The Idea Of Freedom And Tradition In Like Water For Chocolate

In Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, there are multiple morals and thematic statements for this novel, but one main thematic statement that stands out the most is: in order to break existing tradition, the individual must question existing values and structures order to achieve freedom. This statement connects to the idea of freedom and tradition, and the whole novel takes place on this topic with Tita's struggle to achieve what she truly wants.

From the beginning of the novel, Tita was in mad love with Pedro, and she wanted to even marry him, but of course, Mama Elena stops her and said,' You know perfectly well that being the youngest daughter means you have to take care of me until the day I die'. The tradition (de La Garza) has been in place for a long time, and this reflects the beginning of the Mexican revolution. You could tell how Mama Elena acts because of how imitating her dialogue is. The way she made her statement by 'You know' gives a sense of dominancy over Tita. The youngest daughter Tita is restricted and forced to follow these ridiculous rules that are set by tradition. The displeasure of being part of this tradition was already represented when Tita was born because Tita was crying so loudly that it seems like it foreshadowed the unfortunate future that she would face. I could infer that from an early age that Tita was taught to be obedient and follow the rules, and learn about proper female stereotypes. She was essentially mind-controlled that self-sacrifice is the way of showing love even though that is not the case. But eventually, Tita will realize that she has no rights and power to make her own choices.

Tita was fighting against Mama Elena for her freedom, but she was beaten up emotionally which always ended her up in the Dr. Browns laboratory and Tita realized, ' Now, seeing her hands no longer at her mother's command, she didn't know what to ask them to do...before'. When fighting against absolute power, it brings misery and suffering. Tita was never taught to be herself, and stand up against anything. Her hands represent her sense of agency with Mama Elena, where she took away from her by taking control of her words and action. In the lab, she gained a new sense of agency with freedom and a new mindset to fight back after holding her feelings for a long time. It is unrealistic to have her hands moving without her control, but it feels possible in a way because when you receive anything that is brand new, you do not know how to handle it, and the way of expression by hand connects to claiming her 'self' identity.

When Tita first felt the power of freedom, she developed rebellious emotions against Mama Elena and shows, ' 'the Kikapu' was their family doctor; within the North American community, she was widely accepted as a miracle healer...scientifically prove all the miracle cures Morning Light had accomplished'. There is a fact that females didn't have equal power as males, and Kikapu represents the power of women. The morning light signifies feminism and strength for Tita. Tita has major family problems and a lack of self-confidence. The morning light can make Tita strong and she has the potential to end the tradition that restricted her and everybody else. The formality of the quotes makes the situation more meaningful which is important for Tita and makes things easier to understand what morning light represents for Tita. In this case, Tita's morning light' is Dr. Brown and Nacha. The Dr. Brown Laboratory was a place Tita received new influences that affect her life and a place where she truly understood who she is. This supports my thematic statement because Tita's laboratory experience with Dr. Brown was the moment where she realizes who she truly is and questions the value of her tradition.

In my visual, I put a hand hovering over the pigeon that is trying to fly toward the morning light. The pigeon is tied to the shackles but trying to fly away. Pigeons represent peace and freedom, and shackles represent restriction. Even though shackles are not present in the book, I wanted to put on my visual because that was the easiest way to show suppression. The morning light is drawn on the side, not on the center because the pigeon must work the way toward freedom. The hand also represents strength and hands are the ones that release the pigeon from the shackles. All of this builds into my thematic statement. I drew the morning light small order to signify you need to work the way out. Tita's way was to question and fight against Mama Elena and receive support from Dr. Brown and Nacha in order to achieve her freedom.       

16 December 2021
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