Chelsey ThomasHonors Modern LiteratureRicciardi – Block 6SFA - Like Water for Chocolate January and February – Magical RealismIn Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, there are numerous examples of magical realism that exist throughout the story. Magical Realism is characterized by the acceptance of a supernatural event among the rational perspective of reality. This is much different from pure fantasy because, in magical realism, these fantastic events are occurring within the average realmof reality, rather than only existing within a world of fantasy. In the first chapter of Like Water for Chocolate, Esquivel describes the birth of the protagonist, Tita. According to the story, Tita was born in the kitchen, crying, on a flood of her mother’s tears. “That afternoon…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.” (5) The practical attitude that the family reacted to the fanciful way Tita came into the world is a clear example of how magical realism isincorporated in this story. By seeing Tita’s birth as such a natural occurrence and moving on with life as if it were average sets the tone for the more amazing occurrences that are set to happen throughout this novel.When faced with an event of magical realism such as the birth of Tita, it is important to not simply identify but to analyze why this event took place within the story. One of the proponents of this genre of literature is the fact that the events that take place in this way are intended to exemplify the characteristics of the characters in the story and to ascribe a deeper meaning to each event within the story. This particular event when Tita’s birth is described can be seen as foreshadowing for how Tita will live the rest of her life. The fact that she came into the world crying can represent that sadness and the sacrifice that is going to characterize her life
from then on. “If she couldn’t marry, was she at least allowed to experience love? Or not even that?” (10) This early in the novel, it is already shown that Tita’s life will be spent sacrificing herown desires for her mother and the rest of their family. However, not only did Tita come into the world crying but she came in on a flood of her mother’s tears that in the end turned into salt, which could mean that Tita is destined to disappoint her mother and she is going to shake then foundation on which the De La Garza family as built.