The Role of Culture and Tradition in Laura Esquivel's “Like Water for Chocolate” and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

In today’s well connected and wired world with the same brands and billboards dominating the skyline it is only every country’s individual culture and traditions that are able to distinguish between them. Culture and traditions develop over a period of time. We learn of different cultures and traditions of different countries through their arts, food, lifestyle, traditional dresses and architecture. Most have developed over the centuries and are a reflection of their history. Both authors, though one writing a bittersweet love story and the other a political satire have based their stories on the culture of their native lands. Laura Esquivel, a Mexican bases her story on the fact that traditionally the family’s youngest daughter remains unmarried and spends her life taking care of her mother. The story revolves around Mama Elena’s youngest daughter, Tita. Mama Elena is the dictatorial owner of the De La Garza ranch and is determined to see that her family traditions are maintained, even if they result in mayhem and destroy her own daughter’s happiness. Nobel Laureate Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude has been hailed by The times Educational Supplement as

“Garcia Marquez’s hypnotic history of his Buendia family, founders of Macondo, a remote South American settlement, is a charged chronicle of fantasy and realism ..... Farce and laughter vein his world... Marquez is a poet nearly, a seer, an alchemist... a tour de force, enchanting, convoluted and barbarous.”  

This book is the family saga of the Buendia family and of the town they founded, Macondo. This book has also been hailed as the ‘Bible of Macondo’.

Tita, protagonist of Like Water for Chocolate, is the youngest of Mama Elena’s three daughters. She is born in the kitchen and is informally adopted by the family cook Nacha and grows up in the kitchen in the tradition of great chefs and she grows up to be a master chef. Food as we all can attest is one of the most basic of traditions and...