Love in the Time of Cholera

by

Gabriel García Márquez

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Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle Character Analysis

After studying medicine in Paris, Dr. Juvenal Urbino, a charming young man from an aristocratic family, returns to his native city where he is considered an ideal potential husband. Although Dr. Urbino is fascinated by Fermina Daza, he courts and marries her without feeling intense love for her. His perspective in life is marked by pragmatism and rationality. He does not initially believe in love and considers stability to be more important than happiness in marriage. He also believes wholeheartedly in modernity and progress. This quality, combined with his concern for social welfare, leads him to reform the city-wide medical system and to become a local celebrity, admired for his ability to stop the cholera epidemic. Beyond his effort to modernize society scientifically, he abides by the religious and social norms of his society, including the patriarchal idea that husbands should not take part in running the household. However, despite his elevated moral view of himself, it is only once he meets Miss Barbara Lynch, with whom he launches an adulterous relationship, that he realizes that he is not immune to romantic passion and immoral behavior. His decision to put an abrupt end to this relationship nevertheless highlights his commitment to his principles, such as maintaining a stable marriage (even if this involves emotional self-sacrifice). He dies at the age of 81 while trying to catch a parrot that escaped into a mango tree—a ridiculous death that makes a mockery of his sober personality.

Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle Quotes in Love in the Time of Cholera

The Love in the Time of Cholera quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle or refer to Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Love in the Time of Cholera published in 2007.
Chapter 1 Quotes

No one ever thought that a marriage rooted in such foundations could have any reason not to be happy.

Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

He recognized her despite the uproar, through his tears of unrepeatable sorrow at dying without her, and he looked at her for the last and final time with eyes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful than she had ever seen them in half a century of a shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath:

“Only God knows how much I loved you.”

Related Characters: Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle (speaker), Fermina Daza
Page Number: 42-43
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

He was aware that he did not love her. He had married her because he liked her haughtiness, her seriousness, her strength, and also because of some vanity on his part, but as she kissed him for the first time he was sure there would be no obstacle to their inventing true love. They did not speak of it that first night, when they spoke of everything until dawn, nor would they ever speak of it. But in the long run, neither of them had made a mistake.

Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

Instead, she was something she never dared admit even to herself: a deluxe servant. In society she came to be the woman most loved, most catered to, and by the same token most feared, but in nothing was she more demanding or less forgiving than in the management of her house. She always felt as if her life had been lent to her by her husband: she was absolute monarch of a vast empire of happiness, which had been built by him and for him alone. She knew that he loved her above all else, more than anyone else in the world, but only for his own sake: she was in his holy service.

Page Number: 222
Explanation and Analysis:

He was a perfect husband: he never picked up anything from the floor, or turned out a light, or closed a door. In the morning darkness, when he found a button missing from his clothes, she would hear him say: “A man should have two wives: one to love and one to sew on his buttons.”

Related Characters: Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle (speaker), Fermina Daza
Page Number: 222
Explanation and Analysis:

Over the years they both reached the same wise conclusion by different paths: it was not possible to live together in any other way, or love in any other way, and nothing in this world was more difficult than love.

Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

Still looking at her, he said without warning:

“I am going to marry.”

She looked into his eyes with a flash of uncertainty, her spoon suspended in midair, but then she recovered and smiled.

“That’s a lie,” she said. “Old men don’t marry.”

Page Number: 289
Explanation and Analysis:

One day, at the height of desperation, she had shouted at him: “You don’t understand how unhappy I am.” Unperturbed, he took off his eyeglasses with a characteristic gesture, he flooded her with the transparent waters of his childlike eyes, and in a single phrase he burdened her with the weight of his unbearable wisdom: “Always remember that the most important thing in a good marriage is not happiness, but stability.” With the first loneliness of her widowhood she had understood that the phrase did not conceal the miserable threat that she had attributed to it at the time, but was the lodestone that had given them both so many happy hours.

Related Characters: Fermina Daza (speaker), Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle (speaker)
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:

She could not conceive of a husband better than hers had been, and yet when she recalled their life she found more difficulties than pleasures, too many mutual misunderstandings, useless arguments, unresolved angers. Suddenly she sighed: “It is incredible how one can be happy for so many years in the midst of so many squabbles, so many problems, damn it, and not really know if it was love or not.”

