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    Magical Realism in Like Water for Chocolate Essay

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    Magical Realism in Like Water for Chocolate


    “Her body was giving off so much heat that the wooden walls began to split and burst into flame” (Esquivel 54).


    The quote describes Gertrudis after she has eaten Tita’s quail in rose petals: feeling flustered by her arousal, she goes out to take a shower. It is clear that it is an example of magical realism, as Esquivel is exaggerating the realistic notion of arousal to the point where it is unreal and magical. She does this by describing the sexual impulse as generating so much body heat in Gertrudis that it burns the wooden shower. This element of magical realism shows the extent of Gertrudis’ suppressed sexual emotions. As a daughter in a traditional, insulated Mexican family, Gertrudis has never experienced sexual urges, and only does so through Tita’s cooking. In this sense, this quote is also a product of Esquivel’s expression of Tita’s ability to magically infuse her cooking with emotion.


    “Soon the chickens were inescapably trapped by the force they themselves were generating in their mad chase; they couldn’t break loose from that whirl of feathers, blood, and dust that spun faster and faster, gathering force at every turn until it changed into a mighty tornado…” (Esquivel 217).


    The quote describes the escalation in a chicken fight that Tita witnesses after her fight with Rosaura. Esquivel infuses magical realism into the chicken fight by turning an ordinary brawl into a literal tornado. On a deeper level, this chicken fight is metaphorical to the conflicts in the De la Garza house between Tita, Pedro, and Rosaura. Here, Esquivel’s magical depiction of the chicken fight serves as a mirror for the violent harshness of the humans’ fight. They too are like the chickens, becoming fraught with frustration and emotion as they tear each other apart. Hence, Esquivel uses magical realism in this quote to exaggerate the characters’ emotions and convey this through a vivid metaphor.


    “The floor was shaking, the light blinked off and on… Receiving no answer, he opened the door: there he found Rosaura, her lips purple, body deflated, eyes wild, with a distant look, sighing out her last flatulent breath” (Esquivel 232-233)


    The quote describes the death of Rosaura. Esquivel adds magical elements to the realistic situation of death by creating a far-fetched situation in which Rosaura seems to deflate to her death, shaking the room in the process. By describing Rosaura’s death in this manner, Esquivel concludes her portrayal of the firstborn daughter as a character filled with a false sense of entitlement, greed, pride, bitterness, and apathy for Tita’s love – hence the symbolism of the flatulence.

    The only way Rosaura actually has a significant impact in the family – symbolized in this quote by the shaking floor and blinking lights – is through her death. This elaborate exit frees Tita and Pedro, and Esquivel injects these elements of magical realism in order to convey a sense of Rosaura’s reluctance and bitterness in leaving the world in which she was of so little importance.


    “She got up and went running to he enormous bedspread that she had woven through night after night of solitude and insomnia, and she threw it over her. It covered the whole ranch, all three hectares” (Esquivel 245).


    The quote describes Tita as she hurries to keep herself warm in the wake of Pedro’s death. Esquivel adds a touch of the fantastic by describing Tita’s bedspread as being big enough to cover the entire ranch. This is symbolic of all the hardships Tita has experienced in her life. Whenever her aching over Pedro or bitterness against Mama Elena kept her awake at night, she worked on making the bedspread, and by making it of such incredible proportions Esquivel conveys to her readers just how much Tita has suffered. The fact that the bedspread covers the whole ranch also conveys the notion that most of Tita’s life – and her troubles – have occurred on those three hectares. This emphasizes the relatively limited and isolated realm of the traditional Mexican woman’s life.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Magical Realism in Like Water for Chocolate Essay. (2017, Jun 29). Retrieved from

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