Traditions and culture has been part of people for a longtime now, people have held to the traditions even as some remain outdated. Traditions have remained encrypted on people's thoughts in that they refer to them when they want to do anything. In the Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and Blood Wedding by Frederico Garcia Lorca traditions has remained a core theme in that it plays part of what people do and practice. In both books they speak of love turn sour by the effects of traditions that don't allow certain practices and decrees. They remain a hindrance to the lives of the characters and as the authors express it remains a total barrier that needs to be addressed accordingly.
In Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel tradition has been painted as oppressive and freeing. This has been clearly brought in to the light by use of different characters. Tita and Mama Elena help bring these aspects when they cling to traditional practices, while Naucha is seen as the redemptory from the oppression of traditions. With these traditions the novel puts tradition on the spotlight. Tradition has been used to maintain a social hierarchy where the rulers colonize the natives and they follow with or without consent. This can be seen in the book through Mama Elena and her family. The kitchen portrays a different society where the native traditions must be followed to the letter. These Mexican traditions are upheld by Mama Elena in that she stands and defends them strongly. To her tradition form the basis of living and the traditional way in which the novel was written speaks volumes. The native traditions are celebrated more than the colonial ones and through magic realism traditions is very clear.
In the novel the tradition is responsible for the characters misfortunes in that lack of love, a meaningful life, and happiness. This can be seen in the way Mama Elena implements the traditions on her family. She believes that without the traditions people will be lost and that's why she implements them with a passion, this is in spite of those same traditions having denied her the chance to be happy and living life to the fullest. She is a strict and very dictatorial "Unquestionably when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, detaining, dispossessing, or dominating, Mama Elena was a pro Esquivel, p.97". In view of the fact that the traditions were not liked by many her children are victim of her own predicaments where the traditions bring pain and suffering to them.
Mama Elena also physically and verbally abuses Tita for questioning her acts and she even dominates the natives which leaves them in fear. She believes in commands and she is not ready to negotiate or discuss with anyone where her decision remains final. Tita stands out to oppose the traditions, domination and domineering of Mama Elena despite of her strictness and harshness. Tita believes that traditions only oppresses and stops the natives from achieving their goals and calls for freedom. She does not disconnect from her roots but resists the colonization by Mama Elena and persistently follows her cause. Her cooking becomes a way of salvations to the natives from the oppression and gives them a chance to experience freedom. Gertrudis experience an unquenchable freedom and though passion and goes to the extent of joining a brothel to break all the oppression brought by Mama Elena. She continues on to join the army that seeks to fight the colonialism and oppression of the colonialists exercised by Mama Elena and rebels against her mother. The traditional gender inequality is also broken by Gertrudis in her quest to freedom.
Mama Elena also forbids Pedro to marry the woman of her dreams due to traditions requirements. The youngest daughter had to take care of her mother until she dies and this limits Pedro who is forced to marry the older sister for his love to Tita. He marries Rosaura so that he can remain close to Tita. "Only hope of being near tita is to marry her sister this is so with a great love for Tita that will never die Esquivel, p.15". the author depicts tradition as bad in that it causes pain and suffering to the characters; on the other hand the good side of traditions are depicted with the rule of Tita where natives accept and appreciate the values of tradition that make them happy. "From that day on, Tita's domain was the "kitchen" and "the joy of living [for her] was wrapped up in the delights of food. Esquivel, p.34"
In Blood Wedding by Frederico Garcia Lorca the three act plot depicts traditions as a barrier to happiness just as in the novel Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. The play as the title depicts becomes bloody with the murder of family members which is the cause of the feuds. And as controversy of the differences between the families erupt traditions take center stage as they cling to traditions to justify their unhappiness. The mother becomes the source of the happiness in her bid to instill in to her son (the bridegroom) the story of his roots. The mother's suspicions that the bride comes from a family involved in the killing of the bridegrooms father and that she had another love life turns violent.
The marriage is filled with controversy since the bride still loves the other man (Leonardo) and has this secretly. The major theme may not be traditions and culture but love and the making of choices but the author depicts of the magnificent and unique culture of the Spanish and Andalusian; for example the dressing "The Mother is dressed in black satin and wears a lace mantilla; The Bridegroom in black corduroy with a great golden chain García Lorca, p.48" and "The Bride enters wearing ruffled white petticoats full of laces and embroidered bands, and a sleeveless white bodice. The Servant is dressed the same way. García Lorca, p.55" The traditions in which family had to get the background of whomever they are to marry is clearly outlined when the bridegroom's mother investigates on the background of the bride and her suspicions are confirmed.
The honor that a woman must be regarded with before marriage is still held where even the neighbors come to inform the mother of the secret affair of the bride and her background. The society traditions of taking revenge no matter the ties is still upheld in the play ad the bridegroom seeks to seek revenge for his murdered father and brother. The wedding was done according to traditions; which was celebrated in pomp and color. In this plot the act of marriage portrayed a move from childhood to adulthood which is according to many cultures that uses occasions and celebrations to reflect a rite of passage and a progression in time and in life.
Culture denies the two lovers a chance to be together since the bride marries another man just for convenience. However the bride and her lover run away thus defying the odds of culture. They also defy culture through their secret meetings at the home of the bridegroom where they give excuses to be with each other. The bride is also finally killed as traditions demands so as to restore the honor of the family after the two men i.e. the bridegroom and Leonardo kill each other in the forest; which though is inhuman tradition is followed. Despite all aspects the blood wedding is set in a strict cultural background that affects all the actions in the acts.