The insight of placing LOVE and SUFFERING as the soul of world literature approached with the renaissance of whole English literature. One of the most magnificent and astonishing LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURE world has ever witnessed, Laura Esquirel’s Like Water For Chocolate and Allende’s THE House Of The Spirits giving a breathtaking sensation to the readers. The contrast of the all the characters in both the works by female authors has been appreciably done. Minor themes emerging from the backgrounds have played a vital role in developing the plot of the story. Both the works portray Love as the most basic and essential ingredient in the saga of destined protagonists. Going all the way through the works, there is a special connection between the characters which is either destined or a bonding which can be called Love or Suffering. Both the works have exceptional opening right away building relations between different characters. Floating over the sea of romance, heartbreak, sacrifice and suffering both the works intensifies as the plot develops. There is a profound link between love and suffering as between the sea and water.
In the novel “Like Water For Chocolate” the immortal love of a destined protagonist Tita changes into suffering because of assorted efforts of Mama Elena, her mother and Pedro Muzquiz, her soul-mate. A tradition followed by “De la Garza” family which forced the last daughter of the family to be unmarried. But the destiny had something else for her. An unforgettable love was enough to devastate all the bliss in her life. Pedro’s decision of marrying Tita’s elder sister Rosaura worsened it all. Though the intentions were not the way its consequences were. Pedro wanted to secure his position beside Tita and this was the only way he would have made it possible. But it ended being worsened and Tita who was already broken was shattered by his choice. It was impossible for her seeing her love being someone else’s right in front of her eyes. A glimpse of selfish love in Pedro’s heart could be seen.
1″Pedro lied to her on her wedding day………….. As time went on he really had grown to love Rosaura. ”
The above narration undoubtedly illustrates that the selfish love of Pedro, which unfortunately led to an unwanted relation between Rosaura and Pedro. An everlasting love between Tita and Pedro laid the foundation for Rosaura and Pedro’s lives to cross which results in suffering for all three of them.
A parallel relationship can be seen in the novel “The House Of The Spirits”. Isabel Allende has marvelously used minor characters to develop the plot for a surprising narrative. A chronicle of passionate men and women in which again an ill-fated protagonist Estaban Trueba lost his unadulterated love for Rosa, who is a minor character. Rosa, the beautiful had very distinctive persona which made her out of this world. As seen in “Like Water For Chocolate” this time also destiny plays a crucial part in filching the love from his living. The tragic demise of his woman leads his love to suffering. Eventually this love connected life of Clara and Estaban, the two protagonists later. Clara was the youngest sister of the Rosa and was strange like her sister. An unusual affection for Clara was seen in Estaban as she was the sister of Rosa, the woman he loved the most. Estaban’s grand-daughter narration
2″he courted Clara the old-fashioned way, just as he had done with her sister Rosa”
portrayed a picture which shows the love for Rosa was still inside him switched towards Clara. This connection between Clara and Estaban was the relation parallel to Pedro-Rosaura relation which was enforced on them by themselves. It was the relation with Rosa which made it possible for Estaban to marry Clara. This was the most significant point where the two protagonists met, one believing her destiny and other his fate and love.
As the narrative progresses, more evidences can be seen for love and suffering connecting lives of the characters. In Laura’s “Like Water For Chocolate” the development of the story is mainly done by food and the recipes. The emotions hovering affects the food to a great extend. The same happens when Tita makes a dish from the roses gifted to her by Pedro. This time it was the emotion of love and lust which takes over the food. Unfortunately or fortunately for Gertrudis, the destiny chooses her to be the medium for the conveyance of love which Tita felt for Pedro making her suffer from heat.
3″But something strange was happening to Gertrudis. On her the food seemed to act as an aphrodisiac”
From the above reference it can be evidently said that the love and heat she was carrying was too much for her to handle. This love of Tita for Pedro and enlightening of the sexual desires and heat in Gertrudis was responsible for the lives of Juan, his lover and her to cross and overlap each others path that wiped out her sufferings caused by the heat.
