Chencha, weeping, was running alongside the carriage as they left and barely managed to toss onto Tita's shoulders the enormous bedspread she had knit during her endless nights of insomnia. It was so large and heavy it didn't fit inside the carriage. Tita grabbed it so tightly that there was no choice but to let it drag behind the carriage like a huge train of a wedding gown that stretched for a full kilometre. Tita used any yarn she happened to have in her bedspread, no matter what the colour and it revealed a kaleidoscopic combination of colours, textures and forms that appeared and disappeared as if by magic in the gigantic cloud of dust that rose up behind it.
The extract that is taken from Like water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is a vivid description of the precise moment when Tita seems to have gone insane with the loss of Roberto. Chencha the maid had found her nursing a dead pigeon instead. The author creates a sense of pathos with the visual picture of Tita feeding the bird without realizing that it was dead. She is also seen covered in pigeon droppings and feathers striking a pathetic pose and drawing on the reader's sympathy.
This extract also reveals to us the character of John Brown, Tita, Chencha and very minimally Mama Elena. "But toward dark he brought Tita down, now dressed and she got into his carriage and drove off with him." This also helps to bring out the character of John Brown as somebody who is capable of convincing and coaxing. He almost makes an insane Tita comply with his request. These words also show John Brown as a patient caring person. Tita is described by the author in this scene as a vulnerable and threatened individual particularly the visual image created by the author of Tita "curled up in a foetal position" creates this picture. "Chencha, weeping, was running alongside the carriage as they left and barely managed to toss onto Tita's shoulders the enormous bedspread she had knit during her endless night of insomnia." This is a reflection of both Chencha's character and her relationship with Tita. Chencha seems to be a very concerned maid, who had taken care of Tita for a long time, and the fact that she is weeping alongside the carriage brings this out. The enormous bedspread that Chencha knitted through her nights of insomnia suggests that she was perhaps an unhealthy and an unhappy person. But on the other hand Chencha comes across as a generous person as well.
The setting of this scene in the dovecote brings out a sense of pain, insecurity and insanity of Tita. It is also seen as a place that hides and protects. The setting is also a strange place for someone to find security. This setting is also a strange place for someone to find security in as described by the text. The fact that pigeon droppings and feathers filled the dovecote and at the same time cover Tita gives us not only an ugly picture but also sends out the idea of a strange place of hiding for Tita. This perhaps is a reflection of the magic realism used by the author in the text.
The use of dialogue in this extract by Mama Elena when she says that Tita is" acting crazy and that she is going to put her in an asylum , there is no place in this house for maniacs" reveals Mama Elena as a tyrant. Mama Elena's constant berating of the character of Tita as represented by the author ironically makes her look more like a maniac herself. The phrase "without a moments delay" suggests the kinetic image of the rapid and quick nature of Chencha. The word asylum used by the author not only suggests a negative term such as, a house for mad people but could also mean a place of refuge for Tita. The passage of time is also suggested by the long moments John Brown spends convincing Tita to get off the dovecote. The author also creates a sense of finality with the phrase, "she got into his carriage and drove off with him." Nobody was allowed to interact with Tita and it looks as if she would not return to the ranch . The words 'corner' and 'curled' for example describe Tita's position on the dovecote where she has locked herself. The use of alliteration in that line creates a clear visual image of the position Tita's taken up and the position both literally and figuratively.
Different visual and kinetic images are created in the last stanza of this extract. Chencha manages to barely toss the bedspread onto Tita's shoulder as she runs alongside of the carriage is a kinetic image. The author has also provided a visual picture of the bedspread by referring to it as enormous, and that it wouldn't have fit in the carriage is suggested by the fact that it trailed behind the carriage.The metaphor of comparing the blanket being dragged by the carriage to that of a wedding gown enhances this visual picture. The carpet dragged behind the carriage could be suggestive of a closer relationship between John Brown and Tita and therefore she is being carried off in this carriage to his house or it can also symbolise the marriage that never happened for Tita.
The tactile and visual imagery described in a riot of colours, textures and forms that stretches across when describing the bedspread lends an air of magic to the visual . A wide bedspread that stretches across a kilometre is part of this strange and uncanny image as well.
The themes that are brought out in this extract might be one of loss since Tita is seen holding a pigeon that has died. The phrase "curled up in a fetal position" helps to bring out the theme of insecurity. We can also say this from seeing Tita's lack of interaction with anybody at the ranch because she is seen staring vacant without knowing what happened around her. The theme of concern, affection and perhaps healing noticed in terms of John Brown's character. We can also see a theme of concern, love and affection in Checha's eyes when she not only wants to help tita overcome the loss of Roberto but also when she gives Tita something that she has been working on tirelessly. The author also suggests a fatalistic theme by the fact that Tita had driven off with John Brown in his carriage. There is also a theme of unconcern in the character of Mama Elena since we don't see her helping Tita to overcome her loss, apart from giving her version of the story to John Brown regarding the incident she couldn't have cared less if she were sent to an asylum.
This extract also focuses on the relationship between characters. Chencha seems to be a supporter of Tita. This is established by her calling the doctor and giving Tita a gift. Brown seems concerned with Tita's condition and the fact that he spent so much of his time convincing her to leave with him is evident of this. Mama Elena and Tita seem to be at loggerheads because the former finds the latter a nuisance to be got rid of.
This extract suggests an atmosphere of tension because of the dialogue used by Mama Elena and the quick rapid movement of Chencha. The tension is even more palpable when Tita seems to leave in this scene. The only hope the reader has rests on the character John Brown. Chencha's weeping, Tita's vacant stare and Brown's patience add to a sense of forwarding represented by the author in this extract.