Urbino leaves the scene of the suicide and discovers his best friend and chess partners secret, “ illicit love. ” 3 This “ haughty mulatto with cruel golden eyes” beat him at his final game of chess and then helped him to kill himself. “ I could not [report his attempt at suicide], ” she told Dr. Urbino, “ I loved him too much. ” 4 This confusion of love and death continues throughout the novel. The main love story in Love in the Time of Cholera is between Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Florentino used to watch the young Fermina walking to and from school.
The aspiring poet he was, he wrote a more than a sixty-page love letter to her but, at his mother's advice, did not deliver it. He instead stalked and stared at the school girl, once even appearing in her bedroom in the dead of night. The letter he finally delivers consists only of words promising his “ his perfect fidelity and his everlasting love. ” 5 He, of course, means it beyond all imaginable realms. Their childish letter-writing affair and few brief encounters dissolve “ with a wave of her hand. ” Today when I saw you, ” Fermina writes to Florentino, “ I realized that what is between us is nothing more than an illusion. ” 6 This rejection, this heartbreak, makes Florentino becomes physically ill.
He eventually turns to a life of nymphomania for consolation. However, the depth of his love, the trueness of his vow, makes the symptoms he suffers from the heartbreak almost deadly. [Florentinos] anguish was complicated by diarrhea and green vomit, he became disoriented and suffered from sudden fainting spells, and his mother was terrified because his condition did not resemble the turmoil of love so much as the devastation of cholera.
he had a weak pulse, the hoarse breathing, and the perspiration of a dying man. But his examinations revealed that he had no fever, no pain anywhere and that his only concrete feeling was an urgent desire to die. All that was needed was shrewd questioning, first of the patient and then of his mother, to conclude once again that the symptoms of love were the same as those of cholera.
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