Love in the Time of Cholera

by

Gabriel García Márquez

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Jeremiah de Saint-Amour Character Analysis

Jeremiah de Saint-Amour is an Antillean refugee who becomes Dr. Juvenal Urbino’s chess partner and enduring friend. Although Jeremiah is known as a photographer of children and a saintly figure, not much is actually said about his life. Jeremiah’s suicide at the beginning of the novel brings to light the gap that can exist between the appearance one gives of oneself in society and one’s true life. Indeed, through the letter that Jeremiah leaves behind, Dr. Urbino realizes that Jeremiah was a criminal in his home country, condemned to life in prison, and that he even took part in acts of cannibalism. In addition, Jeremiah had a secret lover who lives in the old slave quarters. These discoveries shock Dr. Urbino, who realizes that his friend was more secretive and deceitful than he appeared. Jeremiah de Saint-Amour also serves as a symbol of people’s fear of old age, since he commits suicide at 60 to avoid aging.
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Jeremiah de Saint-Amour Character Timeline in Love in the Time of Cholera

The timeline below shows where the character Jeremiah de Saint-Amour appears in Love in the Time of Cholera. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Love Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
When Dr. Juvenal Urbino enters the house of his friend Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, he notices a bitter-almond smell and automatically associates it with unrequited love. Jeremiah... (full context)
Social Norms vs. Personal Fulfillment Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
Moral Corruption and Cynicism Theme Icon
...is known to abide by civic rules, refuses to talk to the Archbishop so that Jeremiah might be buried in sacred religious ground. He counters the police inspector’s praise of Jeremiah... (full context)
Social Norms vs. Personal Fulfillment Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
Moral Corruption and Cynicism Theme Icon
Dr. Urbino also notices an envelope on Jeremiah’s desk, addressed to Dr. Juvenal Urbino. He tears the envelope open and sees 11 sheets... (full context)
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
Moral Corruption and Cynicism Theme Icon
...would spend time in the Parish Café after work to play chess. There, he met Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, to whom he soon became a protector, without inquiring what caused Jeremiah to... (full context)
Social Norms vs. Personal Fulfillment Theme Icon
Moral Corruption and Cynicism Theme Icon
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 old slave quarter. Returning to the... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Social Norms vs. Personal Fulfillment Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
...attitude that he has nothing new to tell her: she already knows what happened to Jeremiah. The woman, Jeremiah’s lover, confirms that she was indeed with him before his death. Her... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Sex and Morality Theme Icon
Social Norms vs. Personal Fulfillment Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
Jeremiah and his lover had met in Port-au-Prince, and the woman later followed him to this... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
After the chess game, Jeremiah wanted to write a letter to the man he admired the most in his life... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Social Norms vs. Personal Fulfillment Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
Moral Corruption and Cynicism Theme Icon
Jeremiah had told his lover to remember him with a rose. The woman recalls that, the... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Moral Corruption and Cynicism Theme Icon
On Pentecost Sunday, Dr. Urbino shares what he has discovered about Jeremiah de Saint-Amour with Fermina. He says that Jeremiah was condemned to a lifelong prison sentence... (full context)
Social Norms vs. Personal Fulfillment Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
Moral Corruption and Cynicism Theme Icon
At the table, people mention Jeremiah de Saint-Amour’s death. Dr. Urbino invents a new word, saying that Jeremiah died of “gerontophobia,”... (full context)
Sex and Morality Theme Icon
Social Norms vs. Personal Fulfillment Theme Icon
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
...from old age and, were it not for his religion, feels compelled to admit that Jeremiah’s idea to prevent old age is not necessarily a bad one. However, he also appreciates... (full context)
Chapter 5
Illness, Mortality, and Hope Theme Icon
On Pentecost Sunday, after making love, they hear church bells ring continuously. Florentino knows that Jeremiah de Saint-Amour had died but concludes that the bells must be ringing for someone more... (full context)