Expression of Love and the Rhetoric of Romance in Swann's Way And Love In The Time Of Cholera
Florentino Ariza in comparison to Charles Swann
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera" and Marcel Proust's "Swann's Way" both deal with romance as being a force that both benefits and damages people's mental status. Whereas the devoted lover in "Love in the Time of Cholera," Florentino Ariza, puts across great dedication toward his loved one and their union, Charles Swann appears to be less interested in the emotional aspect of love, as he appears to respond to stimuli on the basis of his diplomatic character.
One is perfectly able to observe and to understand the love that Florentino feels toward Fermina Daza, as the man expresses authentic romantic love. In contrast, the love that Swann puts across in regard to Odette appears to be without an actual bases, as the Parisian aristocrat considers the women to be little more than a trophy.
Most readers tend to leave their guard down when coming across a book related to romance and to love as a whole, as they consider that the action in these manuscripts is straightforward and less difficult to understand. Marquez appears to be perfectly aware of this, as he does not hesitate to present his readers with a complex account involving a love relationship and the difficulties coming along with it.
Most readers are likely to feel confused as they see the novel's name, as it appears that the writer wants them to break away from the traditional understanding of love in favor of accepting particularly serious facts, such as the existence of cholera. Cholera is basically meant to stand in opposition to the concept of love. However, love itself can also be compared to cholera when considering that it is incurable in Florentino's case. Similar to how normal relationships become complex and less comprehensible in difficult situations, love becomes something based on social values when confronted with the harsh realities of life, as Florentino and Fermina cannot simply start a relationship because they are in love with each-other.
Florentino is obviously obsessed with Fermina and with everything related to her, making it difficult and almost impossible for him to ignore his feelings.
The man's determination seems to know no limits, as he is practically willing to keep the fire in his heart going even when he appears to have no chance whatsoever to be reunited with the woman. The love that he feels for Fermina does not prevent him from searching assistance in other women, as he actually goes through a series of relationships in the time he spends away from the most treasured person in his life.
Florentino's initial relationship to Fermina had a permanent on the man, as his own mother believed that he "was immune to any kind of love because of his first youthful misfortune" (Marquez, 198)
Charles Swann believes that people should know their place in society and that it is unordinary for an individual to want to engage in a relationship with someone who is not his or her type. At the time when Proust wrote "Swann's Way," people were particularly determined to maintain convictions regarding social status, as it was almost impossible for them to consider a love relationship between two individuals belonging to different social classes.
Swann is accustomed to frequent some of society's highest circles and feels discomforted when he is invited to join communities that he considers less noble than the ones that he is used to, especially given that it seemed absurd, "when occupying so exceptional a position in the world, to seek an introduction to the Verdurins" (Proust, 184). Nineteenth century Paris was certainly a place where romance was most ardent and where people often broke from conventionality in order to perform acts that they consider would benefit them in some way. It is difficult to determine the extent to which Swann feels sorry for having developed a passion for Odette, as although he constantly relates to how he did this as a result of simply wanting to win the woman. The man was relatively willing to do anything in his power in order for them to develop a romantic relationship (or what he considered to be one). Even when confronted with the thought that Odette was interested in him because of the money he had, "it might not have caused him any suffering to discover that Odette's love for him was based on a foundation more lasting than mere affection" (Proust, 260)
"Swann's way" is, in general, a reflection of French society during the nineteenth century, with people there at the time being especially determined to cling on to their cultural values, but being unhesitant about adopting new concepts. Most aristocrats discovered that it was futile for them to try to avoid walking around less privilege circles, as all of them would do so at one point in their lives.
The narrator himself appears to be unsupportive in regard to Charles Swann and with how people often tend to ignore their relationship to their loved ones in order to entertain this particular aristocrat. pro-Proust considered that Swann was very different from him when taking into account each individual's perspective in regard to love, as Swann "sought to establish the aesthetic basis of Odette's beauty" (Proust, 396) while Proust "loved Gilberte, in Combray days, on account of all the unknown element in her life" (Proust, 396).
Even with the fact that Odette's pressures initially have little effect over Swann, the man gradually develops affection for the peasant and is eventually left with no other alternative than to fall in love with her, as he cannot fight his passion. One of the most probable reasons for which Swann is inclined to appreciate Odette is the fact that he considers her to be an impressive woman. It is not necessarily because of her character or because of her persistence that he comes to fall in love with her, as it is actually as a result of the fact that he compares her to the artwork that he is accustomed to come in possession of. For Wan From Swann's point-of-view, Odette "contained in herself what satisfies the utmost refinement of his taste in art" (Proust, 217).
When Swann thinks of Odette as being similar to a better-quality painting, he appears to essentially realize the significance that the woman has for him. Even though some might perceive his love for her as being equal to infatuation, it is very probable that he comes to desire her because of his self-importance, as he apparently appreciates himself to a higher degree when he is in her presence.
The relationship between Florentino and Fermina is to a certain degree similar to the relationship between Swann and Odette, as both couples initially experience difficulties as a result of the social status of the characters. Fermina is similar to Swann, when considering that the woman's father is unwilling to have his daughter exchange mail with a simple telegraph operator. In spite of the fact that Florentino constantly comes across impediments in becoming Fermina's lover, he does not yield to fate and continues to hold feelings for the woman across several decades, at times even going as far as to stalk her. Fermina also resembles Odette when considering the fact that her emotions are unpredictable as the story progresses. She does not put across great reluctance to marry Juvenal Urbino del Calle, particularly given that he can provide her with a series of advantages and because he is equal to her when concerning their social status.
It appears that Florentino keeps on deceiving himself in regard to his relationship with Fermina, as he believe that her husband is nothing but an obstacle standing in the way of their love. In contrast, Fermina seems less determined to engage in a relationship with her pursuer, as she immediately seems to lose interest in him when her father intervenes in their correspondence.
Although readers are able to observe Florentino's passion for Fermina, it is difficult for them to understand the exact factors causing this respective passion, as the telegraph operator appears to know little about his loved one, especially considering the fact that he did not spend enough time with her. One can believe that Florentino is not very different from Swann in this relationship, as he considers Fermina to be a prize that he must wait for. While he appears to be interested in saving himself (body and soul) for the moment when they will be reunited, he does not hesitate to engage in relationships with numerous women during the time when he is separated from the most important person in his life.
Marquez took a recipe for a romantic novel and adapted it to be in accordance with his personal convictions. However, he modified this recipe to the degree where it developed into an anti-love account, with Florentino contrasting the typical impatient lover and Fermina's feelings…