Gender Roles In Mama Elena's Like Water For Chocolate

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Up until the late 1910’s, women did not have much say with what went on in society, nor did they have much control over their own lives. It had been tradition that a woman obeyed without question and did anything in her power to please those around her. Such ideals are seen in Like Water for Chocolate, however, instead of having to follow a male figurehead, Tita, her sisters, Pedro, and even Mama Elena must obey the invisible laws of society. However, everyone finds a way to bend these laws and help get a foot into the threshold of how things are in the modern day. Through Tita, Gertrudis, Mama Elena and other characters actions, it is shown that women do have a tremendous amount of power in regards to what they do. Such is shown through, feminism, gender role reversals and cultural symbols. Mama Elena displays traits of gender role reversals. Throughout the novel, Mama Elena is seen as a tyrannical figure, hindering her daughters’ lives and causing an inconvenience to those around her. However, no one seems to take into account the backstory that hangs over Mama Elena like a giant thundercloud. In the beginning of the novel, she loses her husband. And in the days of the Mexican Revolution, being a widowed mother was a recipe for…show more content…
Mama Elena has created the family tradition that the youngest daughter will never be allowed to marry, she is destined to stay with her mother until she dies. Part of this reasoning is Mama Elena’s background. She fell in love with a mulatto, causing her parents to arrange a marriage to Tita’s father. Therefore, she somehow feels it is necessary to exact revenge in the sense that she wasn’t allowed to do what she wanted, therefore no one else can. Perkins states that “Here the mother-daughter relationship enacts a structure of political authority and submission when Mama Elena

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