The Role of Tradition in Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate

Topics: Like Water for Chocolate, Cooking, Love Pages: 2 (419 words) Published: November 15, 2013


“The Control of the Past – An Observation on the Role of Tradition in Like Water for Chocolate” Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies. New York: Doubleday, 1992. Print.

In Like Water for Chocolate, Tita and her family don’t really get along and it leads into trouble. Also the man Tita loves is with someone else. Family tradition is the main is cause of the family members hurting each other, essentially tearing the family apart. Examples in the story would be the relationships between Tita and Rosaura, Mama Elena and Gertrudis, and Tita and Mama Elena.

Tita and Rosaura’s problem throughout the story is mainly Pedro. Tita loves Pedro but Rosaura marries him and has two children with him. Rosaura also accuses Tita of sneaking around with Pedro. Rosaura then bands Tita from seeing Esperanza. "Something strange was going on. Tita remembered that Nacha had always said that when people argue while preparing tamales, the tamales won’t get cooked. They can be heated day after day and still stay raw, because the tamales are angry. In a case like that, you have to sing to them, which makes them happy, and then they’ll cook" (pg. 218 – 219). Once Rosaura dies, Tita and Pedro fall in love.

Mama Elena and Gertrudis’ problem is when Gertrudis runs away. When Gertrudis ran away, Mama Elena burns pictures of her and her birth certificate. Just like any memories she had of her. Mama Elena is unhappy that Gertrudis works at a brothel and ran away with a soldier.

Mama Elena and Tita’s problem is Mama Elena’s strict and harsh punishments. Mama Elena hit Tita in the face with a wooden spoon. Tita doesn’t like Mama Elena. “Unquestionably, when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, desolating, detaching, dispossessing, destroying, or dominating, Mama Elena was a pro” (pg. 97). Mama Elena also keeps Tita away from Pedro because she went through the same thing. "Besides...
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