Love In The Time Of Cholera~
“Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is "timing" it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.” ― Fulton J. Sheen
When is the right time to love?
Florentino and Fermina fell in love in their youth and despite the many obstacles in their path, a secret relationship bloomed through exchange of love letters. However, as fate would have it, they were separated but, no matter what the distance, love surely finds a way and the two continued to communicate through letters via telegram.
Distance, however, was not the only thing they have to conquer. There’s also the idiosyncrasy of their social status as Florentino came from a poor family and Fermina was born from a renowned and wealthy family. And so eventually, she got engaged and married to another wealthy man-a medical doctor with a great reputation in the society; a dedicated man known for his determination in the eradication of cholera.
Do you believed in love at first sight?
The news shattered Florentino but he didn’t give up and instead dedicated his life to building his wealth and status to be worthy of Fermina, while he passes the years with more than 600 affairs. He became obsessive and addicted to sex and yet no one has really captured his heart the way Fermina did (so, he claimed) from the very first time he caught eyes on her. Through all those years, he never really stopped loving Fermina and not a day had passed that something did not happen to remind him of her. His body may have grown old and weary but not his heart. He was deliriously in love with Fermina that even after Fermina’s marriage, he swore to stay faithful and waited for Fermina, and so that he may re-affirm his eternal love for her.
Do you find love at mid-life disgusting and socially unacceptable?
Can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives?
After fifty years, nine months and four days when Fermina’s husband died, the opportunity came and he re-stated his love for her. He went to the funeral and there he once again proposed to Fermina. Although, furious with Florentino’s insensitive gesture (bad timing), the newly made widow Fermina eventually remembered her love for him when she was only eighteen and the many more memories of their younger years.
“It is incredible how one can be happy for so many years in the midst of so many squabbles, so many problems, damn it, and not really know if it was love or not.”
The story came to a peaceful and happy ending as Fermina came to recognize Florentino’s wisdom and maturity and their love rekindle during their old age. Florentino invited Fermina on a cruise, in which she delightfully accepted with the thoughts of leaving home to free her mind from sadness and memories of the past, particularly of her dead husband.
They went on a voyage and made love despite their old physical attributes. As the cruise reaches its last port, Fermina was conscious as there were people she knows on board. She was bothered by the bizarre reactions of the society and thought about what people would say about them and the scandal it would cause that would tarnish her reputation in the society.
“Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness, and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was time when they both loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other moral trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.”
And so, Florentino still plagued by love disease used his power as President of the boat company and ordered the Captain of the cruise to raise the yellow flag that signals cholera, in which the captain obliged. This means complete surrender as in a sufferer of cholera would surrender to death. There remain no other passengers on board but the two along with the captain and his lover. As no port would allow them to dock and with the yellow “cholera” flag waving triumphantly, they remained on board and forever exiled to cruise.
A tangled love affair that lasts for decades and after fifty years, nine months…. they were together at last breathing the winds of joy aboard the voyages of love.
"This is one of the greatest love stories I have ever read. ... It is so beautifully written that it really takes you to another place in time and will make you ask yourself—how long could you, or would you, wait for love?" — Oprah
This is “Love in the Time of Cholera” - a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez originally published in Spanish released in 1988. It is a sentimental novel about the enduring power of true love. The book was later on translated to English and adapted to a movie in 2007.
With social strife and warfare as a backdrop, the story tells us about the extremely romantic attitude of a man towards life and how love can conquer everything most importantly with patience; a quite mesmerizing and resplendent story.
“and it was always without pretensions of loving or being loved although always in the hope of finding something that resembled love but without the problems of love.”
The story depicts some notions that lovesickness really means illness, a disease comparable to cholera, which in Spanish can also denote “human rage and ire”. Florentino suffers from lovesickness just like one suffers from cholera enduring physical, mental and emotional pain and hunger towards his love for Fermina.
As in the story, Florentino and Fermina had surpassed all the complexities of love that hinders them including the society’s biased opinion that love or to fall in love is only for the young ones and to be in love after mid-life is apparently disgusting and not socially acceptable.
Florentino, on the other hand despite his age and physical difficulties was very well determined in his intention to win Fermina and disregarded the hurtful stereotyping of the society against the elderly.
In the end, Florentino ambushed by love (sickness) succeeded in his ultimate desire: Fermina.
“and the two of them loved each other for a long time in silence without making love again.”
Escape into your imagination~
Love in the Time of Cholera is a story of love, devotion and faith. Love at first sight, forbidden yet erotic, passionate, chaotic, serene, endearing and enduring. It also proves that all is fair in love, the young and the old, the rich and the poor and anything and any one in between.
For in the end of the book tells us that love comes with sacrifices and sufferings and at the end of it all, if one is willing to do so, love will return and will be returned and in the pursuit of winning that love awaits a new meaning in life.
How long will you wait for love?
Well then, it is said that love waits patiently and there it explains the importance of patience. Summing it up, with love and patience anything is possible and one is never too young or too old for love and as Helen Fisher, one of my favorite authors said in her book (Why We Love: The nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love): “Being in love is universal to humanity; it is a part of human nature, and the capacity for romantic love is woven into the fabric of the human brain.” ~
Indeed, love is ageless and “it is life, more than death that has no limits.”
All Quote Reference: http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3285349-el-amor-en-los-tiempos-del-c-lera
If you haven’t read the book yet, grab your copy here:
Post Script 1:
Since the season of love is here, I invite you to read the book or watch the movie or do both, if you haven’t yet. I read the book first and then watched the movie (as I often do). I suggest you do the same thing and only then you’d appreciate the brilliance of the author- Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Although, I personally thought that Florentino’s love was kind of pathetic, I find the story as a whole is beautiful. I promised you a delightful read and you’ll surely enjoy the movie. Perfect this Valentine’s Day and not just for the hopeless romantic!
Post Script 2:
I hope you had a pleasure reading this hub and whether you find it insightful or otherwise, I’d love to hear from you. Do you agree that love is only for the young ones? Do you find love at mid-life disgusting? What are your thoughts on love in mid-life? Shall we shun it because it is not socially acceptable? Can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives? Your views are welcome in the comment box below.
Thank you for reading. Please spread some love- share the hub. :)
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