Women In Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love In The Time Of Cholera

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In 19th Century Colombia, relationships between individuals were important affairs to be made with deference to patriarchal structures. Within this society, Fermina Daza leads a turbulent life. In her adolescence, she receives the unbridled affection of an excited youth and opens her heart, but has this relationship forcefully pushed away by her father. Then married to a man she considers the perfect “husband”, she has him taken away by death. With both Fermina’s lovers of Florentino Ariza and Dr. Juvenal Urbino, she finds herself pressured into uncomfortable situations. In fact, it is through them that Gabriel Garcia Marquez critically illustrates the influence that men have over women. In Love in the Time of Cholera, Marquez employs Fermina’s…show more content…
Juvenal Urbino illustrates the pervasion of male influence in adulthood. As stated by Dr. Juvenal Urbino, he himself is “the creature of a paternal plot” a metaphor that portrays him as a man used by Fermina’s father to control her womanhood. Marquez’s creation of insidious connotations towards the system of marriage are telling; much like Florentino, Dr. Urbino is also an embodiment of the patriarchal influence over women that seeks to control their development (Marquez 205). Furthermore, Fermina 's desire for independence is clear; she rejects Catholicism, her husband’s faith, stating that “men and women of the Church lacked any virtue inspired by God”(Marquez 160). This open rejection provides insight into Fermina’s value of independence, a value so ingrained that she refuses the concept that higher power guide her actions, or of others. However, she is made to transition into a domestic role. For the largest part of her youth, Fermina Daza longed for independence and rebelled against her father, and once again when married, “she felt herself losing her mind, as the mad woman [screaming] in the asylum next door” (207). Marquez metaphorically shows the way Fermina is unhappy in her house, but also the way she is controlled. As a result of male influence, her freedoms are being deprived and she is being forced into a domestic role she dislikes. However, her unwilling adaptation to this role is then…show more content…
Juvenal Urbino is used to develop a new, expected pragmatism towards affection. When involved with Florentino in her youth, Fermina would give into the drives of emotion, but she now finds that reflection on her feelings leads to more rational decisions. When reminded of her past with Florentino, she is metaphorically “tormented by the phantom of guilt” and is affected by this mentally when she blames others for things they hold no responsibility for (Marquez 204). Fermina begins to have doubts about her marriage, but upon reflecting on her vow to her husband, Fermina “accomplishes what reason indicated as the most decent thing to do...she wiped away the memory of Florentino Ariza.”(Marquez 206) Marquez uses this internal conflict to eventually realize Fermina’s fears, and through her response to them, indirectly characterizes her. Her actions of using reason as opposed to emotion demonstrate to the reader how she has since gained a degree of mastery over her feelings. Even in the instance where she discovers that Dr. Urbino has been sleeping with another woman, she fears that she will idiomatically go “blind with rage”(Marquez 250), but instead of angrily lashing out, she acts controlled. With issues concerning her marriage, Marquez demonstrates how she is the party expected to be emotionally
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