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Love in the Time of Cholera- Chapter 1 and 2

Love in the Time of Cholera- Chapter 1 and 2

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Published by caramelsundae

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Published by: caramelsundae on Sep 12, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The first chapter of the novel unexpectedly exposes us directly to intense scenarios thatwill have immense logical relations in the later part of this work of fiction since the author,Gabriel Garcia Marquez did not explained the complete background of the characters, ideas or events in this division. However, paying attention to the events of this part would surely showthe way to sympathize to this complicated story of great love.In this opening chapter, we are welcomed by the story of Jeremiah Saint de Amour’sdeath, the best friend and chess mate of Dr. Juvenal Urbino. Most interesting is that it is asuicide by inhaling gold cyanide vapors. Saint-Amour's suicide is the first that Dr. Urbino hasseen that has not been triggered by a tortured love, but by an acute fear of aging. Also notableis the unfinished chess game in Saint-Amour's home, for it not only represents his unfinishedlife, but also presents questions that are answered later in the novel. Dr. Urbino notices anunfinished chess game on Saint-Amour's desk. He sees that Saint-Amour was going to bedefeated in only four moves, and thinks that if the death had been criminal, the game wouldprovide a good clue. The inspector discovers an envelope on the desk that is addressed to Dr.Urbino. Inside, the doctor finds eleven sheets with writing on either side. Saint-Amour'sposthumous letter instructs him to travel to a strange location in the old slave district of the city.When he arrives at his destination, a tumbledown, unmarked house, an unfamiliar grown-upwoman answers the door. She wears all black, a red rose tucked behind her ear, and reveals tothe doctor that she had been Saint-Amour's secret lover for half of his life, and had fullknowledge of his plans for suicide. She explains that she had been the one who had played,and nearly defeated, Saint-Amour in his final game of chess.Saint-Amour had sworn never to grow old, and made the decision to kill himself at theage of sixty. Faithfully, she had followed his every instruction in preparation for his death."Remember me with a rose," he had told her. She tells Urbino that she will not wallow inmourning, but will sell all of Saint-Amour's belongings and continue living happily in the "deathtrap of the poor," as she always has.Meanwhile, this chapter has also shown us the most serious argument of Dr. Urbino andFermina Daza in their fifty years of being together by just over a bar soap. It may sound veryunreasonable, but it was not simply about the bar soap but the issue behind its physicality isFermina’s stubbornness and superiority over her husband or her pride.
After the fight, Urbinolives at the hospital, and returns home only to change his clothes. Despite their attempts toreconciliation, he refuses to return home as long as she refuses to admit that there had been nosoap in the bathroom. Finally, the Doctor suggests that they both confess, with the Archbishop,if necessary, a proposal to which Fermina Daza replies: "To hell with the Archbishop!” Realizingshe has violated her limitations, she threatens to move back to her father's old house. Dr.Urbino understands that her threat is sincere, and gives way, not by admitting that there hadbeen soap, but by enduring to live with her — yet, in separate rooms, and in deafening silence.After four long months of pressure, the Doctor, for the desire of his kingly pleasurable bed, restsbeside his wife and confesses that there had indeed been soap, which they both know in reality,is a lie.
Very evidently, Fermina is a determined woman. She is a woman who knows what shewants and will not stop until she successfully achieves it: when her husband does not allow her to keep any creature that does not speak, she finds one that can, a parrot. When shepersistently refuses to forgive her husband until he admits to his own guilt, in time, hesurrenders to her conditions. However, Fermina also seems to be a caring, nurturing woman, for she pampers her aging husband as she would a defenseless, helpless baby, and has a fanaticallove of animals and flowers.Contrasting his wife, Dr. Urbino seems to some extent a cold, unemotional, inexpressiveman, for he takes more interest in his parrot than he does in his children, and dislikes bothanimals and flowers. Though he didn’t like animals, he eventually learned to love the parrot andeven teaching it with French lessons and gospels. His dedication for the parrot started from thevery moment when it frightens the thief away by barking like a dog and crying, "Stop thief,stop!”. Afterwards, he allows it to wander the house until it falls from a ceiling beam into a pot of stew.After Dr. Urbino and his wife attended the silver anniversary luncheon, the social eventof the year, held in honor of a medical colleague, Urbino takes a siesta, from which he isawakened by the sad consciousness that he is living his final afternoons. Just as he hadforgotten about the parrot, Urbino hears the bird close by, and spots him in the lowest branch of the mango tree. He talks to the bird, careful not to frighten it away, but the bird hops up to aslightly higher branch that he must reach with a ladder. The Doctor ascends the ladder, reachesfor the parrot, and is discovered by a servant who screams in fright for his safety. Dr. Urbinocatches the parrot, but releases the bird immediately as the ladder slips from beneath his feet,and he falls to his death. Fermina take notice of the servant’s cry and comes running. With hislast breath, Dr. Juvenal Urbino says to his wife: "Only God knows how much I love you."
