Role of Time for Traditions in Family
“Like water for Chocolate” (LWFC) is a novel which narrates a story of a young girl called Tita, who longs for her lover through her entire life. The young Tita, the novel’s main character, is fifteen years old at the beginning of the events in the story, which occurred in the era of the Mexican Revolution. Tita stays with her dictatorial mother, called Mama Elena, and her older sisters known as Gertrudis and Rosaura, on a farm near the Mexico-US border. Tita’s lover is called Pedro, Tita is very much determined to have pedro but due to the dominant mother’s tradition belief, it appears to be very difficult for her. According to Tita’s mother, the youngest daughter should not be married rather she needs to take care of her mother till the mother dies. Tita is very good at cooking and she uses her skills to express her passions, which she does excellently such that whoever tests her foods experiences what she feels.
LWFC was originally published in Spanish as “Como agua para chocolate” and since then it has been translated into thirty languages; and the printout copies are estimated to be over three million worldwide.Pedro approaches Tita for marriage, and they falls in love with intention of getting married. However this is not easy for them due to family tradition which requires the last girl not to get married, instead remain at home and take care of the mother until she dies. Mama Elena forbids the marriage of Pedro and Tita on these grounds family tradition, which demands Tita must remain unmarried and take care of her mother until death. One of the things which are predicted clearly in the first few chapters is how Tita is depressed by her authoritative mother. Her mother sticks to the family tradition that Tita is not allowed to marry because she has responsibility of caring for her until she dies.
Deprived of the love of her life, Tita is enforced to hold back her feelings and transform them into her cooking. The feeling she puts into her cooking then influences the people who eat it, contributing to the magical pragmatism evident throughout the novel, as her subdued emotions have tangible and magical consequences. It is also depicted that Mama Elena had to relinquish the love of her life; her control over Tita is observed as an attempt to prevent Tita from achieving what Elena never did.Since Mama Elena was determined to adhere to the family tradition, the marriage plans of pedro and Tita were likely affected. This made Pedro to reluctantly marry Tita’s older sister Rosaura, not out of love but in order to be closer to Tita as he explains. Even with Pedro trying his level best to show his dedicated love to Tita, she hardly keep from grieve.
Tita is still determined and believes pedro belongs to her and strategically starts drawing him to her through her outstanding skills of cooking which Rosaura don’t have. As the story continues, Pedro starts to fall under the developing spell of romance initiated by Tita’s kitchen skills. Tiat is advantageous because on the other hand cooking skills of Rosaura’s are poor, and this makes Pedro even less attracted to her, as he hardly desired to continue their marriage to begin with. However associated effects do result, as when Rosaura and Pedro are bound to leave for San Antonio, Texas, at the opinion of Mama Elena, who is firmly opposing the relationship between Tita and Pedro, and Rosaura loses her son Roberto and there after she becomes sterile after complications with the birth of daughter Esperanza. Meanwhile, Tita’s elder sister Gertrudis by accident becomes affected by Tita’s cooking delights and leaves the farm naked with a revolutionary soldier. When Tita learnt the death of nephew, whom she cared for herself, she blamed her mother; responding to this Mama Elena responds by beat Tita furiously with a wooden spoon.
Tita took issue with her mother and secluded herself in a dovecote until Dr. John Brown sympathized with her and convinced her to come down. Her mother reacts angrily and says there is no place for “lunatics” like Tita on the ranch, and wants her to be institutionalized. However, the Doctor chooses to take care of Tita at his home instead. Eventually Tita enters into a relationship with Dr.
Brown, and even to plan marrying him at some point, but despite of her plans she can’t do away with her feelings for Pedro. There is great difference between the family traditions of mexico of 19th century and the United states of America of 21st century. In America today there is freedom of expressing personal interest unlike the way it was in Mexico in 19th century. Women were not given freedom of making their choice especially in marriage matters but instead they were required to adhere to family traditions and customs. Currently women in America decides their fate in marriage life and not bound to any customs.
The story of Pedro and Tita could be different if it were happening today. This is because at this age people’s rights are highly respected and any grown up person is allowed to make his or her decision freely. In such a case nowadays there are human rights organization which intervenes to ensure the oppressed party gets his/ her rights. There are legal actions which ensure that justice is done and people lives in harmony and peace regardless of their position or status in the society. In other words Mama Elena could not react in the manner she reacted if it were now, otherwise she could face the law.
In conclusion we can generally agree that family traditions have no place in 21st century and therefore they should be discouraged. Though to some point it can be argued that. These traditions have their benefits but they should not be enforced rather they should done to personal will. This is important because young adults are given opportunity to make their choice upon crucial decision in life than being bound by tradition custom.