"Like Water for Chocolate" Magical Realism

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Magical realism in novels is a creative way for the author to enhance the reader’s experience. Laura Esquivel uses this technique in her story, Like Water for Chocolate, to add depth and strength to her characters, themes, and historical context. Esquivel’s story focuses on a young woman named Tita trying to find herself. Her journey includes overcoming obstacles such as, the Mexican Revolution, a controlling and overbearing mother, and the pain of a forbidden love shared with a man who married her sister in order to be closer to Tita. With the chapters organized by month, and starting off with a coordinating recipe, the reader easily follows Tita step by step on her journey. Magical realism is a writing style that needs to be handled delicately. When done wrong, the reader can get lost in the extremes of the fantasy and not be able to fully appreciate the metaphors and symbols within the magic. And while the book sometimes falls victim to this, it is evident that overall, Laura Esquivel appreciates the delicacy and subtlety that magical realism requires. The evidence of her knowledge can be seen in a few different places. For instance, the author’s narrator is one that is not directly involved with the other characters. This style of narration works well for Esquivel because she introduces magical realism right away, buy having the story told by a third party makes the wild descriptions sound more like a folks tale. This allows the reader to appreciate the symbol for what it is instead of getting lost in the over exaggerations. One of the most prominent uses of magical realism in the book is the transfer of Tita’s emotions through her food. There are multiple scenarios in the book where after eating the food that Tita has prepared that the characters adopt those emotions, which Tita can not embrace, and express them in an exaggerated manor. Every reader can find negatives in a book, but this novel has few enough that the experience is not tarnished and very...
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