Death Constant Beyond Love

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Death Constant Beyond Love” by Gabriel García Márquez. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Death Constant Beyond Love” (1970)
Author: Gabriel García Márquez
Genre: Short story

Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014) was a Colombian writer who was considered one of the most important authors of the 20th century. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, for his most famous novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude


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One of the most powerful symbols in the story is the rose. First, the village where the Senator delivers one of his political speeches is Rosal del Virrey, a village whose name means “the viceroy’s rosebush”. The name is ironic and “kind of a joke” (p. 77, l. 11), as the poverty of the village contrasts with its elegant name. The village is also in a dry climate, so there are no roses there. When the Senator arrives, he brings with him “the rose he had kept alive all across the desert” (p. 77, ll. 42-43), which ends up capturing Laura Farina’s attention: “The senator followed the thread of her look and finally found the rose that had been tarnished by the saltpeter” (p. 80, ll. 26-28). The rose might symbolize the Senator’s love and passion for Laura Farina. 

The paper butterfly that the Senator throws into the air is symbolic of human mortality. The butterfly’s flight might be symbolic of the Senator’s life, which ends as unexpected as the butterfly gets stuck to the wall. When one of the guards wakes up, he does not recognize that the butterfly is a separate object and claims that “it’s painted on the wall” (p. 80, ll. 1-2). This suggests that, after

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Death Constant Beyond Love

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