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The contrasting manner in which love and passion is expressed by Tita and Gertrudis for their lovers in Like Water For Chocolate

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Rituparna Roy World Literature II The contrasting manner in which love and passion is expressed by Tita and Gertrudis for their lovers in Like Water For Chocolate Laura Esquivel's novel, Like Water For Chocolate, is a contemporary novel based on recipes, home remedies and romance. It is a novel that uses recipes as a crypt for many important themes. In a sense, the recipe is the first step in a chain of reactions that prompt memory. After the food is produced, it has a texture, smell, shape, taste and color. These elements arouse the senses, which can produce emotions. Esquivel associated certain dishes to sickness, pregnancy, motherhood and most importantly, love and lust. The characters who portray the latter two emotions, in the novel, primarily through food, music are Tita and Gertrudis. Food is treated as a language in the book. Tita identifies and asserts herself through her cooking. All that she cannot articulate, be it joy, sorrow, anger, irritation, love or passion is expressed through her cooking. The recipes are presented with a sexual flavour. In fact the first recipe of Christmas Sausage Rolls, Tita's favorite dish; is very significant to the novel because the sausage is a phallic symbol, which could also represent Tita's lover, Pedro. ...read more.


While Tita can only articulate her sexuality within the domestic sphere, Gertrudis is able to exceed these boundaries without a second thought. Her flight can be seen as a triumph, wherein she sheds notions of social propriety to pursue her unbridled desires. Her departure clearly has no place in the ordered domestic realm. The contrasting experiences of Gertrudis and Tita illustrate the only two possibilities for female desire, both of which are extremes: stifled and unarticulated, or hypersexualized to the point of being slightly pornographic. The later revelation that Gertrudis is of mixed ancestry becomes interesting to this chapter. It is possible to argue that, in showering, Gertrudis is attempting to rid herself of her inherent sexuality. Additionally, her insatiable desire may also be related to the circumstances of her parentage, because she was born of a love that was never fulfilled. If Gertrudis represents one who is frenzied in love, the opposite is true for Tita. Her expression of love is subtle throughout the novel expect in the last chapter. This is most certainly because of their personal nature and the circumstances they are put in. ...read more.


The novel amply fits a love story because of the love expressed by Tita and Gertrudis for their lovers. However their medium of expressing love and passion is different, one does it through cooking and the other through music and dance. Even though both are extremely passionate, the level of showing that passion is different for Tita, which is why the outcomes of their love stories also differ. Gertrudis' love begins passionately with spontaneity; it also has its obstacles in the middle, where Gertrudis works at a brothel, however the end is peaceful. Peaceful in the sense that Gertrudis settles down with her husband and child and is assumed to live a content and peaceful life. On the other hand Tita's love, which has a very conventional beginning and takes a slow pace throughout the novel has a dramatic and dynamic end. Pedro and Tita's true passion for each other is seen only in the last chapter when they make love, the passion reaches such a height that they extinguish each other in that passion and finally die. They share no family life and don't have the conventional "happy" ending. While Gertrudis represents the foremost impulse of self-gratification, Tita is the prototype of a character who grows through suffering in love. 1 Esquivel, Laura; Like Water For Chocolate; Publication: An Electric Pictures release. Page 18 ...read more.

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