Gender Roles In Like Water For Chocolate

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Like Water for Chocolate is a radical novel which illustrates how male and female characteristics are interchangeable in a time period and culture where gender roles are all encompassing. The female characters depict characteristics typical of men such as authority, masculinity, and sensuality. While the male characters portray more feminine roles, therefore accentuating the way gender is presented. Through the reversal of gender roles traditionally represented as masculine and feminine, the author is able to show how gender roles are exchangeable and should not be based off of physical sexual orientation to directly define the personality of the individual. Mama Elena is forced to take on both the mother and father figure of the house. She is a mother based on the birth of her children, but she does not possess the nurturing qualities of a mother. However, she exemplifies a masculine role through ruling by fear and dominance and not…show more content…
Sergeant Treviño is in love with Gertrudis however he is willing to simply be near her while she is in love with another man. Both men are subordinate to women as they spend their lives trying to win their approval and love. Pedro enters into a loveless marriage with the love of his life’s sister once he learns he can not marry the true woman he loves. Instead of taking control of their lives they allow the women in the lives to control them while they participate in the more feminine submissive roles. In Like Water for Chocolate stereotypical gender roles are reversed and rearranged. Male characters convey nurturing accommodating traits typical of females. While females show fierce, authoritative characteristics typical of males. Like Water for Chocolate demonstrates how masculine and feminine personalities are interchangeable and do not need to be based off of physical
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