In both ‘Like Water for Chocolate ‘ ( LWC ) by Laura Esquivel and ‘A Woman at Point Zero ‘ ( WPZ ) by Nawal El Saadawi, the writer shapes the reader ‘s sentiment on the subject of power. The subject power is presented in both of the books protagonist ‘s, Mami Elena and Firdaus. Both characters show important feminine power throughout the book as vigorous and bold characters. Mami Elena ‘s power is expressed through the actions she inflicts on her girls and the capableness to command each of their destinies. Firdaus ‘s power is portrayed as a cocotte ; utilizing her position to pull strings work forces ‘s desire to her ain advantage.
“ Woman at point nothing ” narrates the narrative of Firdaus, an Eqyptian female of the twentieth century, born and raised within the wretchedness of lower category and chauvinist Muslim society. For Firdaus her mentality of power is simple: work forces have power and adult females do non. “ By birth, I was lower classaˆ¦ My Fatheraˆ¦ . Knew really few things in lifeaˆ¦How to interchange his virgin girl for a dowery when there was still timeaˆ¦How to flex over the headsman ‘s manus and make-believe to snog it, how to crush his married woman and do her bite dust each nightaˆ¦ . ”[ 2 ]El Saadawi describes Firdaus as a powerless character since birth, described as being “ lower category ” ; and besides a description of power represented by her male parent crushing her female parent. Because of her hapless cultural place, the character is persecuted by sexual torment and constrained entry to male desire. As a consequence, female agony and subjugation is clearly identified by the reader throughout the novel. Therefore making Firdaus, a esteemed cocotte, whose interaction with society is confined within the footing of male persecution, geting power over them. Such an dismaying vision of the male gender is generated by agring experiences of objectionable masculine behaviour. Consequently, adult male is deliberately portrayed by the writer as grotesque and gruesome.
The phrase “ like H2O for cocoa ” comes from the Spanish “ como agua parity cocoa ” .[ 3 ]This phrase is a common look in Spanish speech production states and was the inspiration for Laura Esquivel ‘s fresh rubric ( the name has a double-meaning ) . In some Latin American states, such as Mexico, hot cocoa is made non with milk, but with H2O alternatively. Water is boiled and balls of milk cocoa are dropped in to run. The stating “ like H2O for cocoa, ” alludes to this fact and besides to the common usage of the look as a metaphor for depicting a province of passion or sexual rousing. In some parts of Latin America, the expression is besides tantamount to being ‘boiling mad ‘ in choler. Laura Esquivel creates Mama Elena the oppressive, widowed materfamilias of the De La Garza kin revolves around the subjection of her girls. Her ferocious rule over her three girls inspires fear within all of them.
“ All my life I have been seeking for something that would make full me with pride, do me experience superior to everyone else, including male monarchs, princes and swayers ”[ 4 ]This quotation mark refers to how ‘Firdaus ‘ discovers how vulnerable work forces are when a cocotte refuses to kip with them. With the position of harlotry she is overwhelmed with power and feels in complete control. Men will detonate in fright and offer larger amounts of money merely because they feel as if they are losing their power over adult females ; nevertheless they do non recognize it is the cocotte deriving power. When she possesses money of her ain, she has power over people who slander her, and can give herself a respectable name. Her mentality was merely changed until she met a high category cocotte named ‘Sharifa ‘ . Sharifa is portrayed as a affluent high category cocotte who manipulates work forces ‘s desire for sex to her ain advantage. She acts as a instructor to ‘Firdaus ‘ , learning her how to utilize her physical visual aspects as a tool to pull work forces. This is where her power had originated from ; the instruction from ‘Sharifa ‘ . Soon after she notices ‘Sharifa ‘ treats her as a tool, she runs off to be an independent cocotte and applies to skills she had obtained. As Sharifa states ; “ She is free to make what she wants, and free non to make it. ”[ 5 ]Firdaus is able to make anything she wants, after being handed tips, and lessons by Sharifa she is able to take her harlotry position to a whole new degree.
