Like Water For Chocolate Mama Elena Character Analysis

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What does it mean to be a mother? Is it something as simple as having given birth to the child? Or is the actual definition of being a mother a lot more complex? In Laura Esquivel’s book Like Water for Chocolate, the main character, Tita, has a mother that doesn’t care about her. Her mother is mean and severely strict. Tita, being the youngest child, is pulled into the family tradition of the youngest daughter looking after her mother until death. Even though Mama Elena, Tita’s mother, is terrible mother, the message of what it means to be a mother is shown in the book. In Like Water for Chocolate the author uses Tita, a shotgun, and the kitchen as symbols to show that being a mother doesn’t have to do with having gave birth to a child, but is defined by traits shown by a person.
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In the book, Mama Elena does one act of motherhood. This is when she defends her house from a couple of soldiers. The author writes,” Mama Elena raised the gun, and shot the chickens” (Esquivel 90). In the quote, Mama Elena shot a chicken out of the arms of a revolutionary. The soldier didn’t listen to what Mama Elena had said about allowing nobody inside the house. He started to walk towards the house and Mama Elena shot the chicken out of his hands. Mama Elena was being protective which is a quality of a mother. Later in the scene when Mama Elena is protecting her house, she says she would rather die than let them in the house. Mama Elena says,”If we die, no one will miss me very much, but won’t the nation mourn your loss” (Esquivel 90). In this part of the book, Mama Elena says she would rather die than let the people in. This is a strong act of motherhood because she is putting her child’s protection above everything. The shotgun is used to symbolize protection and caring about the safety of a child. So with the shotgun, the author shows that caring about a child is a characteristic of being a

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