Exploring The Role Of Women In Mexico In Like Water For Chocolate

2655 words - 11 pages

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel explains women’s roles in northern Mexico during the turn of the nineteenth century. The novel takes place in northern Mexico on a family ranch where many family traditions are carried out. Also, the novel describes some of the typical foods that were prepared and fiestas that were celebrated in the Mexican culture around this time. However, the novel mainly focuses on the roles of females in Mexican society at that time. The novel goes beyond explaining women’s roles and also explains what took place in the Mexican family. Throughout the novel, readers learn the role of mothers, the conflict between personal desires and tradition, and typical foods, celebrations, and family traditions that were important to a Mexican family.

The background of an author plays a significant role in the reason he or she writes a novel. The story is often written about his or her culture. Laura Esquivel, a novelist, teacher, and screenwriter, was born in Mexico City, Mexico. Laura Esquivel was born the third of four children to a middle-class family. The biography of Laura Esquivel from “The Biography Channel website” states that, “Laura Esquivel often explores the relationship between men and women in Mexico in her work” it is obvious by the way Esquivel describes the traditional roles of both men and women in Mexico that her background played a large part in her work (“Laura Esquivel”). Laura Esquivel’s novels are still loved and cherished today due to her “creative flair and style in her work” (“Laura Esquivel”). Laura Esquivel found her inspiration for her novel from her personal experience and hands on time in the kitchen. In “Literature of Developing Nations for Students”, there is a section regarding Like Water For Chocolate written by Barbara Mujica. Mujica tells the reader about Laura Esquivel’s inspiration for writing, “When I cook certain dishes, I smell my grandmother’s kitchen, my grandmother’s smells. I thought what a wonderful way to tell a story” (Mujica 38). The reader is often present in the kitchen with Esquivel when she writes about her past experiences in the kitchen.

At the time Like Water for Chocolate takes place, the Mexican Revolution rages on. The book takes place during the turn of the nineteenth century, which leads to many other events in the story. The Mexican Revolution took place from 1910 to 1920, and brought many changes to the Mexican culture. In the novel, the reader can see that Gertrudis was one of the many women who participated in the Mexican Revolution, and worked her way up to being a general in the movement. Women that participated in the Mexican Revolution were sometimes found fighting beside the men, which was not something that many women did during that time. Also, during the time of the Mexican Revolution, the soldiers treated many women and young females poorly. Esquivel tells how many women were mistreated, “A group of bandits attacked the ranch. They raped...

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