Humanities Diliman, Vol 9, No 1 (2012)

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Like Water for Chocolate: The Rewriting of the Female Experience and Its Parallels in Philippine History

Marikit Tara Alto Uychoco

Abstract


This article focuses on Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate and reads the novel using the literary theories of the “new mestiza,” postcolonial theories, feminist theories, and historiographic metafiction. It seeks to find out how this novel rewrites the female experience of the Mexican Revolution, and the various techniques used in the rewriting of history.  It reads the novel from a “new mestiza” feminist perspective, which enables the Filipina reader to find commonalities in the Mexican woman’s struggle in Mexican history and society, and finds ways to help her appreciate the Filipina’s struggle in Philippine history and society. The theories of historiographic metafiction are grounded in Linda Hutcheon’s theories about historiography, or the writing of history, and metafiction, or fiction that makes us aware of the craft of fiction. The theories regarding the “new mestiza” consciousness are from Gloria Anzaldua.  This is a feminist theory that is contextualized on the historic oppression of women during Spanish colonization and its resulting patriarchal structures in society, and how women can seek to free themselves from such residual structures.  Finally, the article touches upon a Filipina feminist perspective on the novel and what it signifies for the Philippine female experience.

Keywords: historiography, metafiction, feminism, new mestiza, Laura Esquivel, ‘Like Water for Chocolate’


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ISSN: 2012-0788