Related Characters: Fermina Daza (speaker), Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle
Page Number: 329
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle Character Timeline in Love in the Time of Cholera

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle appears in Love in the Time of Cholera. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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When Dr. Juvenal Urbino enters the house of his friend Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, he notices a bitter-almond smell... (full context)
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An 81-year-old man and the most famous physician in the city, Dr. Urbino makes use of his authority, telling the police inspector and the medical intern present that... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino , who is known to abide by civic rules, refuses to talk to the Archbishop... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino also notices an envelope on Jeremiah’s desk, addressed to Dr. Juvenal Urbino. He tears the envelope open and sees 11 sheets of paper, which he fervently... (full context)
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Since the wild years of his youth, Dr. Urbino now follows a rigid routine and has acquired fame throughout the province for his medical... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino ’s daily routine consists of teaching a class at the Medical School every morning before... (full context)
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When Dr. Urbino was younger, he would spend time in the Parish Café after work to play chess.... (full context)
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On his way home in a carriage, Dr. Urbino gives a quick glance to Jeremiah’s letter and tells the coachman to go to the... (full context)
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When Dr. Urbino finally reaches his destination, he enters a decrepit house in which a biracial woman (referred... (full context)
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...his lover had met in Port-au-Prince, and the woman later followed him to this city. Dr. Urbino does not understand why the two of them kept their relationship secret. Dr. Urbino had... (full context)
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...to the man he admired the most in his life and his closest friend, Dr. Juvenal Urbino, even though they were only linked by a mutual passion for chess. To Urbino’s... (full context)
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...his difficult letter. Then, she made coffee and cut the rose that she now wears. Dr. Urbino is repulsed by her attitude, which he considers too indulgent and passive toward grief, utterly... (full context)
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Dr. Juvenal reflects on this description on his way home, recalling the seedy neighborhood and its chaotic... (full context)
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Dr. Juvenal Urbino realizes that the colonial city is far from his idealized memory of it, which... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino ’s house is an ancient, large, and cool house, decorated in accordance with European taste.... (full context)
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After Dr. Urbino ’s morning visits, he returns home to rest before the luncheon organized by Dr. Lácides... (full context)
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Despite his parrot’s exploits, Dr. Urbino hates animals. It is Fermina Daza, his 72-year-old wife, who adores them and has adopted... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino accepted Fermina’s trick and now finds the parrot’s progress exciting. The parrot occasionally pronounces sentences... (full context)
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For many years now, Fermina has dressed Dr. Urbino —at first out of love and later out of necessity. The two of them have... (full context)
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...in a marriage than to handle everyday problems. Once, the two of them fought because Dr. Urbino argued that he had spent a week washing without soap, whereas Fermina said that there... (full context)
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On Pentecost Sunday, Dr. Urbino shares what he has discovered about Jeremiah de Saint-Amour with Fermina. He says that Jeremiah... (full context)
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...their luncheon, the marriage anniversary between Dr. Lácides Olivella and his wife. At the party, Dr. Urbino is seated at a table with both Conservatives and Liberals. The Archbishop comments to Dr.... (full context)
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At the table, people mention Jeremiah de Saint-Amour’s death. Dr. Urbino invents a new word, saying that Jeremiah died of “gerontophobia,” and someone laments that this... (full context)
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After the speeches have been made and everyone has eaten, Dr. Urbino Daza, Fermina and Juvenal’s son, finally arrives, saying that he was told his house was on fire. Fermina and... (full context)
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When Dr. Urbino wakes up, he is moved by sadness, realizing that these are his final days. He... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino then tries to catch the parrot, using a ladder to climb the tree, but the... (full context)
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...of their neighbors, Fermina runs out screaming as well. She is deeply shocked to see Dr. Urbino lying on the ground and, when she approaches him, she sees that he is resisting... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino ’s funeral becomes a city-wide event. Dr. Urbino was famous in his country for his... (full context)
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In life, some of Dr. Urbino ’s concrete actions proved that he did not behave as an entrenched aristocrat: namely, his... (full context)
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Although Fermina is deeply grieved by Dr. Urbino ’s death, she also demonstrates authority and self-control. She organizes the various details of her... (full context)
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...emotion. He played an important role in smoothing over the various organizational details that followed Dr. Urbino ’s death. His serious, efficient attitude impresses everyone around him and, although his status as... (full context)
