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Degree Name

MALS (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies)


Liberal Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Katrina Heil

Committee Members

Marie Tedesco, Mathew Fehskens


First published in 1989 in Spanish and then in 1992 in English, Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate is one of the best known Mexican literary works in the United States. Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, Esquivel's novel has inspired great diversity of critical analysis among critics and scholars. Based on the author's comment regarding her intention to tell entertaining stories, critic Jay Corwin warns against the search for hidden layers to her work. Using as a framework Barthes's notion of the "death of the author" as well as cultural theory's argument that "discourse writes through the author", this work unfolds a diverse array of discourses, such as that of feminism, patriarchy, and parody, that liberate Like Water for Chocolate from the despotism of a single authority controlling the truth of the text and show that the readers are capable of intervening in the work's meaning.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.