• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is marriage a symbol for the socio-economical context of Like Water for Chocolate and The sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent is marriage a symbol for the socio-economical context of Like Water for Chocolate and The sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea The purport of marriage varies amongst cultures, yet, it is similarly aspired to by many a generation of romantic young girls. In Like Water for Chocolate and the Sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea (here after referred to as Sailor ), marriage is the key motif that not only connects the two novels, but also adheres the fragments of the novels to form a complete whole. Both authors created this symbol to serve a crucial purpose in exquisitely unveiling the socio-economical context of the respective settings of the two novels; Japan and Mexico. 'When you're told there's no way you can marry the woman you love and your only hope of being near her is to marry her sister, wouldn't you do the same?'(15)This very quote from Like Water for Chocolate, depicts love as entirely excluded from marriage. According to Mexican tradition, marriage is merely a duty which symbolises the Mexican traditional and cultural bindings that neither man nor woman could elude. ...read more.


'Jose was the love of her life', yet Mama Elena was restricted from marrying him because 'he had Negro blood in his veins.'(137). Mama Elena had an affair with a black man, yet was forcibly disconnected because of the difference in race and culture, underlining another feature in the Mexican culture, that shows it to be extremely exclusive. ' No woman had attracted him since the death of his wife five years before.' (74) In direct reference to John Brown, a foreigner, this depicts a contradicting belief from mexican tradition, that marriage (as John ultimately proposed to Tita) is is a product of love and passion. In Sailor, Fusako appears to be a greatly westernised woman who leads a fashionable life in her prestigious store, yet she falls in love with a Japanese Sailor who complies with the traditional principles of glory and honour. This clash of tradition as expressed through the image of marriage, expands the diversity and versatility of marriage as a symbol. 'She would have to find some way, even if it was an artificial one, of striking a fire that would light the way back to her origin and to Pedro.'(245) ...read more.


perfectly embodies the struggle Ryuji faced; the conflict between the 'offing' of Japanese pride and "the woman", metonymy for marriage to a woman. To conclude, both writers adopted marriage to a great extent as a major motif to symbolise each novel's socio-economic context impeccably. In Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel depicts the journey of exploration of the mexican identity, which ultimately reveals the puissance of social expectations and hierarchy in the mexican culture, flawlessly embodied by the notion of marriage. Furthermore, the novel is set during the Mexican revolution, paralleled to the struggle undertaken by Tita. Tita epitomizes the insurgents who falls victim to the age-old traditions, resulting in a tragic death, which was not uncommon during times of the revolution. While the novel revolves around "revolution" as a concept, the representation of themes are ultimately spearheaded by the motif of marriage. Adopting juxtaposing ideas to enhance the clash of cultures, Mishima successfully accentuates the cultural and social dimensions of the Japanese context. Together with the motif of marriage and Ryuji's death from his 'loss of masculinity and honour', Mishima advocates the nihilistic viewpoints harboured by the gang. While marriage carries rather disparate connotations in the Japanese and Mexican culture, Esquivel and Mishima, both triumphed in conveying the contextual theme through meticulous manipulation of the symbol; "marriage". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. The Sailor who fell from grace with the sea. What does the novel teach ...

    At first, he admires Ryuji greatly for he believes that Ryuji is a cool, manly sailor. However, Noboru grew up with his mother, the only person he could rely on. Despite wanting to rebel and become more like an independent "real man", Ryuji in facts fell extremely attached to his mother and may even suffer from Oedipus complex.

  2. Comparative Analysis, Haroun and the sea of stories and Inanna

    Black smoke poured out of the chimneys of sadness factories and hung over the city like bad news". (15) At the end of the novel, as the citizens of the city Kahani rejoice over their newfound name, water pours from the sky, suggesting the lasting happiness that language can bring.

  1. Commentary on 'Entirely'

    The poet is saying just get in with life, enjoy what you experience as we can do nothing other than allow life to take us where it takes us, and only a few of our choices will affect which path our life takes.

  2. In Juan Rulfos novel Pedro Paramo, the symbol of rain and water is a ...

    ?The windowpanes were misted over and raindrops were threading down like tears? I watched the trickles glinting in the lightning flashes, and every breath I breathed, I sighed. And every thought I thought was of you, Susana? (Pg. 15). Where earlier images full of color and light reflected the happiness

  1. Commentary on (love song, with two goldfish) by Grace Chua

    The fishbowl is representative of the limitations on the teenagers placed by society, restricting their lives and causing them to conform to social norms. The story of the teenagers is a tragic tale of love sprung from despair; the two fish come together only because of circumstance.

  2. Annotations for Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

    that he had a tendency to whack himself in the front ankle with his own hind hoof. Somehow, during that race the horse managed to win, even with a bad start. Smith was determined to get that horse. The horse?s name was Seabiscuit.

  1. Analysis of "Hurricane hits England" by Grace Nichols

    It?s also important to notice that the names of the gods and the name of the hurricane of the past, are written with a capital letter, to underline their importance and the fact that she?s talking to them as if they were real people.

  2. Reflections on "Miss Julie" in a cultural context

    Miss Julie is a woman of a higher class who tries to run away with the servant of her house, Jean. We discussed that Miss Julie had just gone through a separation from her fiancé which must have been publically humiliating for her.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work