The Presentation Of Magical Realism In Laura Esquivel's "Like Water For Chocolate"

985 words - 4 pages

Throughout Laura Esquivel’s book several events occur that are of a slightly super-natural nature. Things take place that would not normally happen in a realistic replica of the particular circumstance. The book itself is set during the Mexican civil war, takes us through the life of Tita, who finds true love at a early age but who’s life is systematically ruined by her far-superior mother. Tita seems too have a form of mystical power about her, shown through strange occurrences through her unfortunate life. Esquivel creates this “magical realism” for several different reasons which I will elaborate in the following points.

The storyline for, “For Water Like Chocolate” is quite ...view middle of the document...

These magical realism moments can all be read in more than one way. Tita crying in the womb suggests either her extreme allergy to onions, or Tita’s highly-sensitive connection to food or something to d with the kitchen.

An example of a much larger case of Esquivel’s use of magical realism is at Rosaura’s wedding to Pedro. This boy is deeply in love with Tita, and vice versa. Unfortunately, Mama Elena forbids anything between them, and sentences Tita to follow a miserable family tradition. Tita is so immensely upset that the night before the wedding, whilst preparing the icing for the wedding cake, she burst into tears that fall into the meringue. Nacha quickly sends Tita to bed and continues with the process, though when she tastes the mixture for any inconsistency due to Tita’s tears, the magical realism is brought up again; “yet without knowing why, Nacha was suddenly overcome with an intense longing”. Tita’s feelings of hurt, craving and misery have been mixed into the meringue through her tears. This of course is very unrealistic and would certainly not happen. The idea is continued through to the day of the wedding. “The moment they took their first bit of cake, everyone was flooded with a great wave of longing”, “an acute attack of pain and frustration”, “the collective vomiting that was going on all over the patio”. These are all the effects of Tita’s tears. This piece of magical realism is very ambiguous though, as are many in the story. Rosaura is coated in vomit and carried away, showing perhaps that she was not meant to be the correct partner for Pedro. The whole whiteness of the wedding, a highly traditional concept, is dirtied by the sick of the many attendants. This is like Tita on the family tradition, as later in the book she brakes from the tradition, ruining it,...

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