Love in the Time of Cholera: Top Ten Quotes
1.“There was no innocence more dangerous than the innocence of age” (I. 13).
Dr. Urbino is shocked by the sordid revelations of the death letter of Jeremiah de Saint-Amour and having to go to the rowdy and dirty slave quarter of the city, with which he is unfamiliar, on an errand.
2. “A clandestine life shared with a man who was never completely hers, and in which they often knew the sudden explosion of happiness, did not seem to her a condition to be despised.” (I. 14).
The mistress of Jeremiah de Saint-Amour had been his secret lover for years, but this illicit character of love made it more exciting to both of them.
3. “If they had learned anything together, it was that wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good” (I. 26).
The Urbinos have had their share of domestic trials and domestic games of competition, and have finally weathered them in old age when they do not have much time left.
4. “He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past” (III. 106).
The young Dr. Juvenal Urbino romanticizes his South American city while in Paris, remembering his home not as it is but through his fondness for it.
5. “They were people whose lives were slow, who did not see themselves growing old, or falling sick, or dying, but who disappeared little by little in their own time, turning into memories, mists from other days, until they were absorbed into oblivion” (III, 113).
As opposed to the poor who die in disease and violence, the rich upper class disappear into their own world of memories of the past.
6. “Hildebranda had a universal conception of love, and she believed that whatever happened to one love affected all other loves throughout the world” (III. 129).
Fermina’s cousin keeps up her illicit love with a married man believing she is helping other lovers in the world.
7. “He had taught her that nothing one does in bed is immoral if it helps to perpetuate love” (III. 151).
Although not really in love with the Widow Nazaret, Florentino explores with her in their dual sexual liberation the pleasures of the bed.
8. “Florentino Ariza had come to realize that the world was full of happy widows” (IV, 202).
Many of Florentino’s lovers are widows who feel free after being a wife. He envisions Fermina as a future widow free to love him.
9. “The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast” (IV. 209).
Dr. Urbino admits the difficulty of his marriage.
10. “A century ago, life screwed that poor man and me because we were too young, and now they want to do the same thing because we are too old” (VI. 323).
Fermina defends Florentino in her old age, refusing to heed public opinion about the indecency of their love. They had been denied when young, and now they want their chance before they die.
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