An oppressed soul finds means to escape through the preparation of food in the novel, Like Water for Chocolate (1992). Written by Laura Esquivel, the story is set in revolutionary Mexico at the turn of the century. Tita, the young heroine, is living on her family’s ranch with her two older sisters, her overbearing mother, and Nacha, the family cook and Tita’s surrogate mother. At a very young age, Tita is instilled with a deep love for food "for Tita, the joy of living was wrapped up in the delights of food" (7). The sudden death of Tita's father, left Tita's mother's unable to nurse the infant Tita due to shock and grief. Therefore Nacha, "who [knows]
The phrase “mother knows best” refers to maternal instinct and wisdom. It is often used to describe how mothers are the most knowledgeable when it comes to their children’s needs. This cliche is frequently used by mothers who try to guide their children on the path towards success, especially when the child protests. Tita’s mother, Mama Elena, embraces this expression fully, and always pushes Tita towards what she believes is the road to achievement. Mama Elena is perhaps one of the best portrayals of “tough love” in a character in literature. Like Water for Chocolate’s author, Esquivel, depicts Mama Elena as a strong, independent woman who does not bother with things she deems insignificant. This translates to the reader through the decisions and actions Mama Elena makes throughout the book. Her disregard for emotions is often the reason why her actions are misunderstood by readers who claim that she is a cruel, unrelenting mother who is apathetic to her daughter’s suffering. However, this is not the case, as Mama Elena never acts without reason and only goes out of her way to discipline Tita when she believes that Tita is in the wrong. The readers see her go to great lengths to protect Tita numerous times, although these instances are often hidden behind her less than pleasant words, such as when she tries to shield Tita and Nacha from the rebels who were known to frequently terrorize families and rape women. Despite being a strict and unforgiving mother, Mama Elena’s
Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate The novel “Like Water for Chocolate” written by Laura Esquivel is a historical piece of South-American literature which is parallel to the Mexican Revolution which took place at the start of the twentieth century. The De
Mamacita, a Spanish woman brought to America by her husband, never takes a stand for what she wants. Mamacita is incredibly homesick, to the point of her falling into a depression. She wants to return to her home in Spain, yet does not have the courage to leave her husband. Although she openly expresses her dolefulness, she never confronts the problem, and instead stows herself away in her home. She refuses to go out, and does not talk to anyone other than to say that her husband is not home. While she could easily head back to Spain, she wallows in self pity, only worsening her situation. The neighbourhood begins to make rumors why she never leaves her home. Esperanza observes, “Whatever her reasons, whether she is fat, or can’t climb the stairs, or is afraid of English, she won’t come down.” (77) Mamacita did not attempt to fix the problem, meaning nothing could improve for
Since Tita was unable to stand up to Mama Elena, she felt helpless, which she then realized how strong her fate for an identity would be nonexistent; however, Tita would not accept that fate. From the day Tita was born and past off to Nacha, the cook, Mama Elena formed resentment towards Tita, while attempting to make Tita obedient through force, cruelty and mistreatment. Tita was physically punished multiple times by the hands of Mama Elena, and forced to live the life as a servant, and punished to cook, as well as, arrange the wedding of her love, Pedro, to her sister, Rosaura (26-29). Mama Elena bounded Tita to the kitchen and constrained her to cook for the family, under Nacha’s care, and if Mama Elena saw signs of Tita being disobedient, Mama Elena would strike her in rage. Mama Elena put Tita in charge of the preparations for Pedro and Rosaura’s wedding to lower her spirits and eliminate any hope she may have within, which caused Tita to have a weak moment and triggers her to hallucinate. In the opinion of a journalist, Justine Baek, which was
The mother/daughter relationship between Mrs. MacTeer and her two daughters, Claudia and Frieda, is loving and strong. They are taught their own self-worth through their mother’s strength and example, although this love isn’t fully appreciated by the girls until they are older. During Claudia’s illness, she is treated with a mixture of concern and anger. Although Claudia is scolded and her mother complains of cleaning her vomit, at the same time her mother is nursing her, giving her medicine, and checking on her throughout the night. Claudia discovers later that her mother’s anger is not directed at her, but at the world, as she must raise her black family in a world ruled by white culture. She protects her children and equips them for survival in a hostile environment.
