Like Water For Chocolate By Esquirel Essay

, Research Paper Laura Esquirel?s, Like Water for Chocolate, is a modern day Romeo and Juliet filled with mouthwatering recipes. It has become a valued part of American

, Research Paper

Laura Esquirel?s, Like Water for Chocolate, is a modern day Romeo and Juliet

filled with mouthwatering recipes. It has become a valued part of American

literature. The novel became so popular that it was developed into a film,

becoming a success in both America and Mexico. Alfonso Arau directs the film.

After reading the novel and seeing the movie, I discovered several distinct

differences between the two as well as some riveting similarities. The novel

begins with the main character, Tita, being born on the kitchen table. ?Tita

had no need for the usual slap on the bottom, because she was already crying as

she emerged; maybe that was because she knew that it would be her lot in life to

be denied marriage ?Tita was literally washed into this world on a great tide

of tears that spilled over the edge of the table and flooded across the kitchen

floor? (Esquirel 6). Although this is included in the film with tremendous

accuracy, the movie begins with a different scene. The movie opens with Tita?s

father going to a bar to celebrate the birth of his daughter. On the way a

friend informs him of his wife?s, Mama Elena, affair with a man having Negro

blood in his veins. The terrible news brings on a heart attack killing him

instantly. In the book, this information is not given until the middle chapters.

As the novel continues, another character is introduced, Gertrudis. Gertrudis,

the older sister of Tita, is the first to rebel against her mother?s wishes.

Wanting to escape the securities of home, Gertrudis is overwhelmed by her

lustful passions. A soldier, not too far away, Juan, inhales the aroma of her

desire and heads her way. ?The aroma from Gertrudis? body guided him?The

woman desperately needed a man to quench the red-hot fire that was raging inside

her?Gertrudis stopped running when she saw him riding toward her. Naked as she

was, with her loosened hair falling to her waist, luminous, glowing with energy,

she might have been an angel and devil in one woman?Without slowing his

gallop, so as not to waste a moment, he leaned over, put his arm around her

waist, and lifted her onto the horse in front of him, face to face, and carried

her away?The movement of the horse combined with the movement of their bodies

as they made love for the first time, at a gallop and with a great deal of

difficulty ? (Esquirel 55). This imagery is tremendous. Every sense that

Esquirel touches in this passage is illuminated in the movie with perfection.

It?s as though Arau took a picture from Esquirel?s mind as she wrote and

cultivated it to film. Later in Esquirel?s novel, Rosalio announces to Mama

Elena that a group of soldiers are approaching the ranch. Mama Elena picks up

her shotgun and hides it under her petticoat. She meets the revolutionaries,

along with two other women, at the entrance of the home. Mama Elena warns the

soldiers not to enter the house. The Captain of the bandits sees the grit and

determination in Mama Elena?s eyes and agrees not to enter. However, the

regiment does manage to round up some feed before leaving. In contrast, the

movie at this point agrees with the revolutionaries entering the ranch, but

disagrees with the rest of the events, possibly to add some action. First, Mama

Elena confronts the bandits but with only one other lady by her side. Secondly,

after a verbal confrontation, the rebels proceed to rape the lady friend, beat

Mama Elena unconscious, and throw her in the lake, killing her. According to the

novel, Mama Elena doesn?t die until later in the book, from a drug overdose.

?At first, Tita and John had no explanation for this strange death, since

clinically Mama Elena had no other malady than her paralysis. But going through

her bureau, they found the bottle of syrup of ipecac and they deduced that Mama

Elena must have taken it secretly. John informed Tita that it was a very strong

emetic that could cause death? (Esquirel 135). Soon after Mama Elena?s death

Gertrudis returns to the ranch. In Esquirel?s tale Gertrudis rides up on a

horse at the head of the revolutionary soldiers. Tita finds out that Gertrudis

is in charge of the troops. Unaware of her mother?s death, Gertrudis has come

back to show Mama Elena that she has triumphed in life. However, despite some

parallels, the movie shows Gertrudis returning to the ranch in a car.

Undoubtedly, giving the audience a greater sense of the prodigal sister?s

success. Believing her mother?s death would release her from the shackles of

tradition, Tita began reaching out to Pedro, her Romeo, whom Mama Elena had

forbid her to see. Nevertheless, Esquirel allows Mama Elena to continue nagging

Tita from beyond the grave. ?See what you?ve done now? You and Pedro are

shameless. If you don?t want blood to flow in this house, go where you can?t

do any harm to anybody, before it?s to late?(Esquirel 199). Tita responds by

telling Mama Elena she hates her and to leave her alone. With these words Mama

Elena disappears forever. Esquirel?s description of the ghost is vague, ?The

imposing figure of her mother began to shrink until it became no more than a

tiny light?(Esquirel 199). Unlike the novel, the movie does a great job of

adding a certain mystique around the ghost. The ghostly clone of Mama Elena,

created by the Arau, adds a thrilling touch by using the human element of fear.

