Like Water Fir Chocolate Critical Analysis

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Laura Esquivel in Like Water fir Chocolate interweaves a story of female oppression because of familial and cultural pressure throughout the conventional women’s area of romance and cooking. Tita, the protagonist, is a delightful cook, but her recipes and their results on those who enjoy her food reinforce and mirror the novel’s main theme, repression of women. Tita’s use of her cooking prowess, one of her many feminine abilities does not come without risk. When Mama Elena says “…you have no opinion about anything that’s the end of that…” (Esquivel 17), Tita is forced to challenge Mama Elena’s authority by expressing herself through her food, that is, her recipes. The author feminizes her story by presenting women characters sustained through the preparation of food, which transcends…show more content…
Tradition in Mexico as portrayed in Like Water for Chocolate means that Tita is prohibited to marry because it is her responsibility to care for her mother until she passes away, “…you have to take care of me until the day I die…” (Esquivel 9). It is evident that the culture in Esquivel’s text dictates the place and role of women. Tita’s mother, Mama Elena De la Garza is a cruel and harsh woman who is far removed from the conventional view of mothers. Mama Elena is rather portrayed as an evil parent; a twisted, tyrannical, and authoritarian, woman who enjoys using her power to destroy and demean her daughters whilst being “…merciless, killing with a single blow…” (Esquivel 47). Mama Elena keeps Tita on surveillance and impedes any chance for Tita to find love. However, Mama Elena cannot control Tita’s recipes and the power of her food. It is probably for this reason that Tita’s quail in rose petal sauce dish is the hallmark recipe in the book. Even though Tita has been banned from pursuing her love for Pedro, her sister’s husband, she shows her love for him through her quail
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