In the Esquivel’s book, Like Water For Chocolate, Mama Elena is one of the antagonist character who tries to keep family tradition even though it is good or not. For expressing it, the magic realism attempts to it with her passion. To keep the family tradition, Mama Elena makes Pedro, Tita’s love, marry with her second daughter, Rosaura. Even though Pedro marries with Rosaura, Tita and Pedro are still loving each other. After Mama Elena’s death, they can love without being oppressed. However, the passion of Mama Elena unveils. After Rosauro gives birth to Esperanza, she worries about
The first integral theme of the story is, if you love someone, you’d do anything to make them happy. One way this theme is shown is when, Mr. Peters wished for a wife. Mr. Peters, “knew that it was hopeless and [Leita] would never be happy.” Over time, it was evident to Mr. Peters that Leita was miserable and wasn’t ever going to be content if she continued to live as a human. Turning into a human has separated her from her sister causing her to be depressed with this new life. Leita’s depression was the cause of Mr. Peters being in a state of mind, where he would do anything to make her jovial. Her being dejected led Mr. Peters to, “[take] another leaf from his notecase, [blow] it out of the window, and [use] up his second wish.” Mr. Peters
When Esperanza sat down Mama started talking while she got up and got the breakfast that she had wrapped it with a foil for Esperanza. It was tortillas with beans and lettuce filled in it. She explained that she had got the job at the cotton cloth making factory near the El Rancho, so that Abuelita and she wouldn't wait too long. “I will be starting the work tommorow,” Mama said. “Tomorrow?!” exclaimed Esperanza. “Mama, she continued,”You won’t be okay since papa had died few days ago, it is also dangerous out there, and I will be staying alone until you come. I’m not prepared yet!” said Esperanza. “No, I will be alright, plus, you will be staying with Abuelita till I come.” said Mama calmly. It will be alright Esperanza, added Abuelita. But before they could calm her down, Esperanza was already dropping into tears. She didn’t want Mama to have a harsh living working in the factory. She hurried back to her room and closed the door hardly. She sobbed pushing her face against the pillow. When hours past, Esperanza woke up in sleep from the noise of Mama calling her name to unlock the door to talk to her. She jumped out of her bed and opened the door. She quickly then hopped back in. Mama carefully sat on the edge of her bed. She talked about how the factory was very secure, and she also met a guy, who was the owner, that was very kind and generous. Esperanza
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.
Since Tita was unable to stand up to Mama Elena, she felt helpless, which she then realized how strong her fate for an identity would be nonexistent; however, Tita would not accept that fate. From the day Tita was born and past off to Nacha, the cook, Mama Elena formed resentment towards Tita, while attempting to make Tita obedient through force, cruelty and mistreatment. The physically punished Tita endured, multiple times, by the hands of Mama Elena, forced her to live the life as a servant and a house cook; as well as, arrange the wedding of her love, Pedro, to her sister, Rosaura (26-29). While under Nacha’s care, Mama Elena bounded Tita to the kitchen and constrained her to cook for the family, and if Mama Elena saw signs of Tita disobedience, she would strike Tita in rage. The preparations for Pedro and Rosaura’s wedding was Tita’s responsibility, which Mama Elena placed Tita in charge just to lower her spirits and eliminate any hope she may have within, causing Tita to have a weak moment that triggers her to hallucinate. In the opinion of
Cleófilas is a Mexican woman who immigrated to the Texas to live with her husband Juan Pedro. Cleófilas’ journey was to have to peace of leaving her abusive relationship with her husband Juan Pedro. Cleófilas “had always said [that] she would strike back if a man, any man, were to strike her” (47). Because she never had a motherly figure in her life to advise her of what to do in an abusive relationship or any family nearby to shield her, she stays on the wayside and allows Juan to physically torment and bruise her at his whim. Cleófilas similar to Rosa was alone with her tormentor. She was trapped in an ill-fated relationship and was far away from home. In order for Cleófilas to reach the goal of being at peace with herself, she must end her abusive marriage. The only way for Cleófilas to reach her destination is to leave her husband, but like Rosa, she too needs help. Such as Simon provides the emotional escape for Rosa, Felice provides a physical escape for Cleófilas. Felice may only be Cleófilas’ gynecologist’s friend, but she gives Cleófilas the hope to persevere toward the destination od
Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel explains women’s roles in northern Mexico during the turn of the nineteenth century. The novel takes place in northern Mexico on a family ranch where many family traditions are carried out. Also, the novel describes some of the typical foods that were prepared and fiestas that were celebrated in the Mexican culture around this time. However, the novel mainly focuses on the roles of females in Mexican society at that time. The novel goes beyond explaining women’s roles and also explains what took place in the Mexican family. Throughout the novel, readers learn the role of mothers, the conflict between personal desires and tradition, and typical foods, celebrations, and family traditions that were
No human being is completely free. Individuals’ values, ideas and identities are influenced, and to a certain degree, shaped by the cultures and societies they live in. However, by realizing identity, an individual can find a sense of independence, which subsequently leads towards self-actualization. In the novel “Like Water for Chocolate”, by Laura Esquivel, the protagonist, Tita, faces her journey from a young, submissive daughter to a strong, independent woman who is eventually able to achieve self-actualization, which is reflected in her non-traditional sense of identity and independence, and is something that not only ties in with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but I can relate myself to as well.