Like Water for Chocolate
Like Water for Chocolate (Tradition) I just finished reading a great book called Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquiviel. Food is a major part of the story, and it is somewhat obvious as the title itself is about food. The novel carries many of the culinary traditions that Mexicans find very important in their culture. Mexican women play a big role in domestic life and must know how to prepare food. The ability of Mexican women to create dishes for every occasion is one that has become a great tradition in Mexico. This is a romance tragedy novel that takes place in Mexico during the Revolution.
It is a tale of true love, family traditions and family secrets. This book is very unique and unlike other books because the book is divided into twelve sections named after the months of the year. Each chapter begins with a new recipe, and these recipes are used to tell Tita’s life story. In Like Water for Chocolate food symbolizes a simple, beautiful concept of expression. The book focuses strictly on tradition and the three De La Garza sisters who possess different personalities. Tita, the main character in Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate has gone through much pain and suffering in her life.Mama Elena, Tita’s mother, has been cruel and ruthless with Tita, causing her great emotional distress.
Like Water for Chocolate Essay Example
Tradition is an important part of life during Tita’s time. In fact, it is tradition that keeps Tita and Pedro apart, even though Tita and Pedro are fiercely in love. The only way she can express herself is through her cooking. Tita is the victim of her Mexican tradition and because of that she is forbidden to marry or have children until after her mother’s death. Tita was always agreeable to this situation until she fell in love with young Pedro. Tita has many negative traditions that she has to struggle against.By family tradition, Tita, as the youngest daughter, is fated to care for her mother till her mother’s death.
She cannot marry, cannot have children, and yet she falls in love with Pedro. She is the youngest daughter and she has the most responsibilty of the three sisters. She is not allowed to make her own decisions, therefore her mom makes every decision for her. The last and most harshest thing she has to struggle against is not being able to choose whom to marry. That can put a person down, and make them feel as if they have hit rock bottom. Love is the only thing that makes people happy, no matter what; oney, car, clothes, shoes, or a home. Tita also has positive traditions that aid her in her sturggle.
Tita has special talents, both in the kitchen and beyond. She is great at cooking. She uses cooking for her personal purpose as well and that is to communicate. Tita prepares certain dishes for special occasions and at different times of the year. For example, the meal that Tita prepares with the rose petals. She prepares this meal with passion and love. Another time she had received roses from Pedro and with the pedals she prepared a dish of Quail and Rose Pedals.
The dish had an extraordinary effect on the family. Upon eating the meal, the family was overcome with emotions of love. With this newfound love language Tita and Pedro were able to communicate their forbidden love. Tita gets her great cooking skills from Nacha. This is their way of passing down the recipes from generation to generation. Nacha was much more of a mother than Mama Elena could ever be to Tita. Through all the years that they have spent in the kitchen, Tita was building a strong relationship with the food she prepared.
This was more of an experience than anything else was for her. Tita has also mastered another women’s art, and that is knitting ; sowing, the blankets she wants to finish the day she marries Pedro. The knitted blanket represents Tita’s sorrows. Every night that Tita is sad, she knits. The blanket is about 20 feet long, an indication of how often she has been sad. One of the quotes that I enjoyed in the novel was “While phosphorus (a match) doesn’t combine with oxygen to burn at ordinary temperatures, it does burst into flame very rapidly at an elevated temperature. In this quote I think that the author is trying to point out that to create this brilliant explosion, three ingredients are needed: phosphorus (off the tip of a match), oxygen, and a source of heat to melt the phosphorus, like the flame from a candle.
Another quote that I enjoyed as well was “With that meal it seemed they had discovered a new system of communication, in which Tita was the transmitter, Pedro the receiver, and poor Gertrudis the medium, the conducting body through which the singular sexual message was passed. ” I believe at this time once they tried Tita’s cooking they all had strong emotions for love.Tita’s cooking helped Tita and Pedro have even stronger feelings for each other while Gertrudis was completely desperate for love, which caused her later in the novel to run away, while she felt her body burning from heat. Like Water for Chocolate became one of my favorite books since the first time I read it. The magic of the story transformed the way I saw cooking, especially Mexican cuisine. I could smell, and almost taste, every dish prepared in De La Garza family kitchen. The story is one of the few that has been able to fill all my senses with every chapter.
It seems to me that the central message, of this story is personal freedom. A simple doctrine that we each hold the keys to our own destiny, and for us to try to control the lives of others is an unnatural act, and morally wrong. Esquivel’s novel is very different from most books. Her novel uses recipes into the book in order to tell a story. It seems tradition in this novel plays a very strict role. There are advantages and disadvantages, but for most part Tita seems to be in extreme pain physically, after being hit by her mom several times by disobeying her and emotionally, by not being able to love.