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Confinement in "like water for chocolate" and "doll's house"

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How confinement leads to eventual emancipation in the two books, "Like Water for Chocolate" and "A Doll's House" In the two texts, A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, Nora Helmer and Tita, who is also referred to as Josefita, are subject to the paradox of confinement and freedom. We soon notice that Tita is restricted to the ranch and kitchen, and Nora to the house. In the seclusion of the Kitchen, Tita is is liberated from Mama Elena's control, has freedom of self expression through cooking, and can openly express her feelings. Along with the realization that Tita is restricted to the ranch and kitchen, we find that Tita is a very skilled cook with mystical abilities, and also has some freedom and control in the household. ...read more.


Nora happily looks forward to the time when she will have paid off her debt to Krogstad and reflects that then she will be free. Her speech has dramatic irony, where the audience knows or suspects that the opposite to what the character believes is true, as her freedom. Nora comes to realize this by the end of the play. A Doll's House narrates how role play and the competition for control co-exist. Consequently, one cannot be discussed without the other. This is also very true for Like Water for Chocolate. "She started to tear apart all the sausages she could reach, screaming wildly. Here's what I do with your orders! I'm sick of them! I'm sick of obeying you!" The tearing of the sausages who are prepared so delicately and under strict orders amplifies and highlights Tita's anger are she breaks them, which in addition, symbolizes that Tita is breaking the orders and thus, wants freedom. ...read more.


Nora soon realizes this and she immediately leaves Torvald. This leads to her discovery that this is the kind of freedom that she really wants, that she's always wanted. "Always merry, never happy", a way Nora used to describe her feelings. When Nora finally slams the door and leaves, she is not only slamming it on Torvald, but also on everything else that has happened in her past which didn't allow her to grow into a mature woman. "I have existed, merely to perform tricks for you, Torvald. But you wanted it like that. You and father have committed a great sin against me. It is your fault that I have made nothing of my life. Our home has een nothing but a playroom. I have been your doll-wife, just as at home I was father's doll-child; and here the children have been my dolls." These were Nora's final words to Torvald before she left him and their children, for good. ...read more.

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