Links between LITTOC and the HT brainstormed in class

Social Status: The hierarchy in the HT — Love in the Time of Cholera there is also a question of status for instance, Florentino manages to change his social status (motivated by his love for Fermina), and Fermina improves her status through marriage


Sex used as an escape or as a form of power

HT: Offred sees the possibility of using her body with the doctor, the guards, the commander, and Nick

LITTOC: Florentino to fill the emptiness of not having Fermina or perhaps other psychological issues and justifies it as “love”


Revealing the sexist structures of society and promoting feminism / decrying patriarchy

HT: women are used as objects/property – they can’t own anything and are “objects of procreation” , women cannot have control over their own money and are made property

LITTOC: viewed as “prey”, Fermina’s frustration in her marriage — “servitude” , Fermina is like the “property” of Urbino/doesn’t make her own choices

both use “irony” — Serena’s position in society anti-career

Use of flower imagery

HT: flowers represent fertility — Serena’s garden and her cutting of the flowers

LITTOC: Fermina wears flower representing  purity



HT: brainwashed society, sometimes a survival mechanism to manipulate others

LITTOC: Fermina is constantly manipulated by one man or another


Power of words

HT: not allowed to use words and write, Offred is sensitive to words, her narration is also like letter or a journal in a way — very personal , but she does speak to some sort of audience

LITTOC: letters, Florentino’s sensitive to poetry– uses this to manipulate women and continue his illusions of love


Deterioration and transformation of society

HT: new society

LITTOC: author tries to denounce colonisation/



HT: physical violence, mental violence

LITTOC: sexual abuse, “predator”


Projection of feelings onto nature

HT: Offred often talks about flowers and seasons to portray her feelings/her environment

LITTOC: world deteriorating, etc


Use of foreshadowing/suspense–non chronological narrative

HT: euphemism





Chapter 5 and 6 Tasks: Love in the Time of Cholera

Chapter Five Tasks

1.       ‘Lolita is characterised by irony and sarcasm. It is not an erotic novel.’ [Samuel Schuman, 1979] To what extent could you make the same claim about Love in the Time of Cholera?2.       Why is Garcia Marquez determined in every chapter to make references to the colonial past and the postcolonial present?

3.       What do you think of Garcia Marquez’s handling of his female characters?

Chapter Six Tasks

1.       Comment on Garcia Marquez’s use of America Vicuna in the final chapter; why does her memory and death hover over the narrative?2.       Florentino Ariza’s mature love letters to Fermina Daza ‘can be thought of as constituting the novel itself in different form…’ – Kathleen McNerney. Discuss

3.       ‘The same civilisation that idealises lovers produces a global wasteland, and the private fantasies of romance are rafts on a sea of public devastation.’ – Jean Franco. Discuss.

Love in the Time of Cholera: Chapter 3 Tasks

Chapter Three Tasks

1.       Would you be able to defend Love in the Time of Cholera against the charges that it is pornographic and sexist?2.       Discuss the episode of the black doll on page 125. From what you know of Garcia Marquez’s career as a writer and the critical reception of his writing, what can you say about the genre of this particular episode?

3.       With particular reference to this chapter, discuss Love in the Time of Cholera as an anti-romantic novel.

Love in the Time of Cholera: Chapter 1 Tasks

Chapter One Tasks

1.       Consider the significance of Pentecost in this chapter by researching it in the book of Acts in the King James Bible. How might we link aspects of the Pentecost story with the action and preoccupations of the first chapter – consider, for example, the silver anniversary – and how might we look at details from the Pentecost story as a binary opposition?

Pentecost– day the holy spirit descends on the apostles and the Virgin Mary and allows them to speak every language 

silver anniversary–25 yrs of marriage (Urbino + Fermina)

opposition of celebrations : one celebration is religious, magical, and a celebration of communication — another is a celebration of a marriage –marriages we see in the book  no communication and perhaps no love 

the parrot has the power to “speak” and that is what will cause Urbino’s death

pentecost corresponds with death of Jeremiah de St Amour–name is symbolic–death of love? foreshadowing?

binary opposition of a public, colorful celebration — and a day where two friends will die, and also a period of death related to cholera


2.       Consider the significance of climate and geography in this chapter.

Located close to equator–tropical climate– symbolic of passion?

Takes place in a port city close to the ocean–trade and commercial exchange takes place — and also cultural exchange 

Symbolism of water and the ocean — baptism?

Hot climate — increases the cholera epidemic

“Once the stormy years of his early struggles were over…”

“The sky had begun to threaten very early in the day and the weather was cloudy and cool, but there was no chance of rain before noon.”

“In winter sudden devastating downpours flooded the latrines and turned the streets into sickening bogs. In summer an invisible dust as harsh as red-hot chalk was blown into even the bestprotected corners of the imagination by mad winds that took the roofs off the houses and carried away children through the air.” power of nature/power of love/uncontrollable/unpredictability

“At nightfall, at the oppressive moment of transition, a storm of carnivorous mosquitoes rose out of the swamps, and a tender breath of human shit, warm and sad, stirred the certainty of death in the depths of one’s soul.”

“The downpour ended as suddenly as it had begun, and the sun began to shine in a cloudless sky, but the storm had been so violent that several trees were uprooted and the overflowing stream had turned the patio into a swamp. The greatest disaster had occurred in the kitchen.”

“She realized the danger that very morning when she went to High Mass and was horrified by the humidity and saw that the sky was heavy and low and that one could not see to the ocean’s horizon. Despite these ominous signs, the Director of the Astronomical Observatory, whom she met at Mass, reminded her that in all the troubled history of the city, even during the crudest winters, it had never rained on Pentecost. Still, when the clocks struck twelve and many of the guests were already having an aperitif outdoors, a single crash of thunder made the earth tremble, and a turbulent wind from the sea knocked over the tables and blew down the canopies, and the sky collapsed in a catastrophic downpour.”

“As soon as the weather cleared they opened the windows, and the house was cooled by air that had been purified by the sulfurous storm.”

3.       Make a list of binary oppositions above and consider how each of them is represented in the first chapter.

Darkness– Luminous/light

Light — Heavy

Rest– suffering

“angel condemned”

unrequited love — hapless love

young — old

storm — sun/calm

life/miracles — death

purification — decay