Like Water for Chocolate

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Food is used in a similar manner in Like Water for Chocolate whereby a character’s attitude towards food is utilized as a metaphor for them. Mama Elena’s mistrust in Tita’s food and her rejection of it is highly accurate analogy for who she is. “She took a swig of syrup of ipecac…to counteract the effects of the bitter poison that according to her was dissolved in the food” . When the forbidden relationship between Mama Elena and José Treviño, Gertrudis’s “mulatto ” father is later revealed in the novel, her motives of rejecting Tita’s food and resenting her daughter become apparent. Mama Elena’s similar experience of love, with José Treviño, kept suppressed all her life, builds an emotional barrier around her heart. The “bitter poison” of denied romance destroys Mama Elena’s capacity to be loved or to allow Tita to love. Her rejection of food gives the reader the key to understand the driving forces behind Mama Elena throughout the plot. This literary effect can also be seen in Rosaura in the opening of the novel. While Tita dazzled her sisters with a cooking display, “Rosaura was cowering in the corner” . When she does join, in she uses her hands “gingerly” and “resisted and …struggled for control” with Tita. Rosaura’s “picky” approach to food is the essence of who she is. Her disconnection from food is symbolic of her disconnection from Tita and her sense of being true to herself. She resists Tita’s emotional plea not to marry Pedro, knowing that they are in love. She ignores Tita’s tears of sorrow in the Chabela Wedding cake as she spews “mouthfuls of vomit” . She gives no resistance against the De la Garza family tradition as she continues the cycle with Esperanza. Thus, Rosaura’s disregard of others and their feelings is defined in her attitude towards food. Likewise, Esquivel uses food to represent Tita’s relationship with Pedro. Rosaura’s inability to

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