Hidden Meaning in Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate

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Hidden Meaning in Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate Laura Esquivel’s novel, Like Water for Chocolate, is a contemporary novel based on romance, recipes and home remedies. Very little criticism has been done on the novel. Of the few essays that are written on this work, the majority of them consist of feminist critique. This novel would be most easily approached from a feminist view because of the intricate relationships between women. However, relationships between women are only one of the many elements touched upon in the novel. Like Water for Chocolate is a novel that uses recipes as a crypt for many important themes in the novel. Jaques Derrida defines crypt as something that, "disguise[s] the act of hiding and to hide the disguise: the crypt hides as it holds" (Derrida 14). The recipes are more than just formulas, they hold, concealed within them, memories. These crypts are revealed through food and the process of food production. Esquivel has personal ties with food and feels that the production of food creates a center of the household. Tita, being the person most closely associated with food preparation in the novel, becomes the primary focus in the structure of her family. The crypts that Esquivel uses are opened throughout the novel in a variety of ways. Tita is constantly struggling against her mother, tradition and inevitably her own destiny. Along the way many aspects of her trials are revealed in her cooking. Eventually, Tita is able to free herself from the emotional chains that her mother has bound her. In the end her destiny is revealed, which in return sets her free from her struggles. Esquivel begins each chapter of the novel with a different recipe. The various recipe... ... middle of paper ... ...rodic Consumption of Popular Romance Myths in Como Agua Para Chocolate." Latin American Literary Review. 24.48 (1996): 56-66. Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. Trans. Carol Christensen and Thomas Christensen. New York: Doubleday, 1992. Ibsen, Kristine. "On Recipes, Reading and Revolution: Postboon Parody in Como Agua Para Chocolate." Hispanic Review. 25 (1996): 133-146. Januzzi, Marisa. Laura Esquivel. "Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies." Review of Contemporary Fiction. 13 (1993): 246-246. Loewenstein, Claudia. "Revolucion interior al exterior: An Interview with Laura Esquivel." Southwest Review. 79.4 (1994): 592-607. Valdez, Maria Elena. "Verbal and Visual Representation of Women: Como Agua Para Chocolate/Like Water for Chocolate." World Literature Today. 69.1 (1995):78-82.

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