Chapter 3
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At 28 years old, Dr. Juvenal Urbino is considered a perfect suitor. After returning from Paris, where he studied medicine, he... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino , however, has never believed in love, considering it “a clinical error.” Although he often... (full context)
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Concluding that it is his responsibility to take care of this world, Dr. Urbino tries to bring modern ideas about medicine to the city. He works hard to reform... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino later realizes that his father’s attempts to stop the epidemic were futile, and probably contributed... (full context)
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After one year back in the city, Dr. Urbino sees his first case of cholera—a patient who dies within four days. He orders the... (full context)
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...poisoning, and Lorenzo Daza, both relieved and impressed by the doctor’s aristocratic background, gives Dr. Juvenal a gold peso, an extravagant fee. (full context)
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The next week, Dr. Juvenal Urbino returns to the house at a time when Fermina’s father is absent. He gives... (full context)
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Lorenzo Daza, who has observed the interaction from another window, then yells at Dr. Urbino to wait for him. He invites him inside and forces his daughter to apologize to... (full context)
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...a perfect match. Both Lorenzo and Dr. Urbino seek out each other’s company. Lorenzo teaches Juvenal Urbino chess, which would remain an addiction throughout his life. Dr. Urbino then sends Fermina... (full context)
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...including an anonymous threat saying that she will incur disgrace if she does not accept Dr. Urbino ’s courtship. She also receives a doll from Martinique that grows overnight, according to what... (full context)
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Finally, Dr. Urbino sends Sister Franca de la Luz, Superior of the Academy of the Presentation of the... (full context)
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...their faces and are harassed by the crowd. A carriage then stops near them and Dr. Urbino walks out, telling them that he will take them wherever they want. Although the house... (full context)
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That night, Fermina finds that she cannot sleep well because she is thinking of Dr. Juvenal Urbino constantly. The next morning, therefore, she writes Dr. Urbino a letter, telling him that... (full context)
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Fermina seems happy with her decision to marry Dr. Urbino . In Valledupar, she often heard her cousins talk about sex, including the sexual relations... (full context)
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...to spend her first three nights on the ship to Europe without any painful experiences. Dr. Urbino spends the first night taking care of Fermina, who is experiencing seasickness. On the fourth... (full context)
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...dark before exiting the bathroom in her nightgown. She enters the bed in terror, but Dr. Urbino simply takes her hand and recounts stories about his life in Paris. Meanwhile, he begins... (full context)
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As Dr. Urbino begins kissing her, Fermina explores his body until finding his penis. Then, she prays to... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino reflects privately that he does not actually love Fermina but admires her personality—namely, her authoritative... (full context)
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...both surprised to realize that they made love well. They do so every day, but Dr. Urbino soon realizes that, despite his strong character, Fermina won’t allow anyone to have control over... (full context)
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...return to their country, the couple seems changed, full of love and modern European ideas. Dr. Urbino makes sure to find ways to receive books from Europe, and Fermina discovers the elegance... (full context)
Chapter 4
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When Florentino Ariza sees Fermina and Dr. Urbino so triumphant together, he decides that he will become wealthy and powerful and wait for... (full context)
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...mother, the only people who know about his love belong to Fermina’s world. One day, Dr. Urbino enters Florentino’s office to protect himself from a passing cyclone. Although Florentino is struck with... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino was told once that Florentino had been in love with Fermina, but he had quickly... (full context)
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Reflecting on Dr. Urbino ’s cultural activities, including the organization of the Poetic Festival, Florentino remembers that, despite participating... (full context)
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...he does is wait. Sara Noriega, meanwhile, calls Fermina “a whore,” saying that Fermina married Dr. Urbino without love, for his money. Sara also claims that feminine intuition told her that Fermina... (full context)
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...As a result, their separation only heightens his longing for Fermina and his desire for Dr. Urbino to die. (full context)
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...decision was that she never actually knew Florentino. To her, he was a mere shadow. Dr. Urbino ’s courtship, on the other hand, focused not on love but on what he could... (full context)
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...for playing the harp instead of the piano, which she considers improper in a lady. Dr. Urbino tries to intervene but Fermina ultimately submits to her “deluxe prison sentence,” surprising herself with... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino argues to himself that his problems with his wife have nothing to do with the... (full context)
