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Love in the Time of Cholera

            In his novel Love in the Time of Cholera, I feel that Gabriel Garcia Marquez has used magical realism quite successfully to analyse love at all ages in particular through the character of Florentino Ariza. In presenting Florentino's life-long wait for Fermina Daza, Marquez interweaves in an ever-shifting pattern a sharply etched realism in the ordinary events in Florentino's life in descriptive detail. These events contain dreamlike elements and culminate in a fairy tale ending. .
             Marquez examines two sides of love, the mundane love between the rational Doctor Juvenal Urbino and his dutiful wife Fermina, and in contrast, the consuming passion of Florentino that sees his beloved Fermina in a way no one else can. However it is through the latter that I believe Marquez uses magical realism successfully to analyse love at all ages.
             Florentino is in his early 20s when he first sees Fermina as she raised her eyes to see who was passing and for Florentino "that casual glance was the beginning of a cataclysm of love that still had not ended half a century later."" There are elements of magical realism as Marquez describes the actions of a young man who is so consumed with passiont hat he acts irrationally. For example, Florentino begins to idolize Fermina "endowing her with improbable virtues and imaginary sentiments- and carries on a passionate and secret affair entirely by way of letters and telegrams although the two have exchanged hardly a hundred words face to face. Marquez exaggerates Florentino's lovesickness by having him eat roses until he is sick. So consumed is Florentino by his love affair, that he develops symptoms strongly resembling those of cholera. Three days in leg irons for being out after the curfew is not long enough for Florentino who wants a longer confinement so he can call himself a martyr to true love. His love for Fermina becomes nearly unreal in it's intensity, as is evidenced in a certain instance when he buys a mirror from a restaurant-owner simply because he had spent an hour watching Fermina reflected in the glass.

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