Elements Of Magical Realism In Like Water For Chocolate By Laura Esquivel

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Like Water for Chocolate

The theme of magical realism is manifested in the Laura Esquivel’s novel Like Water for Chocolate. Elements of magical realism are reflected mainly through Tita’s food recipes, as the food takes on supernatural qualities. The effects that they have on the characters in Esquivel’s book may seem far-fetched and yet it fits in with the nature of her book where impossible lactations, ghosts, the salt producing tears and so much more. These elements are cathartic releases for the characters.
There are many instances in Like Water for Chocolate where Laura Esquivel uses magic realism. From the very beginning, it is clear that most of it surrounds Tita. Her actions having a great impact on everyone around her. The very first being the birth of Tita in the kitchen: “Tita was literally washed into this world on a great tide of tears that spilled over the edge of the table and flooded across the kitchen floor” (10). Right from the moment she was born magic realism is used to express the impact that she has on people. The salt produced from these tears are later described to be used in cooking.
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A prominent scene in the book when this is expressed is when Gertrudis eats the quail with rose petals, “her body was giving off so much heat that the wooden walls began to split and burst into flame” (51). It seems that Tita possesses the power of expressing her feelings through her cooking. There is a direct effect on anyone that eats Tita’s food. The food throughout the novel is very important to Tita as it is the only way in which she is able to express her feelings. All the emotions that anyone had felt after eating her food was directly related to what she had felt when she was making it. Whether it was the profound sadness of something they had lost or extreme

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