Immortality Through Stories
Stories allow people to continue living after death. Story telling is often how people remember someone who has passed away. In both the novel Like Water for Chocolate and the film Big Fish, magical realism is used for story telling to make the stories more engaging and entertaining, which make them more likely to be told again. People live on through their stories and in this way can become immortal because of the use of magical realism in storying telling.
Esquivel relies on magical realism to tell the stories of Tita and this allows Tita’s cookbook to be read and remembered by Esperanza’s daughter. The cookbook could easily be seen as just a book of recipes but the use of magical realism transforms the recipes into telling the story of Tita’s interred love. Each recipe recounts a different incident in Tita’s dramatic life describing her forbidden love for Pedro and the satanic Mama Elena. There is an art to how magical realism is used and Chencha understands this when she says “Anything could be true or false, depending on whether one believed it” (Esquivel 127). This sums up Chencha’s reasoning for making up stories. Chencha is known for her tendency to embellish stories and tell half-truths. Burdened by the responsibility of telling Mama Elena that Tita refuses to return home, Chencha considers whether she must tell Mama Elena the truth. She decides to tell Mama Elena a different version of the truth instead so as not to be the bearer of bad news. Esquivel uses magical realism to alter the truths of stories and make the more interesting to whoever listens to the stories. Esperanza keeps Tita alive when she reads her cook book, which is full of recipes that can be understood as stories with the use of magical realism.
Similar to Like Water for Chocolate, the film Big Fish relies on magical realism in storytelling. Big Fish mainly describes the life of Edward Bloom by recounting the stories of his life. Edward’s life has...
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