In Chocolat, I learned that food has magical power that engages and connects people and brings them into good relations. Vianne and her daughter were not welcomed in a conservative and religious town at beginning, however her chocolate had magical power to melt those peoples’ cold attitude and they became drawn into her chocolate, even that stubborn pastor Reynaud who had strong hostile feeling against Vianne did so at the end. I liked the part that Reynaud couldn’t resist to break in her store and try all the chocolates before Easter Sunday.
It is like one of my dreams. I roll in chocolates. I imagine myself in a field of chocolates, on a beach of chocolates, basking-rooting-gorging. I have no time to read the labels; I cram chocolates into my mouth at random” (Harris 312). I believe his attitude also influenced and changed town people since he is the symbol that his faithful people ought to believe in and follow in their town. I also enjoyed seeing the relationship between Vianne and Roux.
With similar characteristics they both have, such as free minded, not religious like town people, move from a place to another and somewhat isolated from society, it is natural that they feel close each other. Especially, the night they spent together is one of my favorite parts, because it was described beautifully and romantically. “The garden was still warm in the glow of the braziers. The mock oranges and lilacs of Narcisse’s trellis blanketed us beneath their scent. We lay on the grass like children.
We made no promises, spoke no words of love, though he was gentle, almost passionless, moving instead with a slow sweetness along my body, lapping my skin with fluttering of the tongue. […] For the moment, simple wonder; at myself lying naked in the grass, at the silent man beside me, at the immensity above and the immensity within. We lay for a long time, Roux and I, until our sweat cooled and little insects ran across our bodies, and we smelled lavender and thyme from the flower bed at our feet as, holding hands, we watched the unbearable slow wheeling of the sky” (Harris 289-290).
In Like Water for Chocolate, I learned the method of Magic Realism and enjoyed reading several themes which were described with Magic Realism. Magic Realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction in which magical elements blend with the real world. The story explains these magical elements as real occurrences, presented in a straightforward manner that places the “real” and the “fantastic” in the same stream of thought. I enjoyed reading this novel from very beginning with Tita’s dramatic birth in kitchen.
Her tide of tears on her birth becomes lots of salt to be used for cooking later on. “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” (Esquivel 6). “That afternoon, when the uproar had subsided and the water had been dried up by the sun, Nacha swept up the residue the tears had left on the red stone floor. There was enough salt to fill a ten-pound sack-it was used for cooking and lasted a long time” (Esquirel 6).
I like this part because Tita not only has a big passion over cooking, but also she could produce an ingredient –salt by her own, which has an important role later on. I enjoyed reading the part that the wedding cake Tita made for her sister makes every single guest feels longing, intoxicated and frustrated at the wedding. Tita’s love over Pedro was so strong and her poison: tears in the cake made everyone become sick.
“The moment they took their first bite of the cake, everyone was flooded with a great wave of longing. …] But the weeping was just the first symptom of a strange intoxication- an acute attack of pain and frustration- that seized the guests and scattered them across the patio and the grounds and in the bathrooms, all of them wailing over lost love” (Esquirel 39). Watching both films also helped me understanding and picturing each scene clearly. Now I am enjoying the third novel, The Edible Woman, because this novel is written in modern plot and describes women’s conflicted feeling in modern society through food and cooking.
Courtney from Study Moose
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