English: Like Water for Chocolate and Mama Elena Essay

Submitted By Anita-Ayrom
Words: 1127
Pages: 5

Throughout the entire novel, the protagonist, Tita, was always experiencing some sort of heartbreak or anguish towards the situation she would be experiencing at the moment. One of her biggest concerns was being forbidden to marry the man she loved, simply because of a tradition that was passed on for many years in her family. By the mother of the household, Mama Elena, the tradition of the youngest daughter to care for her mother until the day she dies, was taken very seriously. She enforced this rule strictly when she realized that Pedro wanted to ask Tita for her hand in marriage. Laura Esquivel, through the magical realism of Like Water For Chocolate, teaches the reader about her understanding of the social culture, when it comes to keeping important traditions while breaking non-equitable ones. The reader see’s this happening very often when it concerns Titas passion towards her family traditions and Pedro, and of course the gender roles in the book.

The main issue, which the reader is exposed to very early on in the book, is the tradition that has been passed down for many years, which entitles the youngest daughter of the family to care for the mother until the mother dies. Today, one would not usually hear of such a tradition, as women have much more freedom now. Nonetheless, this was a tradition that was taken very seriously in the household, especially by Mama Elena. Tita was expected to do whatever her mother wished for, and that’s exactly how it was. She stood by it for a very long time, until Titas rage and anger for her mother exploded and she finally told her how she felt about her. “I know who I am! A person who has a perfect right to live her life as she pleases. Once and for all, leave me alone; I won’t put up with you! I hate you, I’ve always hate you!” (Like Water For Chocolate, pg. 199) Here, she finally banished Mama Elena’s ghost forever. The magical realism in this part used so significantly, as it symbolized Tita finally breaking away from the tradition that Mama Elena passed down.

Although Tita was finally free, the tradition was still going strong through Rosaura and her youngest daughter Esperenza. Tita was, of course, the one to be the most against the tradition being held for Esperenza. However, after Rosaura died, Esperenza was also free to do as she pleased. The magical realism in Rosaura’s death, and even in her sickness beforehand, was astounding. The way her sickness was portrayed, as somewhat “gross”, really spoke a lot about her character, and what a foul character she really was.

The entire novel revolves around Titas emotions, her passion towards Pedro, and the stress it caused on everyone for Tita to not be allowed to marry him. Magical realism was incorporated very well, when it came down to Tita making some sort of food. In the month of March, Tita receives a bouquet of roses from Pedro, as a sign of his love for her. Mama Elena was far form pleased with this, and asked Tita to take them to the trash. “Tita clasped the roses to her chest so tightly that when she got to the kitchen, the roses, which had been mostly pink, had turned quite red from the blood that was flowing from Tita’s hands and breasts.” (Like Water For Chocolate, pg. 48) She used them to make Quail in Rose Petal sauce. The meal had an interesting effect on everyone. It made Rosaura sick to her stomach, after eating just a little bit of it. However, Pedro seemed to love it, as he said “It Is a dish for the gods!” (Like Water For Chocolate, pg. 51). This entire situation shows the passion that the two of them have for each other and their need to be together. However, this was not the one and only incident that Tita had caused with her food.

In the month of February, Tita was ordered by her mother to prepare Rosaura’a and Pedro’s Chabela Wedding Cake. Today, one will not usually find a man who is in love with one woman, and agrees to marry her sister in order to be closer to the other. It’s simply not…