I’m sensing within Marquez’s narratives a continuity of low-level conflict that is a constant beneath the layers of ongoing story. Perhaps because this novel, as well as 100 Years of Solitude is based upon his own country of birth, there is a war of some sort going on within the background that changes throughout the distance of time yet changes very little the space in which it occurs.
The love affairs, the wedded loves that drive the stories are driven, it would appear, by this background tension and are affected in much the same way. Nothing appears to be gained–or lost–in the proceedings. In Solitude, the steady stream of Aurelianos who seemingly were carbon copies of their ancestors, learning very little in evolution and revolution of change. In Cholera, the endless loop is near to ending where it began in the proposed love between Florentino and Fermina.
The battles in between, the married time, the wandering through the scores of merely scoring–and to be fair, searching, I suppose–change the main characters’ lives as much as their countryside, which is to say, not much. Borders may wander back and forth, and houses are destroyed and rebuilt, and the squalor is always seen through the jaded eyes as home.
Peace, perhaps, or sense of place, is likely what Marquez’s characters are truly seeking.