Like Water For Chocolate Book Analysis

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In both Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel and Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, the role of motherhood is emphasized. Everybody has a version of what they picture a mother to be, but some qualities, such as being nurturing and protective, can be agreed upon. In these two books the main roles of motherhood, protector and emotional supporter, are both explored.
One of the roles of motherhood is to be a protector to the children, especially when a father isn’t in the picture. Mama Elena, in Like Water for Chocolate, assumes masculine power after her husband dies. She dismisses the usual roles of the mother, cooking and feeding, and adopts the role of control while eliminating men from her life. She even ignores the priest’s fears that she would be alone and vulnerable at the ranch with the absence of men, after her husband dies. She even goes as far to say that “it’s worse to have chiles without water” than to be without a man and that she’s “never needed one”. Mama Elena likes
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The difference between the two mothers is how they assume these roles. Throughout Like Water for Chocolate, Mama Elena uses violence as her form of control. This isn’t surprising, though, as in the book most people, such as the soldiers in the Mexican revolution, tended to turn to violence when they couldn’t come to an agreement. This mindset is what makes Mama Elena the mother that she is to her children. In Grapes of Wrath it seems that the women look on silently, trying to read their husband’s expression while the man considers the loss. Ma Joad isn’t the type to sit back when the family is in trouble. Her great compassion for everyone in her family greatly contrasts Mama Elena’s. Her main concern throughout the novel is her concern for her family’s happiness, and she controls it, as best she can, through tough
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