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Course Description

We will consider two best-selling novels and their award-winning film adaptations. Both are modern adult fables that use the magic of chocolate and food preparation to address gender identity, societal repression, and religious orthodoxy in life-affirming, creative and delightful prose. Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-17, Like Water for Chocolate is included in any serious discussion of Latin American magic realism. Chocolat, a charming example of feminist magical realism, is set in a small French village where a single mother with her young daughter arrives to open a chocolate shop - just before Lent, setting the stage for a conflict between the enshrined patriarchal traditions of the Catholic church and other, primordial forces. In both novels, food is presented as the magical vehicle for subversive feminist expression. Both films will be shown in class: We will discuss how the adaptations differ from the books, and why you think changes were made. Lecture (plus Questions), Facilitated Discussion, Viewing Videos
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