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Like Water for Chocolate
Transcript of Like Water for Chocolate
Mama Elena vs. Tita
When One's Desires Conflict With Another's
In Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel, Esquivel argues that if one’s desires conflict with another’s, the benefits of rebellion may not be foreseen at first, but rebellion will ultimately outweigh the chains of obedience.
Tita and Pedro desire to be with one another
Benefits of Rebellion May Not Be Foreseen At First...
Tita's New Confidence
Old Tita: subservient, weak, depressed
New Tita: confident, strong, beautiful
Gertrudis with her true love, Juan
However Rebellion Ultimately Outweighs the Chains of Obedience
Until one rebels occasionally, it is then when one's rebellion finally pays off.
Rebellion is often portrayed as a very negative thing; if you are rebellious then you must be the troublemaker and you can’t possibly get a happy ending. Like Water for Chocolate has a pattern that rebellion, more often than not, leads us to find our strength, our independence, and ourselves, as well as suggests that rebellion has the power to free us from overwhelming expectations and rid us of the feeling of powerlessness that comes with them. Essentially, rebellion isn’t a negative thing, it’s crucial for many in order to become stronger and more independent people.
Mama Elena is very proud of this tradition, and does not want any daughter of hers even questioning it
Tita despises this tradition, and wants to get rid of it
Mama Elena’s desire to uphold this tradition overpowers Tita’s desire to wed Pedro
“‘You don’t have an opinion, and that’s all I want to hear about it. For generations, not a single person in my family has ever questioned this tradition, and no daughter of mine is going to be the one to start”’(11).
“It was a good thing she hadn’t said anything, because when Tita returned to the ranch after hearing about their calamity, Chencha’s pious lie would have been shattered by Tita’s splendid beauty and radiant energy. Her mother received her in silence. For the first time Tita firmly held her gaze, and Mama Elena lowered hers. There was a strange light in Tita’s eyes”(129).
'"You had no right to have a boyfriend... According to family tradition, which you were breaking." "And I'm going to break with it several more if I have to... I had the same right to marry as you did, and you had no right to stand between two people who were deeply in love'" (213).
Rosaura marries Pedro even though Tita is in love with him
Even though Tita could never marry Pedro, she resents Rosaura for marrying him
Tita's desire to have Pedro conflicts with Rosaura's belief that Tita should have to keep up the family tradition.
Mama Elena wants Gertrudis to be a respectable child
Gertrudis runs away, works in a brothel, and proves how well she can do to make a good life
Her rebellion against her mother pushed her to do well for herself in the end
Gertrudis vs. Mama Elena
“...Gertrudis was working in a brothel on the border. Mama Elena burned Gertrudis’ birth certificate and all of her pictures and said she didn’t want to hear her name mentioned ever again... [Gertrudis] had come back with the intention of showing Mama Elena how she had triumphed in life. She was a general in the revolutionary army... she began a rapid ascent through powerful positions until she arrived at the top, moreover, she was coming back happily married to Juan.” (58-59, 179)
How much are you willing to risk, in order to get what you want?
'"...instead of obeying her order, she started to tear apart all the sausages she could reach, screaming wildly. "Here's what I do with your orders! I'm sick of them! I'm sick of obeying you!"(99).