Chabela's Wedding Cake

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Information about Chabela's Wedding Cake

Published on March 17, 2012

Author: ninatorillos


Chabela’s Wedding Cake (from Like Water for Chocolate): By Laura Esquivel Chabela’s Wedding Cake (from Like Water for Chocolate) Some facts about the author: Some facts about the author born September 30, 1950 A Mexican author making a noted contribution to Latin-American literature. O nce married to actor and director Alfonso Arau, Laura Esquivel is now divorced. She currently lives in Mexico City. Certified best-selling author of 4.5 million sold copies of Like Water for Chocolate. Story: Story The novel follows the story of a young girl named Tita who longs her entire life to marry her lover, Pedro, but can never have him because of her mother's upholding of the family tradition of the youngest daughter not marrying but taking care of her mother until the day she dies. Tita is only able to express herself when she cooks . Tita de la Garza, the novel's protagonist, is fifteen at the start of the story, which takes place during the Mexican Revolution. She lives with her mother, Mama Elena, and her older sisters Gertrudis and Rosaura , on a ranch near the Mexico – US border. Story: Story Esquivel used magical realism in Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) to combine the ordinary and the supernatural. The romantic love that is so exalted throughout the novel is forbidden by Tita's mother in order to blindly enforce the tradition that the youngest daughter be her mother's chaste guardian. However, the traditional etiquette enforced by Mama Elena is defied progressively throughout the novel. This parallels the setting of the Mexican Revolution growing in intensity. Story: Story The novel further parallels the Mexican Revolution because during the Mexican Revolution the power of the country was in the hands of a select few and the people had no power to express their opinions . The phrase "like water for chocolate" comes from the Spanish como agua para chocolate. This phrase is a common expression in some Spanish-speaking countries and was the inspiration for Laura Esquivel's novel title (the name has a double meaning). In some Latin American countries, such as Mexico, hot chocolate is made not with milk, but with water instead. Summary: Summary This chapter opens with the recipe for the Chabela Wedding Cake. This is the same type of cake that Tita and Nacha make for Rosaura and Pedro’s wedding. Still upset by Rosaura’s decision to marry Tita’s lover Pedro, Tita misses the engagement party because of a “’headache’”. As punishment Mama Elena charges Tita with the preparation of all the wedding food needed for the 20-course meal they plan to serve. For the wedding cake Tita and Nacha must use 170 eggs. In order to have this many eggs fresh at one time they must preserve them by storing them in a cask, cooling and then covering them. Summary: Summary Tita and Nacha work together to prepare the batter; while Tita stirs, Nacha cracks the eggs into the bowl. When Nacha reaches to crack the final egg Tita stops her and grabs the egg claiming that she can hear a baby chick peeping inside. Mama Elena, overhearing the commotion, chastises her daughter for her behavior and cracks the egg into the bowl. It shocks Tita to see that there is no chick inside but only a very fresh egg. Summary: Summary Mama Elena finally goes to bed and leaves Tita and Nacha alone to finish the filling for the cake. Free from her mother’s surveillance, Tita begins to cry and Nacha comforts her. Nacha remembers how she always preferred Tita over Rosaura . Rosaura was a picky eater and sometimes fed Nacha’s dishes to the dog. Nacha hopes that Pedro’s love for Tita really is true even if it leads to Rosaura’s unhappiness. Tita’s stream of tears spill into the cake batter and keep it from thickening so Nacha and Tita embrace each other and cry until Tita has no more tears to shed. Then they move on to making the cake’s filling. Summary: Summary The filling of the cake calls only for apricot paste and sugar. Fortunately, Nacha and Tita already prepared many jars of preserves earlier that week. When Tita opens one of the jars the smell of the preserves reminds her of the day when they preserved the fruit. That day Pedro came to the house to get wedding invitations to deliver in town. When Tita entered the kitchen carrying fruit for the preserves she was so surprised to see him there that she dropped some of the fruit onto the floor. Summary: Summary Pedro came to help her and tried to explain his intentions but Tita did not want to hear any more lies and ran away from him. She stopped when she saw Chencha and Gertrudis embroidering a white sheet made of French silk for the wedding bed. The whiteness of the sheet blinded her and covered everything she saw the rest of that night. The same blinding whiteness returns while Tita is in the kitchen preparing the cake but she tries to block it out so that she can finish preparing the icing. Summary: Summary Nacha sends Tita to bed but not before Tita sheds a few tears into the meringue icing. When Nacha tastes the icing to see if Tita’s tears changed the taste of it she becomes filled with a feeling of longing and spends the rest of the night crying. Nacha remembers all the wedding preparations she had made in 85 years of life without ever being the bride herself. Summary: Summary Though she once had a fiancé, Elena’s mother would not allow Nacha to marry him and she spent the rest of her life single. In the morning Nacha is so weak from crying that she cannot help with the wedding. Tita however is forced to attend the wedding and to hide any emotion. She overhears the attendees gossiping about her but is determined to present a face of triumph instead of the face of defeat they all want to see. Summary: Summary After the ceremony ends Tita goes to congratulate her sister but does not initially speak to Pedro. Pedro grabs Tita and whispers into her ear that he only married Rosaura in order to be close to Tita . Feeling the warmth of his body on hers and his whisper in her ear Tita is suddenly gladdened and convinced that Pedro really does love only her. Meanwhile, the guests who have eaten the wedding cake are overcome with feelings of longing just as Nacha was when she tasted the icing. Everyone, even Mama Elena, begins crying and vomiting uncontrollably. Summary: Summary Tita remains unaffected. Rosaura blames Tita for putting something into the cake and Tita receives a severe beating from Mama Elena who also believes Tita and Nacha conspired to ruin the wedding party. Because of their illness Rosaura and Pedro do not consummate their marriage that night. Indeed, months pass before they do. When Tita goes to find Nacha and tell her the good news about Pedro, she finds Nacha dead with a picture of her fiancé in hand. View Points: View Points Esquivel used magical realism in Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) to combine the ordinary and the supernatural. Mama Elena often resorts to cruelty and violence as she forces Tita to obey her. Many of the responsibilities she imposes on Tita , especially those relating to Pedro and Rosaura's wedding, are blatant acts of cruelty, given Tita's pain over losing Pedro. Mama Elena meets Tita's slightest protest with angry tirades and beatings . Nacha , on the other hand, was like a mother to Tita . View Points: View Points Pedro is Tita's lover, he then marries Rosaura ( Tita's older sister) to be closer to Tita . Tita was anxiously reacting to white stimuli because of an earlier experience during her childhood. This can be traced during her childhood experiences when she entered a church and offered white flowers to the Virgin. She never entered a church without dreaming of the day she would enter it on the arm of a man. Tita’s strong emotions become infused into her cooking and she unintentionally begins to affect the people around her through the food she prepares. View Points: View Points Tita knew that she was the center of attraction because of what happened between her and Pedro. She was trying to think about anything but the wedding march, the priest’s words, and the knots and the rings. In my opinion, Nacha was also a victim of Tita’s cooking. She was depressed about what Mama Elena’s mother did to her fiancé, that’s why she felt the intense longing Tita was also feeling. FIN : FIN  By: Joyce Aguilar 2-BLIS

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