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What are the examples of Romanticism and Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Death...

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betpanos | Student | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted April 22, 2012 at 2:16 PM via web

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What are the examples of Romanticism and Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Death Constant Beyond Love"?

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 22, 2012 at 6:37 PM (Answer #1)

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"Death Constant Beyond Love", or "Muerte Constante Mas Alla del Amor" (1970) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a brilliant example of Romantic or Realistic literature. The elements of Romantic literature are based precisely in the use of the senses to convey imagery and emotion that is easy to relate to, and which appeals to our everyday lives.

In "Death Constant Beyond Love", we can appreciate a myriad of instances where Marquez brings descriptions and facts that are direct, sometimes crude, and sometimes even rude to the reader who is used to metaphorical or allegorical writing.

The first example we find, in typical Marquez fashion, is in the first sentence of the text; it is in the clarity, and in the direct way in which Marquez addresses the topics of death and love in one same sentence.

Senator Onesimo Sanchez had six months and eleven days to go before his death when he found the woman of his life

We also find vivid depictions of everyday things, from health, to politics, to racism, and of course social injustice.

Then came the trucks with the rented Indians who were carried into the towns in order to enlarge the crowds at public ceremonies. A short time before eleven o'clock, along with the music and rockets and jeeps of the retinue, the ministerial automobile, the color of strawberry soda, arrived.

Here we see the play on words and similes that connect the reader to everyday things while still maintaining the connection to the atmosphere and mood of a story that is actually charged with strong innuendos. 

We also see realism in the manner that some information is added without need, showing Marquez's "signature" style with his insistence in providing us, at times, with "too much information".

[...] he put in a glass of drinking water the rose he had kept alive all across the desert, lunched on the diet cereals that he took with him so as to avoid the repeated portions of fried goat that were waiting for him during the rest of the day, and he took several analgesic pills before the time prescribed so that he would have the remedy ahead of the pain.

All these details color the story, bring out the flavor of it, and certainly engage the reader by exposing life in every aspect, even to the smallest detail.

However, it is the theme of the story what makes it quite typical of the Realistic and Romantic movement. The treatment of the two most important topics in life are, indeed, love and death. While love makes us feel limitless, in comes death to limit everything about our existences. Along with life, come the myriad of emotions that either help us or break us. Such is the case with Senator Sanchez and his momentous relationship with Laura Farina, and the way in which it molded, and dented, his life as a whole.

The she laid his head on her shoulder with her eyes fixed on the rose. The senator held her about the waist, sank his face into woods-animal armpit, and gave in to terror. Six months and eleven days later he would die in that same position, debased and repudiated because of the public scandal with Laura Farina and weeping with rage at dying without her.

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