May I have a quick summary on how magical realism is used in "Like Water for Chocolate"?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Magical realism is a fictional style in which the fantastic or bizarre is mixed with the realistic.  It includes time shifts, dreams, surrealistic descriptions, elements of surprise, and the inexplicable.  In "Like Water for Chocolate", magical realism is evident when Tita's recipes have an impossible effect on those who taste them.  Other examples of the style element are when spirits appear to her, and when she cries actual "rivers of tears".

Magical realism in "Like Water for Chocolate" has a symbolic function.  The extreme impact of Tita's cooking represents the power of female domesticity and creativity which extends far beyond appreciation for talent and effort to touch deep into human emotions.  The spirits that appear to Tita signify the deep and long-lasting impact that the people with whom she comes in contact have on her, as well as the feelings with which they are associated.