Love in “Death Constant Beyond Love”
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The strength and confusion of love lies in its diversity. Love is an individualized emotion. It is a part of who we are. Love does not look for equality, but it persists on balance. Love exists in every smile, every pounding heart, and the sweet taste of every kiss. Love is an emotional feeling in the soul and the basis of everyday life. However on earth and in this life, love is forever changing and death is the only constant. The role and significance of love in “Death Constant beyond Love”, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is that of powerlessness. It emphasizes the human condition of being alone and helpless in the face of love, life and death. Love is powerless in the face of death. All of its complicities, confusions, and alterations can not compete with the ultimate confrontation of life, which is death.
Senator Onésimo Sanchez has money, power, and respect. Yet, he is isolated because of the lack of love in his life and the very money, power, and respect that he has. He is alone because he chooses to be, but his choice was no match to love. Love plays an important part in his life, because the lack of it contributes to his desolation. When he saw Farina, he was instantly taken aback by her beauty. According to the story “The Senator was left breathless” when he saw her. He held so much power, and yet he was powerless to the lustful feelings of love that he held for the teenage girl.
The lack of love in the town was apparent to the reader and because of it; the town was filled with lies and scandal, and was on the verge of deterioration. “…in broad daylight looked like the most useless inlet on the desert…” The love of the town was lacking and so due to the lack of patriarchy the town had to make its living off of smuggling in concubines and other illegal things. “…village by night was the furtive wharf for smugglers’ ships…” People in the town were starving and they were powerless because they thought their leaders loved them and their village, but they were being misled by them.
The senator finds out that he is going to die and he decides to bear that burden alone. Death is inevitable in that everyone will die, but to live a life knowing the time that death will come alone is a torture that no one should have to bear. This life was the senator’s choice, but when love came, like death, he couldn’t avoid it.
When the senator told Farina that no one loved them, he was addressing the fact that they were both lonely and in need of companionship and love. Through a reader’s interpretation, it could be said that Nelson did not love his daughter because he used her body as a pawn to get what he wanted from the senator. She was being sold to buy freedom and security.
Love played a significant role in Nelson Farina’s life because after he killed his wife and escaped from prison, he found love with a black woman. After she died of natural causes, he and his daughter had to live isolated and incognito so that he would not be sent back to jail. Nelson asked the senator for a change in identity so that he would be safe, but the senator always refused. The love that he was missing was apparent in his actions. It showed the love he’s lacking because he was so lonely in that he had nobody except his lovely daughter.
The line “No one loves us” means that no one is really loved exactly because people are more interested in having their needs met than meeting others’ needs. Everyone comes for some thing no matter what it is. Love is supposed to be an exchange between two people who get the most of what they expect. However, greed inhibits a person’s ability to know when they are content with what they have and when their needs have been fulfilled. These people in the story would be the village, the representatives and the people who live there. The representatives took so much from the people that they were left with nothing. They got rich off of the other people’s poverty and suffering. Because of this, they continuously took what was not necessary and gave the bare minimum or nothing at all to sustain their “love” and wealth.
Senator Sanchez saw his society in general as cruel and heartless. The greed that fueled so many of the town’s discussions was also the greed that fueled the false hopes of love and improvement. It was erroneous of the town’s people to think that there was any love between their representatives and them, because true love is selfless and it couldn’t be found in that village. The love that the people witnessed, or thought there was, was probably more selfish than it was selfless. It was more of a love by instinct, if even that, than it was a love that was learned and nurtured. The people were motivated by their infinite human need. If there was ever a time when a need was met, another appeared. They were never satisfied; therefore their love, like their representatives’ love, was always an instinct rather than genuine.
Senator Sanchez was isolated because he was in a town without his friends and family and he did not have anyone around him who would accept the fact that he was human and therefore could make mistakes. He was alone because he was expected to behave a certain way and was not allowed to differentiate from that path. He had to face the fact that he was going to die and no one would remember him or what he did because he was never really that important in the first place.
He found love and yet he was still alone and helpless because he was faced with life’s only constant, which is death. He knew that his lustful love did not stand a chance in a battle with death so his loneliness was never really cured. The senator did not care about sleeping with Farina; he was only interested in escaping from his loneliness even if it was only for a couple of minutes. He was alone and not even death could change that. He followed the same perpetual routine daily and it started to become irritating to him.
There was nothing the Senator could do to stop death. There was nothing he could do to stop his search of love. The scandal that would spread before and after his death would only contribute to his loneliness and there would never be a solution to it. Whether or not he slept with Farina would only be know to him and her. “…he would die in that same position, debased and repudiated because of the public scandal with Laura Farina…” This means that the town would create their own images of what happened and their views of him would change, and he would no longer be their “god-like” figure.
The senator was held in such high respects to the town that he almost seemed immortal. He was not allowed to hurt, or cry, or die, because he was immortal and that sealed his fate to his lonely, loveless life. He was brought down to a common level and his mortality was restored by death and love. As much as he tried to maintain control over his life even after he discovered that he would die soon, he could not control the factor of love and the way he reacted to it.
In closing, love possesses the unique ability to evolve, change, and grow over the course of our lives. Our thoughts and perceptions are given credibility by our experiences and the paths that we follow in our quest for love. Love has the ability to adapt to environments everywhere, but death is the only unchanging thing in life. Love presents a role of powerlessness which emphasizes the human need for companionship and condition of loneliness. Death is constantly occurring and love happens by chance; but, just as there is no solution to death, there has never been a solution to love. In that respect, death and love are constants; thus making “death constant beyond love” and “love constant beyond death” interchangeable facts of life.