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Florentino Ariza is the protagonist of the novel. He is a man who bases his whole personality and all his life decisions on the model of romantic love found in sentimental romance novels and poetry.
The obstructions to Florentino Ariza’s love serve as his antagonist. These obstructions are many and long-standing. First, Fermina Daza’s father forbids her to see him; then she jilts him and gets married; and then her husband lives into old age.
Florentino Ariza comes back to Fermina Daza after more than fifty years of waiting for her husband to die. He pledges his undying love and everlasting fidelity.
The story ends in comedy, for Florentino Ariza wins Fermina Daza’s heart by using different stratagems than he used the first time he courted her.