Food as Signifier: A Semiotic Analysis of Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate
Food is something that we all share. We all have a relationship with food and attitudes toward food, from the very beginning of our lives. It is considered essential for the existence of living things, giving nourishment with its nutritional qualities. But far more than its nourishment value, food has surfaced as an object of interest when people began to see it as a part of ‘culture.’ In a cultural setting, different types of food, culinary preparations, eating events, and rituals, and food celebrating occasions are signs/signifiers that generate network of meanings. Food is now recognized as an important area of study, in literature as well. Representation of food in fiction is intertwined with the issues of body, power, gender, class, religion and experience. Recent interest in food studies has opened doors in literary studies to examine how the use of food represents complex ideas and deeper meaning in literature. In this paper, Laura Esquiel’s ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ is taken for analysis. The food signifiers in this novel are analyzed within the framework of cultural studies.
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