An Allegorical Reflection on the Mexican Revolution

4344 Words18 Pages
An Allegorical Reflection on The Mexican Revolution
Gender, Agency, Memory, and Identity in Like Water for Chocolate

Leah A. Cheyne,

April 30, 2003

Alfonso Arau’s Like Water for Chocolate (1993) can be read as an allegorical examination of the Mexican Revolution, tracing the effects of the conflicting ideologies underlying the revolution through the displacement onto the family structure. At once removed and central to understanding the narrative, this portrayal of the Mexican Revolution valorizes and romanticizes the contributions of women. It both informs the spectator that this is at once a historical reenactment of the Revolution at a microcosm level, the family, and through the family constructs a
…show more content…
While this accentuates the sexual, especially with Gertrudis’ liberation from the hacienda after her consumption of the “quail in rose pedal” meal, violent attacks on Rosaura, and various encounters between Tita and Pedro, it also “constructs a general sense of folkloric and historical depth through placement within the context of the Mexican Revolution and through ongoing references to traditional Mexican cuisine.” (Haveli-Wise 123) In this sense, “magic realism” prefaces the melodramatic moments through gastronomic interior spaces that enable “different women’s voices heard, and revitalizing identity—both personal and collective—as a social and national cultural construction.” (Zamudio-Taylor 45)

In considering both the novel and film as primarily concerned with feminine identity and female contribution to the formation of the Mexican national identity, it is important to raise several questions. Who has agency throughout the texts? To what extent is this agency beneficial? How are the crises resolved? What has been altered or omitted in the adaptation from novel to film? How is ideology infused in the texts? How does this comment upon the cultural dynamics of modern Mexico? Each of these questions require scrutinizing the texts in order to determine the relevance of the revolutionary ideals and a feminine notion of mexicanidad.

The use of traditional resources has the potential to become

    More about An Allegorical Reflection on the Mexican Revolution

      Get Access