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MonkeyNotes-Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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PLOT

In Chapter One, Dr. Juvenal Urbino, an elderly doctor from an aristocratic family and a leader in the city, examines the body of his good friend, Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, who has committed suicide to avoid old age. He had greatly admired Jeremiah, who was a chess master and childrenís photographer. When he finds a long suicide note, Dr. Urbino is greatly disturbed at its contents. His wife, Fermina Daza, thinks nothing of what the note says. Her husband, however, feels compelled to follow the directions in the note. He visits a secret lover of Jeremiah de Saint-Amour and is shocked to find she is a black woman. He is also shocked that she aided her lover in his plan to kill himself. Still shaken by the news, he returns home to dress for a gala luncheon in honor of one of his most distinguished medical students. When he and Fermina Daza attend the event, a downpour almost spoils everything, but the hostess manages to salvage the party.

Arriving home, Juvenal and Fermina find the house in an uproar because his parrot has escaped into the trees. After his siesta, Juvenal goes out and finds the bird. When he tries to reach for it, the bird goes higher and higher in the tree. He stumbles on the ladder, falls, and soon dies. Fermina Daza is distraught over his death. There is an elaborate funeral, which Florentino Ariza attends. At the end of the day, when everyone has left, Fermina Daza finds Florentino Ariza in her parlor. He tells her he has waited for more than fifty years to repeat his pledge of undying love and eternal fidelity to her. She orders him to leave and finds herself sobbing in grief over her husbandís death and rage over Florentino Arizaís gall.


Chapter two tells the story of Florentino Ariza, who is the illegitimate son of Transito Ariza and Don Pius V Loayza. His father died when Florentino was only ten; before his death, he never recognized him legally. As an uneducated adult, Florentino goes to work in a telegraph office with Lotario Thugut. He teaches Florentino all about his job and how to play the violin. Despite his pitiful appearance, Florentino is popular with girls his age, but he is not attracted to any of them. One day, however, when he is delivering a telegram to the father of Fermina Daza, he catches sight of her and falls in love. He learns all he can about Fermina Daza and her father. She goes to an Academy for girls of the aristocracy. While he is trying to decide how to approach her, she and her aunt Escolastica have noticed his interest and have been discussing him. He has been sitting in the park by her house for several weeks pretending to read so he can watch her pass by on her way to school. In the meantime, Florentino Ariza has written seventy pages of compliments in a letter to her. His mother advises him to give her a shorter letter.

One day Florentino crosses over to her house, where Fermina is sitting with her aunt. They arrange to meet the next week so he can give her his letter. After the first letter, they become devoted to one another. She knows her father would be opposed to Florentino since he wants her to marry into aristocracy; as a result, she and her aunt keep the love affair a secret. In the meantime, Lotario Thugut tries to introduce Florentino Ariza to illicit sex. Florentino refuses and spends his time writing love letters to Fermina. The rapid exchange of letters between the two continues until she finally agrees to marry him. One day, Fermina Daza is caught reading one of his love letters and is expelled from the Academy. Her father is furious and banishes his sister, Aunt Escolastica, for keeping the love affair a secret. He takes Fermina for a long visit to relatives, hoping to make her forget Florentino. The long stay with relatives makes Fermina Daza realize she can be happy without him. When she and her father return home, he assumes that Florentino is a forgotten man. He turns over the keys of the house and her life to her. When she sees Florentino Ariza, Fermina realizes their love affair has been all an illusion and sends him away permanently.

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MonkeyNotes-Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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