Pablo Neruda and Laura Esquivel: Using Literary Techniques to Portray Transcendence

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Pablo Neruda and Laura Esquivel: Using Literary Techniques to Portray Transcendence
Humanity has forever been intrigued by the bewildering power of love. Artist of all types, writers, painters, singers, philosophers, have attempted to explain the origin of love and why it is such an important part of our human lives. Looking at two important works like Pablo Neruda's 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair and Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate, the authors choose to depict stories of true love, passion and longing to portray the feeling of love. These two works go beyond realistic human feeling and events to do so, and use literary devices such as magical realism, natural imagery and exaggerated emotion in their writing. They do so for one simple reason: love cannot be defined in real situations because love itself is a transcendent feeling. These unreal literary techniques are used by these two authors to attempt to explain the transcendence felt by one in love, as have done many before them. In Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, our author writes about love's longing and despair, as synthesized in his staple phrase: “Love is so short, forgetting is so long” (Neruda, “Tonight I Can Write” 28). The choice of using these types of literary devices is made as a statement of intangibility: love is much more than reality. In Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate the reader is exposed to the magic of love, and its magnificence. Through the stories of Tita's encounters and emotional dilemmas, Esquivel sends her reader on a supernatural journey through her story's magical realism. Events like Gertrudis' erotic escape from the family ranch and the eventual eternal spiritual unification of Tita and Pedro, prove to the reader her admiration for the complexities of love. Pablo Neruda's poems show extensive use of natural imagery, as well as various magical elements to show the same admiration. One might say that his use of nature as a device to...
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