Like Water for Chocolate and Master Harold: Oppression


In the two novels, Master Harold...and the boys and the boys, and Like
Water for Chocolate, there are many symbolic similarities. In both books there
are acts where individuals strongly oppressed, or discriminated against.
Although the individuals are being oppressed for different reasons their
emotions are shattered deeply. In Athol Fugard\'s book Master Harold and the
boys, an older man is discriminated against by a younger child only because the
older man is black and the child is white. In Laura Esquivel\'s book Like water
for chocolate, a girl by the name of "Tita" is oppressed by her own mother
because of the soul reason of being the youngest child, therefore lying in her
destiny to serve her mother till death, and being unable to decide her own
destiny. However in both cases there are signs of rebellion, and protestation,
even though both novels do not end the same end the same, both Sam and Tita get
their point across.

Hally is a young white boy living in Africa, it is safe to say that he
was raised by a black man by the name of Sam. Now Hally is starting to grow up
and he is noticing things which he did not notice when he was younger. He
realized that where he lives white people have certain rights over black people.
Hally owns a cafe and he has got two black men working for him, one of which is
Sam. Hally walks in one morning and finds Willie and Sam dancing, preparing for
a dance contest. "Hally- Think you stand a chance. Act your bloody age! (Hurls
the rag at Willie) Cut out the nonsense now and get on with your work. And you
too, Sam. Sop fooling around " (Athol Fugard, Master Harold and the boys 18).
Hally criticizes Sam by asking him sarcastically if he really thinks that he is
good enough to win a dancing contest. Hally screams at Willie and Sam for making
a mistake, this is ironic because Willie and Sam are in their forties while
Hally is not even a teenager yet. Hally has power over Sam and Willie because of
their difference in skin color.

Tita falls deeply in love with a man by the name of Pedro. Pedro asks
Tita to get married, she would love to marry Pedro but she knows that her
destiny is to take care of her mother till death. Tita will confront her mother
and ask her permission to marry the man he loves. "If he intends to ask for your
hand, tell him not to bother. He\'ll be wasting his time and mine too. You know
perfectly well that being the youngest daughter means you have to take care of
me until the day I die" (Laura Esquivel, Like Water for chocolate 10). Tita
loves Pedro dearly and would love to marry him, but her mother refuses to grant
her permission because she is the youngest daughter and her task in life being
to take care of her mother till death.

Sam is like a father figure to Hally but yet he doesn\'t respect him,
because of the color of his skin. "Hally- Don\'t turn your back on me! I haven\'t
finished talking (He grabs Sam by the arm and tries to make him turn around. Sam
reacts with a flash of anger" (54). Hally does not respect Sam, he not only
orders him around but becomes violent when Sam does not listen to him. He treats
Sam like a dog.

Mama Elena refuses to let her youngest daughter get married, to make the
situation worse she Pedro and his dad show up at the ranch to ask permission
from mama Elena to get married to Tita. Mama Elena refuses to approve on the
marriage of her youngest daughter. "But if you really want Pedro to get married,
allow me to suggest my daughter Rosaura, who\'s just two years older than Tits.
She is one hundred percent available, and ready for marriage" (13). Not only
does mama Elena disapprove the marriage of Pedro and Tita but she offers Rosaura,
which is an older daughter.

Hally is not grateful for what Sam has done for him in life. He
understands that Sam cannot do anything to him, because he is white and Sam is
black. Hally therefor Hally takes advantage of this, by degrading Sam whenever
he can. "Hally- (quietly) Sam.. (Sam stops and looks expectantly at the boy.
Hally spits in his face. A long and heartfelt groan