Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel Essay

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel Essay

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Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is a powerful novel that serves as a great introductory guide to the Latin-American culture. The novel consists of primarily female characters, the De La Garza family, where each one portrays a female stereotype, or perhaps their role in the society. The setting of the story takes place during arise of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which helps to further distinguish the roles of the women and how they go about living their everyday life. Like Water for Chocolate can be looked at as a story about two women, a daughter and a mother, Tita and Elena De La Garza. Tita, our protagonist, struggles against her mothers’ tradition, to “serve” her until the day she dies, without having a life of her own. Tita desperately fights for her freedom and love, while Mama Elena stands as a prime opposition that prevents her from living her dream. The other two sisters are caught in between trying to find their own purpose in life. The writing is filled with magical realism, where the food plays an important part as it shows the characters true nature depending on their relationship with it, as well as evoking all sorts of emotions.
One particular chapter of the book that shows the absent mother-daughter relationship is the first chapter, January – Christmas Rolls, which sets not only their relationship but also their personalities that can be seen through their actions. Right away the narrator, Tita’s great niece, tells us a scene where Tita is born, “ And before my great-grandmother could let out a word or even a whimper, Tita made her entrance into this world, prematurely, right there on the kitchen table amid the smells of simmering noodle soup, thyme, bay leaves, and cilantro, steamed milk, garlic...


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...anything. There is barely any dialect seen in the novel, as she has little voice. When she asks Tita to make her a special diet, it is so that Pedro finds her attractive. The only thing that seems to worry her is her “appearance:, she doesn’t want to seem blind, and only in the end does she choose to talk to Tita in open about Pedro, “from now on, you can do it all you want. As long as nobody finds out about it, I don’t care, because Pedro is going to have to do it with someone who will, since as for me, isn’t going to put so much as a hand near me ever again.” (214) Here we see that she has come to some realization, however, she chooses not to solve anything, but rather hide it, as she does not want to be looked down by the public, to her failed marriage.
In conclusion, the novel is dominated with female characters where each one embodies a female stereotype.

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