The method Mama Elena uses to derive control over her girls is by utilizing force and inhuman treatment against them, whether psychological or physical. “ Obey your Mommy and Dadd ” .[ 6 ]This quotation mark refers to how the girls of Mama Elena have no pick but to obey Mama Elena, since their male parent had passed off earlier. Mama Elena already starts with power unlike Firdaus who has easy to derive her power. “ If she could n’t get married, was she at least allowed to see love? Or non even that? ”[ 7 ]Tita being the youngest girl of hers is unable to get married or hold kids because of the pathetic tradition. Whatever marks of love Mama Elena sensed inside of Tita she would seek to interrupt and undermine. This root of her immorality is from her old lover who had left her, if she senses one of her girls loving person else she will experience overpowered and powerless. After Tita meets Pedro Mama Elena sees his fondness for Tita so she conjures a secret plan against Tita ; therefore presenting Rosaura to Pedro. Soon after Pedro decides to get married Rosaura to acquire closer to Tita because he realizes her destiny is sealed. Tita does non cognize of Pedro ‘s purposes and is mentally hurt by losing her lone opportunity of deriving true love. She suffers harshly and spends a batch of her clip crying about this incident. If Mama Elena suspects the slightest thought that ‘Tita ‘ has no fulfilled her responsibilities, such as when she is suspected of messing up the stitching on the nuptials nowadays, or the toxicant put inside the nuptials bar, she physically abuses her. She is beaten harshly and is ever left with cicatrixs, contusions and hurts: this teaches the girls that non to do the same error once more and displays the utmost power Mama Elena holds over them. When Tita attempts to fault Mami Elena for Roberto ‘s decease she picks up a wooden spoon and breaks Tita ‘s nose go forthing her no medical attention and to slowly digest the hurting. “ Mama Elena was merciless, killing with a individual blow. But so once more, non ever. For Tita she had made an exclusion ; she had been killing her a small at a clip since she was a kid, and she still had n’t finished her off. ”[ 8 ]
“ Nacha! Do n’t state that. As my youngest girl, Tita will care for me until the twenty-four hours I die. She wo n’t get married. ”[ 9 ]The ground for her absurd vision of Duty and Responsibility is so that ‘Mami Elena ‘ is able to derive full control over her girls and non lose power. Finally when Rosaura gives birth to Espranza Rosaura imposes the same destiny on her girl. Esquivel introduces the babe to demo that even though ‘Mami Elena ‘ had died Rosaura had still kept to the tradition even after all the unreliable things she had inflicted upon Rosaura. It shows how ‘Mami Elena ‘ had polluted the head of Rosaura and how her power even though she was dead overruled ‘Rosaura ‘s ‘ ego scruples
“ I now knew that all of us were cocottes who sold themselves at changing monetary values, and that an expensive cocotte was better than a inexpensive 1. ”[ 10 ]As a cocotte Firdaus uses her power to command higher and higher monetary values merely by denying work forces of their wants. She was able to command the monetary values for her service demoing her power over work forces. Work force would hunger for her ; ‘Firdaus ‘ would utilize this to her advantage to do them endure. As she becomes powerful and ill-famed as prostitute money starts stacking in for her. She gets this head sense that as you have more money you besides get more powerful which she had learnt from Sharifa. When the procurer comes into the image, ‘Firdaus ‘ see ‘s him as a menace barricading her rebellion. The procurer threatens to slander her or kill her, turn outing that no affair how much she had, Firdaus was still vulnerable to work forces because she had something to lose.
Both Esquivel and El Saadawi present the subject of power efficaciously through the characters, Mama Elena and Firdaus utilizing a assortment of techniques. “ Like H2O for cocoa ” and “ Woman at point nothing ” , with its blatantly sexist storyteller are two novels written by two different female authors in wholly different cultural fortunes ; Esquivel being raised in Mexico, and El Saadawi being raised in Egypt. The reader therefore necessarily obtains a different degree of penetration of the supporters nevertheless the subject of power still conforms with similarities between them. However no 1 can deny that both texts provide a absorbing position of the complexnesss and confusions of power.
By Timothy Lui