“Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel, is a beautiful romantic tale of an impossible passionate love during the revolution in Mexico. The romance is followed by the sweet aroma of kitchen secrets and cooking, with a lot of imagination and creativity. The story is that of Tita De La Garza, the youngest of all daughters in Mama Elena’s house. According to the family tradition she is to watch after her mother till the day she does, and therefore cannot marry any men. Tita finds her comfort in cooking, and soon the kitchen becomes her world, affecting every emotion she experiences to the people who taste her food. Esquivel tells Titas story as she grows to be a mature, blooming women who eventually rebels against her mother, finds her true identity and reunites with her long lost love Pedro. The book became a huge success and was made to a movie directed by Alfonso Arau. Although they both share many similarities, I also found many distinct differences. The movie lost an integral part of the book, the sensual aspect of the cooking and love.
The story begins with Titas birth prematurely when Mama Elena was chopping onions. Tita grows up with Nacha the most dominant figure in her life, and follows Mama Elenas routine of cooking, cleaning and sewing. At every incident she can, Mama Elena criticizes Tita and even beats her if she tries to speak up. One day Tita tells her mother that Pedro wants to come and ask for her hand, but according to the family tradition she cannot marry because she is the youngest daughter. Mama Elena tells Pedro he can marry Rosaura- one of her older daughters, and Pedro agrees to the arrangement just to be closer to his true love- Tita.
Preparing food for the wedding Ti...
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...d coloring of certain images. The novel, however, puts much greater emphasis on the imagination and creativity, and on the main character Tita. The novel really makes the reader feel Titas pain and grow with her as she discovers her freedom, whereas the movie failed to achieve this. Moreover, the movie tends to ignore the significant of 3 integral motifs, cooking, tears and sensuality.
Both book and movie capture good moments and ideas of Esquivel. I would say the book was more entertaining and memorable for me. The novel never rests or drags on, and although it evolves around many tragedies a dying love and lovers, in the end you truly feel happy for the way things turn to be. So does the movie, the end of it is very powerful, I might have not got attached to its characters but I fell in love with the magical fairy tale and romance of Like Water For Chocolate.
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