Love, of course, is the underlying theme of this novel, but it occurred to me that it is also a symbol with deeper connotations.
The love Dr. Urbino and Fermina Daza have in their marriage is one that is typical in long term relationships. It includes an interdependency and yet a silent insistence on some small measure of self. It is enduring amid a relative stability that withstands events that threaten to disrupt it.
Reading further into the book, we see the similarity of this particular relationship to the political environment of the country in which they live. There are constant wars, large and small, going on somewhere close by; rebellions that erupt and fall–very much like a marriage. And it is out of total devotion and dedication–and a sense of lost independence–that this love evokes the passion to bring about the action.
But then we go into a different kind of love, that of Florentino Ariza for Fermina Daza when she was a young girl. His relentless adoration finally convinces her to react with the same passion; yet this comes about when they have done no more than exchange a few verbal words but written hundreds of letters. It is blind commitment, not knowing the other well, not willing to reveal self prior to the sealing of the fate.
I wonder, what is this akin to in the world of politics?