Matriarchal Gender Roles In Mama Elena And Like Water For Chocolate: Book Analysis

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This literary and film study will define the matriarchal gender roles that define the power of mother figures in the characters of Mama Elena and Madame Mallory through domesticated food in The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) by Lasse Hallstrom and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. In Esquivel’s novel, Mama Elena refuses to let her youngest daughter, Tita, marry Pedro because it the social and familial tradition of the youngest daughter to take of her mother until she dies. This form of matriarchal power is conducted through the domestication of food through mama Elena’s gender role at the top of socials standing in the family. In a similar manner, Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) wields great power as a matriarchal figure of a famous …show more content…
These social aspects of her behavior define the social hierarchy of women at the top of the food chain, which illustrates the matriarchal gender role that she exemplifies in the context of French cuisine. Certainly, Madame Mallory is a woman that seeks to totally dominate the local community, which threatens any kind of cultural or racial diversity in Papa’s quest to open an Indian restaurant across the street. This type of gender identity expresses the power of food as a method of control for Madame Mallory to defend the staunch traditions of French cuisine in her own …show more content…
In these cases, the matriarchal power of Madame Mallory and Madame Elena define the gender power of women to own and control their subordinates, but they are inevitably flexible enough to alter the rules of family and social traditions to better the lives of those around them. Female gender roles define the hierarchical structure of matriarchal society, but through the use of food as a source of control over others. However, these traditions can be altered in the understanding that Madame Mallory and Madame Elena begin to see in the talents of those that cook the food for them. These are the important similarities defining the gender roles of matriarchal identity, which these two women share in the character development found in The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) by Lasse Hallstrom and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura

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