Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Genre

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Magical realism

What's magical realism you ask? Let's just say it's got next to nothing to do with top hats and fuzzy white rabbits. It's all about fantastical, mystic, and epic themes. Just look at how Tita was born, on a table in a kitchen, "[…] washed into this world on a great tide of tears that spilt over the edge of the table and flooded across the kitchen floor" (1,3).

That obviously can't happen in real life, but right off the bat we suspend our ideas of reality (realism: get it?) and allow ourselves to enter a world where spirits talk, matches are eaten, and food can make people burn down bathrooms, with influences of from fairy tales and Mexican mythology.

Okay, so what's up with that? Why does Esquiviel feel the need to make everything so loco? Maybe it's a way of coping with the harsh reality of, um, reality. Think about it: why do we love flicks like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, the Matrix, etc.? It's a way to escape our sometimes tough world and enter another one.

Now, if you'll excuse us, there's an episode of Game of Thrones with our name on it…

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