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Like Water for Chocolate Research Papers

Research papers that need to examine works of literature often focus on one particular aspect. Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate can look at symbolism or the themes within the novel. Have Paper Masters examine whatever you need to explicate in Laura Esquivel's novel.

Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate details the story of Tita and her love for Pedro. However, because Tita is the youngest of three daughters, her family tradition dictates that she must forego love and take care of her mother until she dies.  Tita, who was practically raised in the kitchen, seeks her refuge there, pouring her heart and soul into her cooking.  As a result, her recipes are magically mixed with her emotions that are passed onto those who eat Tita’s meals.  The novel becomes the story of the struggle between the individual and family duty—which duty is stronger?  The concerns of the individual become secondary to the necessity of family tradition and duty, but in the end, following the family dictates only brings ruin.

Like Water for Chocolate

For Tita “the joy of living was wrapped up in the delights of food,” and this marks her as different from her sisters, who are frightened by life and the kitchen".  When Tita is fifteen, she and Pedro Muzquiz fall in love, but Mama Elena puts a stop to the relationship because Tita must follow the family tradition.  “You don’t have and opinion,” she tells her daughter.  “For generations, not a single person in my family has ever questioned this tradition”.

What the reader learns is the following two important points:

  1. Tita is different from her sister
  2. Tita has a childhood history of rebellion and defiance to her mother. 

Tita has earned numerous slaps for failing to call Mama Elena “Mami” in the proper tone of voice. Of course Pedro tries to pursue his true love, only to be told that he can only marry Tita’s sister Rosaura. Pedro understands that his only hope of being near her is to marry her sister.  This is a situation removed from the Book of Genesis, when Jacob asks for Rachel’s hand, Laban tells him that he can only marry her older sister Leah  “It is not the custom in our country,” Laban tells Jacob, “to marry off a younger daughter before an older one”.

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