Characterization Essay

673 words - 3 pages

The antagonist Mama Elena in the novel, Like Water for Chocolate, written by Laura Esquivel, portrays, throughout the novel, an authoritarian woman. Her authoritarian characteristic is the reason why Mama Elena makes Tita´s life, her youngest daughter and the protagonist of the novel, impossible.
Mama Elena´s downs on her life, like having to take over the ranch on her own after the death of her husband, build up a strict woman: “Ignoring Tita completely, a very angry Mama Elena left the kitchen, and for the next week she didn’t speak a single word to her” (12). She imposes severe punishments towards disobedience. Tita, as her sisters and the people who work there, knows the rules established by Mama Elena, and they are afraid of breaking them. Mama Elena learns to intimidate, for her being a strict woman, needs a single look that would make you shiver. Intimidate became one of her best armaments. For Mama Elena intimidate, always seemed to work, even with a Capitan of the Mexican Revolution, who didn’t escape from Mama Elena´s best armaments: “It was really hard to meet Mama Elena´s gaze, even for the captain” (90). Mama Elena has such a powerful and intimidate look that comes in handy when the Capitan and his men came to Mama Elena´s ranch. The Capitan of the Mexican Revolution was troubled by Mama Elena´s stare, and decides to live without disobeying Mama Elena´s conditions of not entering into the house.
Mama Elena´s authoritarian trait didn’t allow her to trust in anyone, not even her daughter: “But now there couldn’t be the slightest doubt that Tita intended to poison her slowly in order to marry Dr. Brown. From that day on, she absolutely refused to eat anything that Tita had cooked” (133). This distrust caused Mama Elena her life. If only she had trust on her daughter, but once Mama Elena made up her mind, there is no one who could change her...

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