For readers familiar with Love in the Time of Cholera, the themes of love and death would be constantly visited and revisited again by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in his novel, with a tad of heavy reliance on the cholera pandemic (as the title suggests not so subtly) and going so far as to intertwine them into a single notion (more often than not) throughout. Such a combination (and comparison) is most visible in Florentino, and helps shapes our emotions and thoughts about him as a character. Yet, in seeing how the author allows these themes to interact as merely a vehicle to power his characters and novel would be too simplistic an idea; instead, one should perhaps consider the alternative viewpoints of these themes addressing deeper concerns
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The defiance of growing old, which can also see it as the creeping up of death onto one (for all would eventually die), now brings forth the idea that love is able to triumph over all obstacles, including death. This notion would prove to the final stroke to the novel by Marquez, and one which he had pursuit in a roundabout way but eventually reaching so. That Florentino decides the death of Dr. Urbino is needed before his love with Fermina to abound once again, irrevocably, ties the notion of death and love together once again.
The ending to his novel also leaves much to be desired for his readers. While the comparison of love to that of a plague endears even in the final chapter – with the false declaration of the “outbreak” of cholera onboard New Fidelity required before the two lovebirds could at last be together – it also encapsulates the love of Florentino towards Fermina since the beginning. For one inflicted by love literally, the lovesickness that he has suffered is much like how one suffers from cholera, with the emotional torment and physical pain that had plagued him for much of the novel. Florentino’s final symbolic “surrender” to cholera at the end is equivalent to his surrender to love, allowing it to consume him fully. This also draws a line to the meaning