Like Water for Chocolate

by Laura Esquivel

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Regarding the theme in Like Water for Chocolate, what were the consequences it has had for the people of the Americas?

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The main theme in the story is a woman's creation of space that is hers in a hostile world. This theme accurately describes the history of women in Mexican society. Traditionally, a Latin woman's place is in the home, but especially in the kitchen. Women often turned to domestic duties such as cooking and sewing for creative outlets. In this way, they were able to create their own culture within the "social prison of married life". In Tita's case, her prison is her life in her mother's house.Tita's main conflict is respecting the family tradition that she stay at home and take care of her mother rather than marry the man she loves. Her mother forces Tita to suppress her sense of herself, so Tita's growth depends on her ability to free herself as a victim. Tita struggles to find a sense of identity within the confines of the kitchen. Tita uses her cooking to strengthen her relationship with others and gain a clearer sense of herself. Her imaginative cooking allows her to rebel against her mother and becomes a metaphor for creativity and self-expression. Her cooking produces works of art that evoke strong emotions in others.

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