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Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Compare the ways in which the writers have used narrative point of view to develop their works.

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Introduction

"Compare the ways in which the writers have used narrative point of view to develop their works." In both Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, the narrative point of view is used to inform the reader of the political and socio-cultural context of the situation in which the protagonists find themselves. The narrative voice supports the way we react to certain issues within the texts. Narrative point of view is communicated to the reader in a variety of ways; including authorial intrusion, use of imagery and the way the narrator selects the anecdotes, themes and settings. Esquivel's narrator is the great- niece of the protagonist, and el Saadawi's narrator is herself, the psychiatrist who tells the story of Firdaus embedded in her story. In both instances one would expect the narrator to be biased towards the protagonists because of their special relationship with the protagonists. Both writers successfully portray the traditional oppression of women through their imagery and hyperbole. A few of the obvious forms of imagery used are: gustatory imagery, thermal imagery and visual imagery. In Saadawi's work the oppression is embedded within the Islamic traditions as well as the lack of gender equality. ...read more.

Middle

An example of this is when Tita was preparing a meal whilst being disturbed by all the events occurring in the house; "Tita was literally 'like water for chocolate' - she was on the verge of boiling over." Repetition is used in both novels to show the importance of certain events in the lives of the characters and their importance to the central themes. For example, in el Saadawi's novel, we are constantly told of how Firdaus faced relentless child abuse and how she was persistently mistreated by men. And in Esquivel's work, the repetition is used to develop the structure of the novel, as the novel is set out into twelve different sections, which all begin with recipes. This initiates the repetition of food throughout the novel. It is obvious that one of the central ideas in Esquivel's novel is the emotional tie people have to food. Esquivel uses repetition to convey this theme; the most obvious form of repetition within the story is the structure of the novel. Esquivel also commonly speaks of how Tita grew up making and preparing food, and that as a young girl she would stay in the kitchen with the family's chef, watching and learning how to cook. ...read more.

Conclusion

Esquivel wrote her novel in revolutionary Mexico, during the turn of the 18th/19th century. The narrator's point of view is that the protagonist should not be bound by strict family rules, which have always prevailed in Mexico. Esquivel uses the fact that society is changing so quickly in the political sense to show this inconsistency between the society in general and private lives. In both novels the way in which the authors select the anecdotes is a key contributor in displaying their opinions. The fact that the authors have the ability to add any information they see fit, and can also supress information they do not want the readers to see, means that they can further increase their bias and affect the opinions of the reader. To conclude, the way both authors use specific crafts to enhance the key ideas of the novels is supported by the narrative point of view. This point of view is relatively biased, due to the circumstances the novels were written under. However, this bias is somewhat irrelevant because even looked at independently the circumstances of the times invited the same stance as that taken by the authors. Word Count: 1228 ?? ?? ?? ?? IB English Sam Roberts ...read more.

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