Toward the end of the novel, Tita and Pedro are finally united in the throws of

passion. The descriptive nature that Esquirel uses leaves a perfect picture of

the surroundings, and inhales the reader into believing himself to be a peeping

tom. ?The silk sheets and bedspread were white, like the floral rug that

covered the floor and the 250 candles that lit up the now inappropriately named

dark room?Pedro placed Tita on the bed and slowly removed her clothing, piece

by piece?The striking of the brass headboard against the wall and the guttural

sounds that escaped from both of them mixed with the sound of the thousand doves

flying free above them? (Esquirel 243). Arau?s interpretation incorporates

all of Esquirel?s eloquent artistry in perfect harmony. Arau?s vision brings

Like Water for Chocolate to the climax which Esquirel had intended, leaving the

audience in awe. Other differences, not discussed above, include Tita being

shown in the movie as an average looking woman. The impression that the novel

leaves is a woman that is breathtaking to the senses, a goddess. Of course, this

opinion is subject to personal taste. As someone once said, ?Beauty is in the

eye of the beholder.? Another striking difference between the movie and the

book is that both are developed by different sexes. This obviously could effect

the compare and contrast views of this paper. For example, being male, I found

that the two images that left the greatest impression were of sexual nature,

Gertrudis making love with the soldier, and Tita being intimate with Pedro. The

different views of the sexes may also be the answer to some of the contrasts

between the movie and novel. For instance, the death of Mama Elena. Esquirel?s

version fits the emotional death, suicide, geared toward the female audience,

while Arau?s shows a more sexual and violent death, extinguishing the male

desire for action. In conclusion, I found the novel more entertaining than the

movie. The reason the movie fell short in expectations is because Esquirel does

a great job in allowing the reader to draw on their imaginations. However, Arau

is able to capture this imagery occasionally throughout the movie. Furthermore,

most of the changes added to the movie were grand, which added to the thrill and

plot of the story. Overall, both are memorable and deserve their legacyLaura

Esquirel?s, Like Water for Chocolate, is a modern day Romeo and Juliet filled

with mouthwatering recipes. It has become a valued part of American literature.

The novel became so popular that it was developed into a film, becoming a

success in both America and Mexico. Alfonso Arau directs the film. After reading

the novel and seeing the movie, I discovered several distinct differences

between the two as well as some riveting similarities. The novel begins with the

main character, Tita, being born on the kitchen table. ?Tita had no need for

the usual slap on the bottom, because she was already crying as she emerged;

maybe that was because she knew that it would be her lot in life to be denied

marriage ?Tita was literally washed into this world on a great tide of tears

that spilled over the edge of the table and flooded across the kitchen floor?

(Esquirel 6). Although this is included in the film with tremendous accuracy,

the movie begins with a different scene. The movie opens with Tita?s father

going to a bar to celebrate the birth of his daughter. On the way a friend

informs him of his wife?s, Mama Elena, affair with a man having Negro blood in

his veins. The terrible news brings on a heart attack killing him instantly. In

the book, this information is not given until the middle chapters. As the novel

continues, another character is introduced, Gertrudis. Gertrudis, the older

sister of Tita, is the first to rebel against her mother?s wishes. Wanting to

escape the securities of home, Gertrudis is overwhelmed by her lustful passions.

A soldier, not too far away, Juan, inhales the aroma of her desire and heads her

way. ?The aroma from Gertrudis? body guided him?The woman desperately

needed a man to quench the red-hot fire that was raging inside her?Gertrudis

stopped running when she saw him riding toward her. Naked as she was, with her

loosened hair falling to her waist, luminous, glowing with energy, she might

have been an angel and devil in one woman?Without slowing his gallop, so as

not to waste a moment, he leaned over, put his arm around her waist, and lifted

her onto the horse in front of him, face to face, and carried her away?The

movement of the horse combined with the movement of their bodies as they made

love for the first time, at a gallop and with a great deal of difficulty ? (Esquirel

