Essay Chocolate,” “A Streetcar Named Desire�s” theme

Essay title: Time Periods Effect on like Water for Chocolate and a Streetcar Named Desire

“Like Water for Chocolate” and “A Streetcar Named Desire�s” Themes Themes are entirely dependent on the time period a story is set in just like in the novel “Like Water for Chocolate,” written by Laura Esquivel, and the screenplay “A Streetcar Named Desire,” by Tennessee Williams.

The two stories characters, events and theme are solely reliant on the settings. If the settings were to change then so would everything else including the most important element, the plot. The setting for “Like Water for Chocolate” is during the Mexican Revolutionary War between 1910 and 1920 taken place in Mexico and Texas. Because it is during a war, there are dangers such as being shot in cross fire, raped, pillaged, etc.

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Also, since itis that time period society has certain expectations of people. For example, divorce is frowned upon and considered disgraceful but in the 20th century it is as common as marriage itself. Over all the time period effects the characters morals and actions, and in consequence; create the theme to be about duty and responsibility. Just like in “Like Water for Chocolate,” “A Streetcar Named Desire�s” theme is largely impacted by the time it is set. The story is set in the late 1940’s in New Orleans and this scene creates certain lifestyle depending on status which is a catalyst of what drives the conflict among characters. The fact the this is a time period when women didn’t have the freedom that they do in the 20th century plays a strong part on characters actions.

For instances, if a women was married and her only life support was her husband and he was to die or she to leave him she wouldn’t be able to support herself respectfully. This is where the theme of loneliness comes into the story. It is the loneliness that the characters fear which motivates them to stay with their abusive husband or lie and create fantasies. Due to the novel, “Like Water for Chocolate,” being set during the Mexican Revolutionary War it has events that happen that would not have happened if it was set in a different time. For instance, the protagonist of the novel, Tita who cooks for the family, bakes a dish of Quail in Rose Petal Sauce and in consequence of eating Tita’s dish her sister, Gertrudis, “runs away with a Mexican revolutionary and later becomes a prostitute” (Zubianurre 32).

If the novel was set in a different time then, first Gertrudis would not have been able to run away with a Mexican revolutionary. Second, when some one runs away from home like she did you don’t get shunned by you family like she did and have to result to prostitution. Also, a group of bandits attack Tita’s mother�s, Mama Elena, leaving her paraplegic and raped the middle daughter, Chencha (Esquivel 129). None of these incidents would happen unless the novel was set during this war. The fact that the story took place during the war is also symbolism towards Tita. The war “was a time of enormous change, a break with outmoded traditions” (Regis University) just like when Tita has to go through struggles and changes the traditions of her family. The war was to get the independence of Mexico and that is what Tita was attempting. She wanted to break free of her mothers control and change traditions for the better for other daughters to come.

It wasn’t only the Mexican Revolutionary war itself that impacted the characters and events but also the way society acted and expected of people between 1910 and 1920. In particular, there are still traditions that cannot be broken and women did not have the freedom to live on their own respectfully unless they are married. This is exactly Tita’s conundrum for she is in love with a boy name Pedro and wants to marry him. But due to Mama Elena’s tradition of the youngest daughter in the family is to take care of the mother until death she can never marry. Though in spite of this Pedro doesn’t give up and is offered to marry Tita’s older sister, Rosaura, and excepts in order to stay near Tita. This time period is necessary for event because in other time periods daughters didn’t marry off by status and tradition but by choice of their own husband on the basis of love. The whole plot of the story would change if the it were set in a different time because of the traditions in that time.

If it was different Tita would be able to leave her mother to marry Pedro and still be able to see her sisters and not be a disgrace. But this would defeat the theme of the story. It is Tita’s duty and responsibility to follow this tradition of the youngest daughter never marrying and taking care of her mother until her death. Between.

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