Como Agua Para Chocolate - Luz del amanecer

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ella156
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#1
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#1
Hola! I'm studying CAPC for the literature aspect of Spanish a level, and was wondering if anyone could help me understand the importance of the character el Kikapu in the novel. I get the basics but was wondering the best approach to analysing her character if that situation arises in the essay! Thank you
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jemmm01
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#2
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#2
Hola! I did Spanish A-level last year and dug up some notes

I remember seeing a sample question on the importance of herbal medicines in the novel. You can definitely link this to La Kikapú and how regardless of her medicinal practices being unconventional and the fact that the rest of her in-laws did not bother even acknowledging her customs and traditions, she proved herself successful when she healed John’s great-grandfather Peter from lung disease. This was after his wife Mary, who knew something about medicine tried to save him using modern techniques: “no con hierbas como la kikapú!” - p 122.
(Ironically La Kikapú’s traditional method works instead which is the main point lol)
“A partir de ese día, la Kikapú se convirtió en el médico de la familia y fue plenamente reconocida como curandera milagrosa entre la comunidad norteamericana.’ - P. 124

I think it's important to remember the difference between her 2 names as well; you can use 'La Kikapú' as evidence as to how her husband's family degraded her to begin with.
- La Kikapú - the ‘offensive’ name given to her by John’s family (P.121-122): “Para los Browns, la palabra kikapú encerraba lo más desagradable de este mundo”
- Luz de amanecer - “… pero no así para Luz del amanecer” ... “para ella significaba todo lo contrario y era un motiva enorme de orgullo. “ - p 122.

Despite being called a derogatory name because of her indigenous origins I suppose she ignored this and maintained the name ‘Morning Light’ for herself whilst continued pursuing her personal studying - which shows her resilience.

Also, she was the one who founded the matchbox theory (where one needs to find someone they love to strike their ‘matches’), one of the key ideas in the novel which John tells Tita about, in which he acknowledges that it originally came from his grandmother.
Remember this is what happens to Pedro and Tita at the end (when they die after having sex lol) because they ‘lit all the matches at once’.
The other part of the theory was to not be near people who are cold (Mama Elena for Tita) otherwise they can ‘extinguish your matches’.

Essentially, La Kikapú’s theory outlines major events (throughout the whole magic realism vibe of the novel) regarding Tita’s relationship with Mama Elena as well as being manifested in the last scene where too much intensity led to the death of Tita and Pedro.

Also, towards the end of ch. 6 John says that his grandmother was able to read his thoughts.
From this you can infer that she was a very wise and intuitive woman, in addition to her medicinal talents. So perhaps these are some examples you can talk about if you get a character question on her. Having said that I would say relative to the rest of the other themes in the novel she is not quite as big, but nevertheless still important to remember!

I suggest you reread chapter 6 of the novel - when Tita has escaped the ranch and stay’s at John ’s house - to remind yourself of her role in the novel and you can find good quotes
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ella156
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#3
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#3
(Original post by jemmm01)
Hola! I did Spanish A-level last year and dug up some notes

I remember seeing a sample question on the importance of herbal medicines in the novel. You can definitely link this to La Kikapú and how regardless of her medicinal practices being unconventional and the fact that the rest of her in-laws did not bother even acknowledging her customs and traditions, she proved herself successful when she healed John’s great-grandfather Peter from lung disease. This was after his wife Mary, who knew something about medicine tried to save him using modern techniques: “no con hierbas como la kikapú!” - p 122.
(Ironically La Kikapú’s traditional method works instead which is the main point lol)
“A partir de ese día, la Kikapú se convirtió en el médico de la familia y fue plenamente reconocida como curandera milagrosa entre la comunidad norteamericana.’ - P. 124

I think it's important to remember the difference between her 2 names as well; you can use 'La Kikapú' as evidence as to how her husband's family degraded her to begin with.
- La Kikapú - the ‘offensive’ name given to her by John’s family (P.121-122): “Para los Browns, la palabra kikapú encerraba lo más desagradable de este mundo”
- Luz de amanecer - “… pero no así para Luz del amanecer” ... “para ella significaba todo lo contrario y era un motiva enorme de orgullo. “ - p 122.

Despite being called a derogatory name because of her indigenous origins I suppose she ignored this and maintained the name ‘Morning Light’ for herself whilst continued pursuing her personal studying - which shows her resilience.

Also, she was the one who founded the matchbox theory (where one needs to find someone they love to strike their ‘matches’), one of the key ideas in the novel which John tells Tita about, in which he acknowledges that it originally came from his grandmother.
Remember this is what happens to Pedro and Tita at the end (when they die after having sex lol) because they ‘lit all the matches at once’.
The other part of the theory was to not be near people who are cold (Mama Elena for Tita) otherwise they can ‘extinguish your matches’.

