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Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel Chapter Analysis

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

February Settings The chapter opens with the kitchen ("Tita's Realm") as the main setting, but it has a different significance now because there is a direct relationship with the wider society due to "the wedding". The entire novel is set in a time of political instability- The Mexican Revolution. At this time, women began to gain freedom, appreciation and respect from men, allowing them to find a place for themselves. In this chapter, Tita shows initial signs of bringing across immense emotion through her cooking and its products. This is an act of liberation that Mama Elena would not approve of if she knew of the consequences. "White" is constantly repeated throughout this chapter, it shows how the writer makes Tita seem mentally unstable because all she can think about is the wedding, and weddings are mostly all white. She seems mentally unstable because the whiteness of the wedding seems to have blinded Tita because "[Tita] asked if Nacha was going to add the red food color to the icing" when Nacha already did. Character During this overwhelming year of the month, Tita continually thinks of the colour "White" because all she can think about is the marriage between her sister and Pedro (the love of her life) which leads her to become mentally unstable. Mama Elena punishes Tita for "feigning a headache" by conducting and forcing her to make the cake with Chencha "who is experienced". This again shows Mama Elena's cruelty to Tita. With Mama Elena disregarding that the marriage is breaking Tita's heart, she tells Tita that she will not tolerate her ruining her sister's wedding "with [Tita] acting like a victim". She says it as if there wasn't anything between Pedro and Tita, the verb "acting" makes it seem as though Tita should react as the same way as she is. Mama Elena also shows her cruelty through violence as she gave Tita "a tremendous slap." ...read more.

Middle

The death of the pigeon due to overfeeding at the end of the chapter symbolizes the death of Tita's nephew who died also because of something he ate. The trapping and killing of doves and pigeons in the dovecote, and the emptiness in the dovecote symbolizes Tita's life and the emptiness in her life because of everyone being forced to leave her. The trapping of the doves in particular is repeated when Mama Elena trapped Tita in the dovecote and she become mentally unstable due to this. The whole trapping of the doves and Tita symbolizes that Mama Elena is actually not much worse than the rebels are heart. The worms in the sausages after Mama Elena filled the sausages herself represent impurity. Mama Elena's impure thoughts and her actions like stopping her daughter from getting her true love because she did not get her true love. Style Symbolism -The baby pigeon being over fed and dying of indigestion contrasted with Baby Roberto who dies because he is not fed proper food. The dovecote symbolizing Tita's life and how empty it is like the dovecote after all the doves and pigeons have been killed Metaphor- "She felt a red-hot coal that throbbed through his clothes"- His heart being compared to red-hot coal to show the passion between them. "Mama Elena's fury would erupt any moment"- Comparing Mama Elena's fury to a volcano that is going to erupt shows that she is very short-tempered and her anger is dangerous in comparison with a volcano. Repetition of consonants- "Unquestionably, when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, desolating, detaching, dispossessing, destroying or dominating Mama Elena was a pro." The repetition and listing of the things Mama Elena is good at show that she is only really good at things which normally hurt or need power or energy doing. This shows her true colors and her very destructive personality Diction - "Trying not to be intimidated by the fierce domineering look he got form her" - The words "fierce" and "domineering" make Mama Elena sound like a predator hunting for pretty. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the preparation of the King's Day Bread, eggs are included in the ingredient which symbolises preserved love and that due to her 'pregnancy', she is going to reveal her love for Pedro. This is ironic, as the King's Day bread is supposedly prepared for celebration, yet Tita does not "have a lot of reasons to laugh", emphasising the impact of the rebellion has caused her because "this possibility had not occurred to her as she consummated her love with Pedro". The pregnancy could have been avoided if she had been repressed The recipe emphasizes the motif of the chocolate, which instructs to fulfil our dreams and desires as it is written command form. The language of instructions shows how we should express our own feelings, and not repress them like Tita has because of her fear of her pregnancy. The recipe of the chocolate relates to the title of the book. The preparation of the chocolate also produces a nostalgic element to Tita's emotions. She is comforted with the happy childhood memories of "Nacha! The smells: her noodle soup..." The magic realist aspect is a way of releasing the repression locked within her by means of remembering the happy moments in her life, with associations to food, and hence reinforcing what matters to Tita the most; the importance of a 'true' family and the power of love. When she hopes to have not had to "compete for the love of a man" with Rosaura, to solve the "water in boiling oil" relationship between the sisterhood. Almost instantly, she fulfils her wishes, as she is shortly approached by Rosaura, seeking for help. This emphasizes the power of the motif, 'chocolate' as a symbol to represent the need for something fulfilling is powerful as the event happens after she has prepared the chocolate in her recipe. Moreover, she hopes for Gertrudis to be "by her side", her desires are fulfilled when Rosaura approaches her shortly seeking for help and Gertrudis returning home. ...read more.

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