Sarcastically, Dr. Urbino's parrot, in which he has invested more time and effort than inhis children, is in due course held responsible for his death. The bird is to blame for the massivedisasters: the distress of the servants, the damage of the house by the fire department, and,most seriously, the fortuitous death of Dr. Urbino.The major heavy showers of the first chapter bring upon two immense twists of theentirety of the story. Firstly, the death of the well-known Doctor, and second to it, thereappearance of Florentino Ariza in Fermina's life at the death of his husband. Florentino tellsFermina that he has waited for this "opportunity" for fifty one years, nine months and four days,to repeat to her his vow of "eternal fidelity and everlasting love." Fermina felt disrespected, andorders him out of her house, demanding that he never return in all the years of his life, and thatshe hopes that there are a few of them.
A narration of meeting and courtship of Fermina by Florentino, is what this secondchapter all about. Generally, it provides us with various details of how in love they were whenthey were still young and how instantly Fermina decided to erase Florentino in her life.Even though Fermina and Florentino’s affair ended fifty one years, nine months and four days ago, yet, never a single day in his life did he fail to think of her with hopes that she mayalways be in good condition.Florentino lives with his mother, Transito Ariza, her only child by a casual boyfriend whonever recognizes Florentino as his lawful son, though he sustains for him financially, in secret,until his death when the boy is ten years old. After his father's death, Florentino has no choicebut to go to work, and serves up as a novice in the Postal Agency where he meets LotarioThugut, a German settler and the Agency's telegraph operator. Thugut teaches FlorentinoMorse Code and how to play the violin, skills which, combined with his downhearted, mystifyingappearance, make him the most-desired man in his social circle. Girls hold game of chances toagree on who will date him, and Florentino plays along — until the day he meets Fermina Dazaand loses his innocence.All at once, the first enchanting meeting of Florentino and Fermina was when he went toher house on the Park of the Evangels to send the telegram for her father, Lorenzo Daza, whowas not held in high public regard and a man of questionable business dealings. Lorenzoreports the telegram is good news, but Florentino offers with only a handshake. As Florentinoleaves the house, he notices Fermina giving a reading lesson to her Aunt Escolástica, whom hemistaken as her mother. Fermina and Florentino make pithy eye contact, a small interaction thateven so ignites Florentino's fervor. Florentino has no chances to come near to Fermina, for her aunt always accompaniesher on her walks to and from school. Every morning Florentino sits on a park bench andpretends to read something, just to wait for Fermina to walk passing him by. He thinks of her fanatically, and writes her a short message which eventually becomes a seventy-page"dictionary of compliments." He is hesitant of how to hand her the letter, and disclose hisromantic misery to his mother, his only sounding board or confidant. She recommends thatFlorentino not give Fermina the letter, but that he should first make friends with her aunt.However, Fermina notices Florentino siiting on the park bench and her aunt tells her thathe has been there for weeks possibly because he is in love with her. Aunt Escolástica assuresher that, one day, Florentino will present her a letter, for which Fermina prays he will deliver.Yet, her prayers go unanswered for the reason that Transito encourages her son not to deliver the letter he has written for her.For several days, he sits in the park and observes her, without being seen, and imaginesthat she looks like a 'crowned goddess.' One fortunate day, Escolástica leaves Ferminaunaccompanied, and Florentino approaches. He asks that Fermina accepts the letter from him,and she answers back, without looking at him, that she cannot accept it without her father'sconsent. he doesn’t take no for an answer that’s why he insists that she "get it," and that it is amatter of life or death. Fermina instructs Florentino to come again every afternoon, and to waitto approach again until she changes her seat. This occurs on the following Monday, thechanging of her seat. Florentino approaches and gives his letter to her. The letter that hehanded to her, however, was not the impressive statement he had written beforehand, but a

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