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In Laura Esquivels novel Like Water for Chocolate tradition is seen as both oppressive and freeing These two aspects of tradition are demonstrated most strongly through Tita Mama Elena on the other hand represents the oppressive colonial tradition and Naucha and her recipes on the other hand represent the native Mexican tradition that frees Tita Through a closer inspection these traditions as they are portrayed in Like Water for Chocolate on is able to see the great significance of tradition in the novel As discussed in class Ranger and Hohsbaum see tradition as a recent invention that is used in an attempt to exert control on the public This is how colonialism uses it and Mama Elena In Like Water for Chocolate tradition is used to maintain a social hierarchy in which the ruling class are the colonizers and the natives become the followers This relationship is demonstrated in the novel through Mama Elena and her family On the De la Garza ranch Mama Elena is the ruler with everyone else being subservient However in the kitchen a different society exists One that is based around the native traditions and is cooperative based This system opposes the egalitarian society that Mama Elena stands for and offers an alternative to it It is only with the death of Mama Elena and Rosaura that the rest of the ranch can truly be free Esquivel writes her novel in magic realism which on its own is a celebration of Latin American tradition This genre helps to express Mexicos own regional identity and forms a novel that upholds the tradition and helps to break from the oppression of colonialism In a novel where tradition is so important it is also important to look at the traditional style in which the novel was written By choosing this genre Esquivel was further able to show the great importance of the celebration of native traditions over that of colonial ones Through magic
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