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Control is a central concern in the novel Like Water for Chocolate

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Control is a central concern in the novel "Like Water for Chocolate", consider its impact In Esquivel's novel "Like Water for Chocolate", Tita, the protagonist is forced to conform to her unconscionable De La Garza family tradition in which she has to stay unmarried and care for her flagitious mother until she dies. Subsequently her lover, Pedro Muzquiz agrees to marry Tita's sister Rosaura as an attempt to stay close to her. In the novel, control is viewed as a central concern. The author generates this concern through Mama Elena's control over her daughters, temperature, food, Tita's rebellion and imagery. These ultimately impact the characters and the readers of the novel in both positive and negative ways. Mama Elena has the most control over Tita because since she is the "youngest daughter", (Esquivel, 14) she is forbidden to marry until her mother is dead. Thus, this devastates Tita throughout the novel because her fate as it were, is to be alone instead of being with her lover, Pedro. Mama Elena's control over Tita affects her so much that even after she is dead, she still is controlling her. Though "Tita no longer had a mother... she couldn't get ride of the feeling that any minute some awful punishment was going to descent on her from the great beyond" (178). This emphasises how great the control Mama Elena had over Tita and how it impacted her making her paranoid. ...read more.


Esquivel illustrates how Tita copes with this by her relation with food. The emotion Tita puts into the food she prepares controls the emotions of the people who eat it. For instance, Tita "kept crying" (31) into the batter of the wedding cake she was making for Rosaura and Pedro's wedding. As a result when the guests ate the cake they started "weeping" (39) and then were "wailing over lost love" (39). Therefore, because Tita put her sorrow into the cake, the guests became overwhelmed with despair when they ate it, which indeed shows the impact of her emotions put into food. Another example of Tita's control over emotions through her food is when Pedro gave Tita roses. Mama Elena told her to discard them but instead of throwing them away Tita made a rose petal sauce. "Tita's blood and the roses from Pedro proved quite an explosive combination" (48) since while making the sauce she was thinking about how much she longed for Pedro. The food impacted Gertrudis greatly as "on her the food seemed to act as an aphrodisiac" (48). In this situation, the lust that Tita put into the food resulted in Gertrudis becoming naked and she tried getting a shower due to the fact that "an intense heat" (49) was causing her to "sweat" (49). Furthermore the sweat smelt like roses and "the scent of roses given off by her body" (51) ...read more.


This relates to Tita tremendously because being too heated with passion is equally as harmful as being too cold with despair. Moreover, this impacts Tita and the reader because it teaches them that passion and despair needs to be controlled like water for chocolate. In addition to this, the fact that love and sadness is demonstrated in the making of chocolate, it serves as a critical metaphor in Esquivel's novel. To hyphen the impact of control in the novel Like Water for Chocolate, Esquivel uses literacy devices such as imagery. The way the author describes Mama Elena's cruel personality, symbolizes the control she has over Tita; this is shown when the author states that "Mama Elena was merciless, killing with a single blow" (47). This quote demonstrates that Mama Elena kills quickly but on the other hand "she had been killing [Tita] a little at a time since she was a child" (47). This is symbolic because due to the control Mama Elena exerts on Tita she makes an "exception" (47) for her and is "killing' (47) her throughout her life. Though Mama Elena is not physically killing her, the killing represents the pain and hurt she afflicts on Tita. Throughout Esquivel's novel Like Water for Chocolate, cruelty and passion are the key issues that influence the impact of concern in the narrative. The author uses Mama Elena's control over her daughters, temperature, food, Tita's rebellion and imagery to demonstrate this concern and they work to release the reader's emotions and give them a beneficial moral as well. ...read more.

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