Traditions In Like Water For Chocolate

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Why Tradition is Horrible Have you ever wondered why so many people go along with traditions even if they work against them or someone they love? Yeah me too, a good example of this would be in the book Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. In it the main character Tita isn’t allowed to marry the man she loves because as the youngest daughter she has to take care of her mother until she dies. This is just wrong, she obviously loves this man yet her mother is insistent upon the fact that she can’t be with him. Even though it hurts her daughter Mama Elena still follows this tradition. There are many other strange traditions throughout this book, for example the marital sheet, yet none that so directly hurt someone as this. In this essay …show more content…

Tita is the one most hurt by this tradition yet also the one who hurts others the most because of it. Some examples of this include the quail with rose leaves that made Gertrudis so sexually frustrated she went to work at a brothel and was disowned by Elena (55) or when the cake she bakes causes everyone at the wedding to sob for so long they puke (39). Yet even though all of these are caused by this horrific tradition Elena still refuses to put an end to it. Tita is just trying to do her best for much of the book despite her conditions. While she is eventually pushed to a breaking point she seems to do nothing that would make Elena hate her to such an extent other than just existing. A phrase that is repeated throughout the book is “No crying” because Tita cried a lot when she was around onions. However the way Elena uses it is more of an accusatory tone or a warning rather than a supporting one. I believe Tita got the ridiculously short end of the stick and did remarkably well for how she was …show more content…

Elena also got the short end of the stick yet she seems to be directing her frustration from that towards Tita. There are many similarities between Elena and Tita, for example they both had forbidden lovers(137), however the main difference is that Elena is bitter. She’s already resigned to living without the one she loved so she see’s no real point in living other than her daughters. This may be the reason she wants to keep Tita around, the tradition may just be a cover for the fact that Elena knows she’ll have no reason to live without someone she loves around. Therefore she uses this tradition as a way of keeping at least one person in her life close to her. It doesn’t change the fact that this tradition is horrible but it does shine a new light on it. Elena is portrayed as the villain, an evil woman who seems to live only to torture Tita both mentally and physically. Yet maybe she’s not, maybe she’s just a scared old woman who’s already had two people she loved leave her and can’t bear to see any more go. Mama Elena definitely isn’t a good person, but she’s not a bad person either. If it weren’t for the fact that this tradition was enabling her selfish desires she most likely would have let Tita do what she wanted, as she did with Tita’s sisters. I guess it doesn’t really matter though, what she went through doesn’t totally justify her actions and it doesn’t change the fact that the tradition is wrong. Elena didn’t do

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