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is a feminist novel complete with three strong female characters, magic and a few recipes.
Mama Elena is trying to keep her family traditions alive while running a ranch and butting heads with her children.
She takes on the role of protector typically associated with men.
Quotation: “Soon the chickens were inescapably trapped by the force they themselves were generating in their mad chase; they couldn’t break loose from that whirl of feathers, blood, and dust that spun faster and faster, gathering force at every turn until it changed into a mighty tornado…” (Esquivel 217).
Significance: The quote describes the escalation in a chicken fight that Tita witnesses after her fight with Rosaura.
She must protect her family after her husband passes away.
Elena is a strong independent female character doing the best she can to raise her family during the Mexican Revolution.As a daughter in a traditional, insulated Mexican family, Gertrudis has never experienced sexual urges, and only does so through Tita’s cooking.In this sense, this quote is also a product of Esquivel’s expression of Tita’s ability to magically infuse her cooking with emotion.Esquivel infuses magical realism into the chicken fight by turning an ordinary brawl into a literal tornado.On a deeper level, this chicken fight is metaphorical to the conflicts in the De la Garza house between Tita, Pedro, and Rosaura.Significance: The quote describes Gertrudis after she has eaten Tita’s quail in rose petals: feeling flustered by her arousal, she goes out to take a shower.It is clear that it is an example of magical realism, as Esquivel is exaggerating the realistic notion of arousal to the point where it is unreal and magical.Elena prefers “killing with a single blow” (49), showing her incredible physical strength.Mama Elena refuses to enjoy food Tita has made because she is convinced that it tastes “nasty and bitter” (130) if it is made by her daughter.It covered the whole ranch, all three hectares” (Esquivel 245).Significance: The quote describes Tita as she hurries to keep herself warm in the wake of Pedro’s death.