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It seems as if most Latin novels and films are very infatuated with depicting strong and passionate love. Both “Like Water for Chocolate” and “Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon” represented love in its pure nature and in its various stages. In both literary works love was repressed by outside parties, Tita’s love was repressed by Mama Elena and Gabriela’s love was periodically suppressed by societal codes. The Latin writers and directors do a very good job in depicting the roller coaster ride called love. Both films accentuated the role of love and food in Latin society. Coincidentally both titles contain culinary references, which further accentuate the intensity of the love. While societal circumstances seemed to be absent from “Like Water for Chocolate”, they often played a significant role in” Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon” .Although the novel “Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon” delivers a more potent form of social commentary then “Like Water for Chocolate”, the two were inherently similar in so far as their major focus was love and the obstacles it faced. .
The novel “Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon” contains two stories which occasionally intertwine. One story is that of the battle between the old forces who want to preserve Ilheus in its stagnant and backward state partially in fear that opening the harbor could make the region more vulnerable to new and radical ideas. The people on the other hand believed that trade would lead to a more enlightened society. A society where wealth would be better distributed amongst the people would shortly follow. This was an idea that didn’t sit very well with the rich lords who already had hit the ceiling in respect to the money and power they can attain. Things were very clearly defined in the old Ilheus culture, by the strength of the man and his heavy hand. This was evident by the opening scene where a man killed his wife for adultery and it was later speculated that he would be found innocent.