Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe are two novels that revolve around the struggle of adapting to traditions. Both novels take place in areas where tradition is fundamental. Therefore, the characters act different than those around them and are unable to adjust to their traditional lifestyles. . The two main characters in both books, Tita and Okonkwo, find it hard to live up to their own traditions, and fail to adapt to them as they go against their people.
In the novel Things Fall Apart, Okonkwo the main character, refuses to accept the new traditions because he thinks they are not manly enough. He believes that the political and religious reforms are intolerable. Okonkwo supposes that he
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On the other hand, the novel Like Water For Chocolate portrays the struggle of adapting to traditions in similar, but yet different way. Tita, the main character is forced to reject her lover Pedro due to family traditions, as she has to take care of her mother, being the youngest daughter. This was the beginning of Tita’s struggle not only with her family, but also with her own culture. As she lives in a society where a lot is demanded, Tita and her sisters are under a microscope by all the people around them. It didn’t take Tita long to realize that their traditions were unfair and unrealistic. She thinks to herself that if she cannot marry and have children, who will take care of her? She also tells her sister, who is strictly following these traditions, that she will not follow them; "As long as this cursed tradition doesn't take me into account." However, what triggered Tita the most with going against her traditions was her sister Gertrude. Although Gertrude was not the youngest, she acted in and ‘improper’ way according to their society and ran away with a man she hadn’t known.
Traditions have been barriers for all of the characters at some point of the novel. These barriers cause Tita to become lonely, as she is not close to her mother because of all the grief she’s put her through, nor her sister for taking her lover due to traditions. The barriers that traditions lay