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Role of Food in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ and Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”

Laura Esquivel was born and raised in Mexico and may have written this novel with the hope of portraying to her readers some Spanish background and history. As well, she may have used her novel to show her talent and creativity which she could not portray in her previous screenplay. She is a young author and is working on a current novel. Like Water for Chocolate is the kind of book anyone would appreciate.

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It is full of suspense, emotion, and tradition. Some parts of the novel are very far-fetched but this unique style of writing is all part of this fantasy. Like Water for Chocolate is definitely worthwhile to read. It will leave you with a sense of knowledge of all the hardships that Mexican women once went through and a better understanding of the pain love can possess.

In Like Water for Chocolate, love, food, and magic are all joined together. Love is expressed through food. The food is magical and causes others to feel happy love, sad love, as well as sexual love. Being able to feel the emotions and pain of the main character is an incredible sense that can be achieved in Like Water for Chocolate. This novel will be hard to put down; the subtle climaxes leave you hanging until the very end. Just as Tita poured love into her food, Laura Esquivel has poured love into her novel. After reading this book, a sense of understanding can be grasped of the author as well as the main character.

Tita was practically raised in the kitchen and she communicates her love for Pedro through the dishes she prepares, and he, in turn, shows his affectionate gratitude. Tita’s quest to be with Pedro is shared only with Nacha, the main cook and helper on the ranch. Nacha understands Tita’s pain and consoles with her. Nacha dies from the sorrow of the loss of her love and throughout the story appears as a kindly ghost. Pedro and Rosaura move away from the ranch leaving Tita alone. She then discovers her love for a local doctor, John Brown, who cares for her deeply. Tita realizes her love for John could never compare to her suppressed feelings for Pedro. As the story progresses, many tragedies occur, but Tita and Pedro still have an undying love for each other.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez is a novel focused on the life of the Buendia family. There are many themes in this novel but one that stands out throughout the novel with constant debates is the theme of the contrast between the Buendia men and the Buendia women. As the family moves through different generations there is a constant repetition of this theme which follows through till the end, showing how Marquez has a strong opinion of this theme which he reveals with the ending of the novel.

The theme of the Buendia men and women is also tied with biblical references such as that of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were the first humans on earth who were expelled from the garden of Eden just like Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula who were also exiled to some extent for the reason that they were relatives and were married. Another similarity between these two themes is how Ursula and Jose Arcadio Buendia after moving started a new life somewhere else later known as Macondo which refers to Adam and Eve being parents to everyone mainly to Christianity, Jewish and Islamic religions. The sense of Ursula being the backbone of the family is clarified when she gets old and useless because the Buendia family decays with her, and when she finally dies it marks the beginning of the end of the family and Macondo.

The Buendia men have most of the traits of Jose Arcadio Buendia, which are strong, smart, adventurous, having leadership skills but amongst these, there is also solitude. Solitude becomes the ending downfall for all the Buendia men. The typical Buendia men are the simplest to predict their traits for the reason that there are two characters; Aureliano or Jose Arcadio, the outgoing or the solitary type but at the end, this really doesn’t matter because at the end they become the ‘same’ fall into solitude and die away slowly without people really realizing.

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Circularity stands out when talking about the Buendia men because there is a constant repetition of how the personality traits evolve. An example of this would be the names of the decedents; if they have the same name with slight variation they will take the personality traits of that person who mainly is either Jose Arcadio or Aureliano.

The Buendia women mainly have the descending traits of Ursula which qualify as; strong character, hardworking, loving, and morally correct. All the Buendia women descent from either Ursula or Remedios which is seen again through the repetition of the names in reference to the pattern of the characteristic traits. Petra Cotes even though she is not a Buendia woman she can still very closely refer to them mainly to Ursula seen by how when the father dies it is up to her to bring in the money for the family by keeping the family business alive (lottery), she also shows her loving trait by providing for Aureliano Segundo’s death which all refers very closely to Ursula. The ending of the novel concludes the comparison between men and women by how as Ursula dies who is portrayed as the main Buendia woman the whole family and town fall apart.

Works Cited

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude: Harper Perennial Modern Classics (2006).

Laura Esquivel: Like Water for Chocolate: Black Swan; New Ed edition (1993).

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 22). Role of Food in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ and Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/role-of-food-in-marquez-one-hundred-years-of-solitude-and-esquivels-like-water-for-chocolate/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 22). Role of Food in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ and Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”. https://studycorgi.com/role-of-food-in-marquez-one-hundred-years-of-solitude-and-esquivels-like-water-for-chocolate/

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"Role of Food in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ and Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”." StudyCorgi, 22 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/role-of-food-in-marquez-one-hundred-years-of-solitude-and-esquivels-like-water-for-chocolate/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Role of Food in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ and Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”." October 22, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/role-of-food-in-marquez-one-hundred-years-of-solitude-and-esquivels-like-water-for-chocolate/.


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StudyCorgi. "Role of Food in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ and Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”." October 22, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/role-of-food-in-marquez-one-hundred-years-of-solitude-and-esquivels-like-water-for-chocolate/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Role of Food in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ and Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”." October 22, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/role-of-food-in-marquez-one-hundred-years-of-solitude-and-esquivels-like-water-for-chocolate/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Role of Food in Marquez’ “One Hundred Years of Solitude“ and Esquivel’s “Like Water for Chocolate”'. 22 October.

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