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Paradoxically, it is during this difficult period that Fermina and Dr. Urbino seem the happiest. Their main joy derives from their fight against the upper-class milieu, in... (full context)
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...would have been happier with Florentino Ariza. That very night, she confides her worries to Dr. Urbino , forcing both of them to express how they really feel. They resolve to return... (full context)
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...purely self-centered, because it depends on her anticipating his every desire. She does not blame Dr. Urbino for his strict demands regarding meals and household organization, blaming “life” instead. He is, as... (full context)
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Fermina becomes frustrated by Dr. Urbino ’s lack of knowledge about the effort it takes to organize a house. Therefore, she... (full context)
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...spent with her cousin Hildebranda, to which Florentino is connected. However, she remains devoted to Dr. Urbino , taking care of him during old age, in which he desperately needs her. It... (full context)
Chapter 5
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To celebrate the advent of the 19th century, Fermina and Dr. Urbino take part in various ceremonies, including a trip in a hot air balloon. During their... (full context)
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...the true markers of time in his life. He sometimes talks to the couple when Dr. Urbino greets him, but Fermina remains impassive and indifferent. He wonders to himself if this might... (full context)
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...province. This is the result not of disease, but of a crisis in her marriage. Dr. Urbino understands her decision and interprets it as divine punishment for his sins. As soon as... (full context)
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The crisis in Fermina and Dr. Urbino ’s marriage began when Fermina smelled a strange smell on her husband’s clothes. She had... (full context)
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...thoughts, Fermina began to wonder if she was going crazy. However, she also learned that Dr. Urbino had not taken Communion in weeks. He refused to answer her questions, and this convinced... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino had seen Miss Barbara Lynch, a tall “mulatta,” in the hospital. Fascinated by her, he... (full context)
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...a black Protestant Reverend and spoke good Spanish. She had recently divorced another minister. When Dr. Urbino mentioned her earlier examination, she suggested he return the next day in the afternoon. Upon... (full context)
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...This time, though, Miss Lynch only made a remark about medical ethics, to which Dr. Juvenal replies that ethical codes assume doctors have no feelings or desires. When he confesses his... (full context)
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During their relationship, Miss Lynch wanted love and her reputation safeguarded. She allowed Dr. Urbino to repeat his auscultation but did not take off her clothes. Dr. Urbino could not... (full context)
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Finally, Dr. Urbino became too morally disturbed by his own behavior and, concluding that all he needed was... (full context)
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After Dr. Urbino told Fermina everything about his affair, she was most bothered by the fact that he... (full context)
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...She is still in love with the same man, although she has married someone else. Dr. Urbino fetches his wife after two years, when the local bishop tells him that the only... (full context)
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After Fermina’s return, she and Dr. Urbino go to see a movie, which she says out loud is boring. Florentino, who is... (full context)
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Around the time when Dr. Urbino dies, Florentino is having an affair with a 14-year-old girl, América Vicuña, to whom Florentino,... (full context)
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...tells Florentino that the bells are ringing for a famous doctor. Florentino immediately understands that Dr. Urbino has died, even if the tale of his death seems ridiculous. Florentino suddenly feels terrified... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...of her life. She burns any piece of clothing or object that reminds her of Dr. Urbino , convinced that he would have approved of such an act. Dr. Urbino, in fact,... (full context)
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On the anniversary of Dr. Urbino ’s death, Florentino goes to the memorial Mass without being invited. When Fermina sees him,... (full context)
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Feeling that Dr. Urbino ’s presence is now a soft, supportive one, instead of one marked by patriarchal authority,... (full context)
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...possible, Fermina concludes that this must have been a miracle of love. Soon, Fermina’s son Dr. Urbino Daza and his wife join Florentino’s visits, and they all play games together. (full context)
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Dr. Urbino Daza invites Florentino to have lunch with him. During this lunch, he details his theory... (full context)
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Fermina also receives a letter from Florentino containing a news clipping that declared that Dr. Juvenal Urbino and Lucrecia del Real had conducted an adulterous affair. Although this was not true,... (full context)
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Dr. Urbino Daza and his wife accompany Fermina and Florentino to the ship. However, when Florentino announces... (full context)
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...Florentino’s hand in hers, Fermina reflects on her marriage. Although she does not regret marrying Dr. Urbino , she said that despite such a long life shared together, full of arguments and... (full context)
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The next day, Fermina sees the late Dr. Urbino saying farewell to her and recalls him once declaring that, once a woman has decided... (full context)