Saturday, April 23, 2011

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel


Laura Esquivel, author of my research paper book The Law of Love, also wrote another fantastic novel Like Water For Chocolate that highlights the Mexican culture as well. The novel is about the youngest daughter in a mexican family, Tita de la Garaza, who falls in love with a man named Pedro Muzquiz. However, the two are prohibited from marrying due to an old family tradition upheld by her mother, Mama Elena, that states that the youngest child in a family shall not be married. In order to circumvent not being able to see her, Pedro marries Tita's older sister, Rosaura, so he may be able to live on the ranch and see her every day. The novel is written in twelve sections, one for each month so the reader is able to see how the story progresses.
Later on in the novel, Tita delivers her nephew, Pedro, from Rosaura. TIta loves and cares for Roberto like he is hers' and Pedro's son. Mama Elena sees that Roberto is bringing the two closer and orders that Rosaura and her family move to San Antonio. Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, Gertruidis, the middle sister, runs away with a soldier involved in the Revolutionary War. After the move, Tita and Mama Elena discover that Pedro has died, and Tita regresses into a psychotic state and is sent to a asylum by Mama Elena.
Dr. John Brown takes pity on Tita and helps her regain her health. When she is nearly sane again, Tita decides that she will never go back to the ranch. However, Mama Elena is seriously injured in a raid by some revolutionary soldiers, so TIta is forced to return home to nurse her back to health. When Tita returns to the ranch, Mama Elena refuses to allow Tita to nurse her back to health and she commits suicide. When Mama Elena dies, Tita is freed from the restrictions of her birthright, and is now able to have a relationship with Pedro.
After her freedom, John proposes to Tita who is now able to accept his engagement. However, once she is "betrothed" to John, Pedro and Rosaura return to the ranch as well where Rosaura produces a second child, Esparanza. Needless to say, Tita is now confused with her feelings due to the presence of Pedro back into her life. Upon the night of his return, Pedro makes love to Tita who becomes pregnant. Mama Elena's spirit comes back form the dead at this occurence to curse Tita and her child.
Tita, now having no one to turn to, becomes depressed. Only at the return of her second sister Gertrudis, does Tita have someone to confide in. Gertrudis forces Tita to tell Pedro of her pregnancy. Pedro is elated and confesses his love to Tita. Mama Tita's ghost returns at the news of their happiness and sets fire to Pedro's body. Needless to say, Tita cares for Pedro until he is healthy again. Dr. John returns to the ranch to find Tita in love with Pedro and he tells her she must choose between him or Pedro. I'm not going to spoil the rest for you. :)

Questions:
1) If your parents banned you from marrying someone, would you listen to them? Or would you leave? Why or why not?

2) What would you do if a close member of your family ended up marrying the person you loved?

11 comments:

Hayley D 11/12 said...

1. It depends on the situation, if they don't want you to marry someone because they are an awful person, I would probably listen after awhile. But if the ban was like the one in the novel, I would most likely leave because I think it is stupid that you should be forced to stay just because you are the youngest. Everyone deserves to live a happy life, no matter what.
2. I don't know how Tita could live with her sister marrying the person she loved. If I was in her situation, I'm not sure what I would have done, because it would be horrible to see the people you love start their own little family when you secretly loved your family member's spouse. It would be extremely hard to live with the pain and jealousy of the situation every single day.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

I totally agree. There is no way I would have stayed within a house that Makes restrictions that are that ridiculous. To tell someone that they are or are not allowed to marry the person they love due to old family traditions is a stupid idea.

Ashley A. 11-12 said...

1) I wouldn't be able to stay in a house that was that controlling and had such insane rules. I would deffinately leave as soon as I was able to.
2) I don't think I could live with seeing the person I love married to my sister every single day. I would probably avoid seeing them so the situation wouldn't be in my face all the time.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

I feel like I would not be able to handle my sister marrying the person I love. That would be psychologically impossible to deal with and just plain dumb.

KatherineS13-14 said...

1) Most likely, if I loved the person that my parents banned me from marrying, I would not listen to them and I would marry that person. By the time I get married, though, I will be financially independent from my parents, so even though their opinion is important, their approval is not necessary for me to get married to the person I love.

Jacci L. 11-12 said...

it reallly depends on the reason my parents are making their decision. if i was going to marry a druggie and alcoholic, welll i can understand their reasoning. but if i was whole heartedly in love with someone but they wanted me to marry some rich, conceited guy and refused to let me marry the one i love i would leave. Because i don't want to be unhappy all my life and think about what could have been if i married the one i loved and didn't listen to my parents. yes i would probabaly lose my parents respect but its not their life to control. its mine and im not going to live a life they want me to unhappily.

Jacci L. 11-12 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tyler k 13-14 said...

I would not listen to my parents, i feel that it would be up to me since it is my wife and i have to spend the rest of my life with her. It isn't like they have to life with the person i chose to marry.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I would definatly leave. If I loved someone and my family was holding me back from being with them, I would leave my family. In my opinion, your family should always have your happiness in mind. If your family is doing something to prevent you from being happy, then it is their loss.

2. I would try and tell me family how I feel. If they still got married anyways, I would leave in order to avoid seeing them together.

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, if my parents forbid me from marrying someone I would not listen to them; I would marry them against their wishes. I would probably hear them out, but in the end I would make my own decision. I would be the one forced to live with that decision for the remainder of my life; therefore, I would need to ensure that I would be happy. Additionally, love is not something that can be forced upon someone nor is it a feeling that can be forcibly redirected towards a different person; it is something that comes from within, and it is truly a matter pertaining to the two individuals. To answer the second question, if a close member of my family ended up marrying the person that I loved, I would not be able to fault them if they didn't know I loved them. It would be very difficult, but I would have to find a way to cope with the situation. However, if the family member was aware of my love for that person and they continued with the marriage anyway, I would not be able to be as close with that family member. I would feel betrayed and extremely disrespected. I can't imagine being in Tita's place and having to watch my sister be with the person that I loved; I would probably have to move far away to get away from the whole situation and essentially start a new life.

Megan D. 11-12 said...

i agree with Haley; if there was possible a good reason, I would consider their advice seriously. But I would never forgo marrying someone based on tradition or lineage.
2) I would try to distance myself and find someone else to love. It would not be easy, but I wouldn't want to ruin my family member's life because they didn't know I secretly loved the person they married.