Describe how the themes of tradition are used throughout the text.

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tradition runs deep in the novel Like Water for Chocolate.  It almost exclusively deals with one family too--the De la Garza family.  Like most traditions, some of them keep the majority of the family happy, while other traditions seem to have overstayed their welcome and/or usefulness.  

One prevalent tradition is the cooking and kitchen tradition.  It is passed down from female family member to female family member.  Each recipe is ensured survival in this manner, and the family history and tradition of great cooking and great meals is kept alive.  It's a wonderful tradition because it is focused on very positive attributes.  It brings family together and ensures that a positive memory of ancestors lives on from generation to generation.  

Unfortunately, not all of the De la Garza traditions are so positive.  For example the tradition of preventing the youngest daughter from marrying is a source of conflict for a few of the main characters.  The tradition gets in the way of finding true love.  It seems to evoke more displeasure than anything else, which is why the tradition is abandoned. 

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Like Water for Chocolate

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