Like water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel

Subject: ⛩️ Culture
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 997
Topics: Realism, 📗 Book
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In several occasions, one might find that things do not work as they had expected and this might contradict the emotions related to the occasion.  Similarly, the quote indicates that Nacha had a different feeling after beating the meringue. This quote comes from the book Like water for chocolate written by Laura Esquirel. The theme that can be identified from this quote is the concept of magical realisms, which is applicable by establishing contradiction to the ideology that was expected (Esquirel 35). Occasionally, a wedding is a joyous celebration whereby the people attending are always excited, happy and joyful for the lovely couple. In this case, Nacha is not happy in her wedding as her mind is captured by the memories of her lost lover. In the quote, the sense of magic appears through understanding the notion of someone adding water to batter which would make it lose its taste. The magical realism comes into play through establishing the perception of the people being contradicted or working against their expectations.  

Moreover, the flavour of the cake did not lose its taste since it was sweet and one could notice the difference between other cakes. The moods of the people after eating the cake changed which could be seen through Tita’s tears. On the outside, there is a sense of external perception remained the same though there was an internal conflict since the flavour of the cake did not change, though Nacha felt an emotional longing after eating the cake. The ideology of magical realism engulfs the idea of creating license through their unlikely events. These factors include supernatural powers, ghost, magic and any other that contributes to the situation   in an increased level (Skipper 67). One should not confuse magical realism with fantasy because it is realistic. The essence of this ideology is to remind someone of the human story in issues related to human beings. Therefore, the concept of magical realism indicates human beings have one more physical component, which is intensified to the core.

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It is evident that the life of Tita is directly surrounded by the supernatural from her birth throughout her life. Her immediate environment is affected by her emotional frustrations, the salt of tears during her birth and her basket of sorrow.  Other instances of realism appear through the actions of the magical and supernatural whereby they make it a reality for the colourful and powerful inmost desire of the human beings. Tita is different from the others in terms of food since she is not a great cook but she finds it easy to nurture her nephew Roberto despite knowing that she does not have any mother’s milk to provide as she was a virgin (Skipper 69). Although she knew she could not feed the child she still removed her breast to feed him, as she could not bare to see the child crying due to hunger. The act of magical realism is seen as she feeds the child though she is unmarried. 

One is able to identify the effect of magical element whereby Tita’s sadness of losing her nephew made her lose her milk in her breast overnight. Her feelings get more affected after realizing that Roberto whom she was nurturing as her own, died from something that he had eaten. This unexpected thing occurred since it is impossible or not normal for an individual’s milk to dry up overnight. Despite Tita’s effort, Mama Elena does not appreciate, and she complains that the soup has no taste and is bitter. After the incidence, Tita was very sad and removed the soup as her mother instructed her (Skipper 73).   Her magical event started  rising in her body, she was burning inside and smoke made a dense knot in her eyes that made her shade tears due to the manner in which her mother had treated her.  After Mama Elena tasted the food and found that it was bitter, she usually made Chencha to prepare her another food. 

The theme of magical realism can also be seen in the novel through the approach by Mama Elena’s ghost after she had died. After her death, she still came like a ghost to torture Tita by showing her that she dominated on everything that was happening around them. For instance, the ghost appeared while Tita was making the King’s Bread. The author elaborates that the ghost appeared “a strong gust of wind banged the kitchen door wide open, causing an icy blast to invade the room” (Esquirel 157). Therefore, the magical element is identified by the use of ghost, which further can be used in explaining that in real life dead people do not come back into people‘s lives as ghosts. 

The demonstration of the novel’s quality of magical realism can be seen through the fundamental connection between Tita’s pregnancy and her emotions. By investigating her pregnancy, an imaginary revelation was made which indicated that an act of by shame and fear was conducted after having an illegal affair with Pedro (Skipper 75). In Tita’s statement, she makes a final clear identity of herself towards Mama Elena’s face by explaining to her that she has no dominion upon her life and she should leave her alone. The transformed magical realism is seen through the loose of the pregnancy, which permitted Tita to have emotional control over her own body.

In conclusion, the work of the author reinforces the sense of fantasy and magic whereby she elaborates incidence where food provokes sudden appearance in the behaviour. She further illustrates the restoration of Nacha’s ghost. Additionally, there is a dramatic and fantastic demonstration of the effect of the immediate environment and the possibilities of passionate love. The theme of magical realism is seen as the novel ends as Tita comes across a certain light and she becomes a spirit. Therefore, this symbolizes her freedom from the materialistic world that surrounds her. She finds the opportunity to be with Pedro in her afterlife without anyone bothering them. 

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  1. Esquirel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies. New York, N.Y: Anchor Books, 1995. Print.
  2. Skipper, Eric. A Recipe for Discourse: Perspectives on Like Water for Chocolate. Amsterdam [u.a.: Rodopi, 2010. Print.
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