55). This imagery is tremendous. Every sense that Esquirel touches in this

passage is illuminated in the movie with perfection. It?s as though Arau took

a picture from Esquirel?s mind as she wrote and cultivated it to film. Later

in Esquirel?s novel, Rosalio announces to Mama Elena that a group of soldiers

are approaching the ranch. Mama Elena picks up her shotgun and hides it under

her petticoat. She meets the revolutionaries, along with two other women, at the

entrance of the home. Mama Elena warns the soldiers not to enter the house. The

Captain of the bandits sees the grit and determination in Mama Elena?s eyes

and agrees not to enter. However, the regiment does manage to round up some feed

before leaving. In contrast, the movie at this point agrees with the

revolutionaries entering the ranch, but disagrees with the rest of the events,

possibly to add some action. First, Mama Elena confronts the bandits but with

only one other lady by her side. Secondly, after a verbal confrontation, the

rebels proceed to rape the lady friend, beat Mama Elena unconscious, and throw

her in the lake, killing her. According to the novel, Mama Elena doesn?t die

until later in the book, from a drug overdose. ?At first, Tita and John had no

explanation for this strange death, since clinically Mama Elena had no other

malady than her paralysis. But going through her bureau, they found the bottle

of syrup of ipecac and they deduced that Mama Elena must have taken it secretly.

John informed Tita that it was a very strong emetic that could cause death? (Esquirel

135). Soon after Mama Elena?s death Gertrudis returns to the ranch. In

Esquirel?s tale Gertrudis rides up on a horse at the head of the revolutionary

soldiers. Tita finds out that Gertrudis is in charge of the troops. Unaware of

her mother?s death, Gertrudis has come back to show Mama Elena that she has

triumphed in life. However, despite some parallels, the movie shows Gertrudis

returning to the ranch in a car. Undoubtedly, giving the audience a greater

sense of the prodigal sister?s success. Believing her mother?s death would

release her from the shackles of tradition, Tita began reaching out to Pedro,

her Romeo, whom Mama Elena had forbid her to see. Nevertheless, Esquirel allows

Mama Elena to continue nagging Tita from beyond the grave. ?See what you?ve

done now? You and Pedro are shameless. If you don?t want blood to flow in this

house, go where you can?t do any harm to anybody, before it?s to

late?(Esquirel 199). Tita responds by telling Mama Elena she hates her and to

leave her alone. With these words Mama Elena disappears forever. Esquirel?s

description of the ghost is vague, ?The imposing figure of her mother began to

shrink until it became no more than a tiny light?(Esquirel 199). Unlike the

novel, the movie does a great job of adding a certain mystique around the ghost.

The ghostly clone of Mama Elena, created by the Arau, adds a thrilling touch by

using the human element of fear. Toward the end of the novel, Tita and Pedro are

finally united in the throws of passion. The descriptive nature that Esquirel

uses leaves a perfect picture of the surroundings, and inhales the reader into

believing himself to be a peeping tom. ?The silk sheets and bedspread were

white, like the floral rug that covered the floor and the 250 candles that lit

up the now inappropriately named dark room?Pedro placed Tita on the bed and

slowly removed her clothing, piece by piece?The striking of the brass

headboard against the wall and the guttural sounds that escaped from both of

them mixed with the sound of the thousand doves flying free above them? (Esquirel

243). Arau?s interpretation incorporates all of Esquirel?s eloquent artistry

in perfect harmony. Arau?s vision brings Like Water for Chocolate to the

climax which Esquirel had intended, leaving the audience in awe. Other

differences, not discussed above, include Tita being shown in the movie as an

average looking woman. The impression that the novel leaves is a woman that is

breathtaking to the senses, a goddess. Of course, this opinion is subject to

personal taste. As someone once said, ?Beauty is in the eye of the

beholder.? Another striking difference between the movie and the book is that

both are developed by different sexes. This obviously could effect the compare

and contrast views of this paper. For example, being male, I found that the two

images that left the greatest impression were of sexual nature, Gertrudis making

love with the soldier, and Tita being intimate with Pedro. The different views

of the sexes may also be the answer to some of the contrasts between the movie

and novel. For instance, the death of Mama Elena. Esquirel?s version fits the

emotional death, suicide, geared toward the female audience, while Arau?s

shows a more sexual and violent death, extinguishing the male desire for action.

In conclusion, I found the novel more entertaining than the movie. The reason

the movie fell short in expectations is because Esquirel does a great job in

allowing the reader to draw on their imaginations. However, Arau is able to

capture this imagery occasionally throughout the movie. Furthermore, most of the

changes added to the movie were grand, which added to the thrill and plot of the

story. Overall, both are memorable and deserve their legacy.

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