for her. He was sick in the heart and stomach. His sickness rose above physical pains and drifted to psychological and mental disturbances. His love for Fermina was the source of all his anguish. He further complicated his emotional pain when he ate flowers and drank perfume, hoping that he would be able to identify Fermina’s scent.
When Fermina turned down his second profession of love, he becomes more ill. Gabriel describes him as a “more dead than a dead man” (Marquez 2007). His old age also worsened his psychological sufferings. He did not give up loving Fermina. He enjoyed the suffering of his love for Fermina. Finally, he lies calmly waiting for his death after his undying love for Fermina became fruitless.
In conclusion, as Gabriel points out, love is an emotional and physical disease. It is a sickness, just as cholera, that requires shrewd handling and management.