Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel - Magic Realism in Chapter 1.

Essay by spradling June 2005

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Note: This essay is based on the first three paragraphs of the novel.

The style Esquivel uses to begin this novel can be seen throughout the whole novel, on the very beginning of each chapter. She begins by telling us about food and slowly puts this food into the story to then continue writing about the actual story.

Another style the writer uses is the one of communicating and relating to the reader; for example when she writes, "which is so annoying!" and "I don't know whether that's ever happened to you". This particular style makes the reader identify with the writer, creating a sort of relationship between the writer and the reader.

The second paragraph begins with Esquivel saying that Tita used to "cry and cry" over onions. Nobody really 'cries' with onions, you just get tears in your eyes. I think she uses this hyperbole to somehow compliment and prepare us for the magic realism that is to come.

Magic realism is something we can see in the novel from the very beginning to end; we can especially see it in these first paragraphs. The very first sign of magic realism is when Esquivel tells us that Tita's "sobs were so loud that even Nacha, the cook, who was half-deaf, could hear them easily." This is a perfect example of magic realism, where something so impossible and so exaggerated is talked about and taken as if it were perfectly normal.

The magic realism continues when we are told that "her wailing got so violent that is brought on an early labour". This, besides because it's unreal, strikes me because it doesn't seem very logical. Why would she want to exit the protection of her mother's womb and enter the world? This would only expose her even more...