In the novel,
Like Water for Chocolate
, Esquivel “represented the written
counterpart to women’s socialization” (de Valdes 1). Esquivel wrote Like Water for
with women as the head of the household. Esquivel “playfully appropriates resources from the Spanish American canon” (Ibsen 3). Although Esquivel had written this novel as a parody of a genre, it is also a love story that follows Tita, Esquivel’s greataunt, and a man named Pedro. Pedro wants to propose to Tita, but Tita’s mother does not allow it. Tita’s mother, Mama Elena, treats Tita like “a servant in her own home” (Ibsen 3). Mama Elena denies Tita’s marriage to Pedro because of social sanctions. All throughout the novel, Mama Elena is seen as an authority figure; this sets up the plot and background of the descriptive and meaningful story. Laura Esquivel not only uses gender roles to create a background for the novel, but also magical realism. “Esquivel invites the reader to reassess conventional approaches to literature” (Ibsen 3). Esquivel wrote this novel with women as the head of the household. Women are the authority figures. Esquivel portrays the women in the novel with “‘masculine’ attributes such as strength and courage” (Ibsen 4). The underlying message of that is powerful. Esquivel reassures the reader that women can have “masculine” traits, just as men can have “feminine” traits such as: sensitivity and compassion. Esquivel depicts Mama Elena as a strongvoiced and strict character; she depicts Pedro as more of a
softspoken, sweet, and submissive character. Pedro does everything Mama Elena says even though he is in love with Tita. “But if you really want to get married, allow me to suggest my daughter Rosaura” (Esquivel 13). Pedro agrees to this offer even though he ...
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