Sexuality In Ursula, Remedios The Beauty, And Pilar Ternera

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In Like Water for Chocolate, female sexuality is explored indirectly, mainly through the use food as a method of sexual expression. Bilbija writes that this introduction of sexuality outside of the context of marriage and procreation “opens for discussion the ever present topics of feminine self-sacrifice and subordination that have traditionally been promoted by patriarchal literature” (205). The first example of this alternate expression of sexuality is Tita’s quail in rose petal sauce. After consuming this dish, cooked to the brim with Tita’s longing for Pedro, Tita’s sister Gertrudis is filled with “an intense heat pulsing through her limbs” (Esquivel 51). She then goes to take a shower but “her body was giving off so much heat that the…show more content…
Ursula initially refuses to be intimate with her husband, fearful that any child resulting from their union will have the tail of a pig, since they are cousins. Her husband nearly rapes her in his attempt to assert his manliness and control (Marquez 22). This illustrates his power over his wife in the sphere of love and relationships, after he kills a man in the village for insulting his manhood. Remedios the Beauty, on the other hand, remains a virgin throughout the novel and is portrayed as simple and unintelligent. Until she is a teenager, her mother is forced to dress and bathe her (Marquez 196). She rejects all advances made by the men of the town, not because she is not interested, but because she is unable to truly comprehend their interest in her, calling one man who is infatuated with her beauty a “simpleton” (Marquez 197). Pilar Ternera, quite unlike the other two women, is portrayed as powerful over her own sexuality. She serves as an object of early infatuation for both Colonel Aureliano and Jose Arcadio Buendia and goes on to be the mother of both of their children (Marquez 26-31). She even manages to defend herself when one of her sons attempts to assault her, not knowing that she is in fact his mother. She serves as an oddly…show more content…
Her high school “hookup”, Eddie Oakley, is mostly an extension of her already existing feelings of isolation. Their relationship begins as a way for Rose to cope with her loneliness, after her ability destroys most of her close relationships with people (Bender 156). He continues to be her stress release but has no understanding of her emotions, calling her the “tank” because of her stoicism. There is no power dynamic here. Rather, they both use each other exclusively for their own personal gain (Bender 132). George, her brother’s best friend, serves as a direct contrast to Rose’s relationship with Eddie; her relationship with George is all emotions and very little physical contact. When all the children are little, George is the first to respond to Rose’s claims that she can taste feelings. He takes her seriously and after the borderline neglect that she has experienced from her parents, any attention from him is life-altering (Bender 20). As they grow older, Rose turns to George for advice and help, especially after Joseph begins acting strangely. They return to the same places they used to walk as children, and Rose remembers her childhood experiences, saying “When the light at Vermont turned green, we stepped into the street and George grabbed my hand and the ghosts of our younger selves
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