Allende’s “The House Of The Spirits” equally encloses the crossing over of the paths of different characters because of Love and suffering. A love triangle can be seen between Jaime, Amanda and Jaime’s brother Nicholas. This frustrated love between them resulted nowhere but torment for all of them. This love makes a weird connection between their lives. Hidden love in Jaime, for Amanda develops a pure relation between their souls which they think is weaker than their love for Nicholas. It can be felt that their thought was right because if their love was eternal then this weakness could have been the strongest element and their paths which diverted could have been overlapping making their dreadful past a pleasant future.
4″But to have recognized Amanda, he (Jaime) must have loved her a great deal.”
The narration above depicts that the love of Jaime was pure and true. But some times just love is not enough to cure every suffering. Despite of all the distances and a break of their connection somehow Jaime kept alive that love which helped him to maintain a very subtle connection between them.
A generation to generation love also moves on in both the works. “Like Water For Chocolate” includes an unseen bonding or connection between the life of Tita and Esperenza, her niece could be developed because they were destined to experience the same suffering. The words uttered by Rosaura
5″he couldn’t (marry Esperenza) because the girl was destined to take care of her (Rosaura) until her death.”
writes the suffering of Esperenza which she will face in future. This connects the past sufferings of Tita with the future sufferings of Esperenza. This helps them to connect as close as Tita was to Roberto, his nephew. The love for Pedro shifts towards Roberto and Tita felt that he was his own baby.
Identical generation love in “The House Of The Spirits” is felt between Clara and Blanca, her daughter. Blanca and Pedro’s growing love which was defended by Clara helped in strengthening the mother-daughter relationship. Not only Blanca and Pedro’s love but suffering and cordial relation between Estaban and Blanca made Blanca to be more close to Clara. These narrative words by Estaban himself
6″I also gave up the idea of establishing a good relationship with Blanca. Ever since……………..I think Pedro’s love was to blame.”
are evident of the relation which Blanca and his father shared. On the contrary Clara and Blanca were connected due to the same suffering caused by Estaban beating and torturing them emotionally and mentally.
One of the most significant turning points in the novel “Like Water For Chocolate” was the pain and suffering taken by Tita from her mama Elena. Every little joy in Tita’s life was snatched away from her for one or the other reason. After Pedro and Rosaura having a baby named Roberto did just the opposite for Tita. She was as happy as she has found her lost love for Pedro in Roberto. But this love also soon turned out to be the biggest suffering ever when Mama Elena sent him away from her along with Pedro. The worst was about to come with the news of Roberto dead. Already broken Tita because of the pain of separation was now shattered. Fainting by the blow from Mama Elena, Tita flourished under the care of Dr. Brown who already had hidden love for Tita. Going against the order of Mama Elena, Dr. Brown rescued her from the prison of Mama Elena and giving her a new life to live. This suffering of Tita and Love of Dr. Brown resulted in the most wonderful connection changing the plot of whole novel which the narrative below verifies.
7″Those hands (Dr. Brown) have rescued her (Tita) from the horror and she would never forget it.”
Same suffering making Tita silent for some time had played the most important role to find one more character, The Real Tita. The narration
8″But now she preferred silence. There were many things she needed to work out in her mind.”
shows that Tita wanted her mind to work for herself and wanted time to overcome that disaster and learn how to trip but not fall. This made Tita to re-connect with herself.
Same silence is observed in Clara in “The House Of The Spirits”. The love for her sister which turns out be to be disastrous with her demise, Clara also turn into a deep silence. A silence which allows her to develop her psychic powers and to re-form herself. The narration below
9″She decided that speaking was pointless and locked herself in silence.”
justifies that Clara was not only attached to her thoughts but was combined with her thoughts and herself and this made her to connect with many peoples life by just using her psychic powers and with herself too.
In conclusion, it can be said that the concept of love, mostly unrequited and suffering used in connecting characters has been used effectively making a silver platter for readers with love and suffering used like siblings. Each and every character is connected to each other irrespective of its part in the novel. Laura and Allende’s thoughts has beautifully worked out the theme of love and suffering for the two unconventional works.