Essentially, La Kikapú’s theory outlines major events (throughout the whole magic realism vibe of the novel) regarding Tita’s relationship with Mama Elena as well as being manifested in the last scene where too much intensity led to the death of Tita and Pedro.

Also, towards the end of ch. 6 John says that his grandmother was able to read his thoughts.
From this you can infer that she was a very wise and intuitive woman, in addition to her medicinal talents. So perhaps these are some examples you can talk about if you get a character question on her. Having said that I would say relative to the rest of the other themes in the novel she is not quite as big, but nevertheless still important to remember!

I suggest you reread chapter 6 of the novel - when Tita has escaped the ranch and stay’s at John ’s house - to remind yourself of her role in the novel and you can find good quotes
omg wow thank you so much! This is so helpful! Also, if you don't mind - I have another question! What did you find to be the most effective way of revising for Spanish literature and film? I never know what the best way to learn all the content is so usually just end up making notes about themes and characters etc. Thank you so much again!!
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jemmm01
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#4
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#4
(Original post by ella156)
omg wow thank you so much! This is so helpful! Also, if you don't mind - I have another question! What did you find to be the most effective way of revising for Spanish literature and film? I never know what the best way to learn all the content is so usually just end up making notes about themes and characters etc. Thank you so much again!!
no problem!
Also just heard your exams got cancelled :/ but nevertheless they'll come up with some alternative grading system so i hope these tips are useful in any event haha

Yeah so characters and themes, that you're already doing are pretty much the main thing!! I guess after that it's just organising the notes.
- making mind maps/info sheets- (typed or written) of these. For me our teacher gave us lots of quote sheets, worksheets, practice essays etc and had lots of discussions. You accumulate lots of notes from this but it's just kinda all over the place and not all useful! So perhaps having a 'master mind map' or 'master google doc' - one for characters with each character as a subheading (and do the same for themes), filter through your classnotes and add most important info to your revision notes. Also writing respective quotes and who said it under each subheading plus do your own mini analysis of the quote and why it shows a certain quality about character 'x', or for themes why it illustrates that theme. (as this is essentially what you do in the exam essay Q!)
- have them in separate folders/binders (you probs already do this)
- quizlet (or physical flashcards if you prefer) is a good way to learn the quotes
- memorise sentence starters / good essay phrases e.g subjunctive that you can throw in to any essay and gain more language marks hehe, the revision book i linked below has lots of these
- probs sound quite weird (but remember so many people in gcse english lit who never read the books and only summaries lol) - making sure you acc read the text, for me personally i found Como Agua Para Chocolate difficult to read (older mexican spanish!! ) so I actually just read the whole english version (Like Water for Chocolate) so I could understand the story fully and faster, and then as i went along, highlighted the key quotes in my english copy and then just cross-referenced and highlighted the spanish equivalent of the quote in the spanish copy.
- do lots of practice essays (and if you can, get them marked!), i had a really lovely spanish teacher who was happy to mark any other extra essays I did in addition to ones she set us. After our late afternoon classes I would then stay for a extra couple of minutes and she would feedback to me. It's going the extra mile but I wasn't strong with grammar in my essay writing so seeing her corrections and also her talk through WWW/EBI was really helpful!

I never actually got to revising fully for this exam coz they were cancelled last minute for me but I think if I had my finished notes would have been: key themes, characters and the quotes relevant to them. The nice thing about literature/film (unlike sciences for example haha) is that you don't need to know every single detail, it's more like having a good general understanding of the story, its characters and themes. The only things you acc have to memorise are some quotes I suppose.

revision book that helped for CAPC :]
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Lang...9797931&sr=8-2
Last edited by jemmm01; 1 year ago
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ella156
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#5
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#5
a

(Original post by jemmm01)
no problem!
Also just heard your exams got cancelled :/ but nevertheless they'll come up with some alternative grading system so i hope these tips are useful in any event haha

Yeah so characters and themes, that you're already doing are pretty much the main thing!! I guess after that it's just organising the notes.
- making mind maps/info sheets- (typed or written) of these. For me our teacher gave us lots of quote sheets, worksheets, practice essays etc and had lots of discussions. You accumulate lots of notes from this but it's just kinda all over the place and not all useful! So perhaps having a 'master mind map' or 'master google doc' - one for characters with each character as a subheading (and do the same for themes), filter through your classnotes and add most important info to your revision notes. Also writing respective quotes and who said it under each subheading plus do your own mini analysis of the quote and why it shows a certain quality about character 'x', or for themes why it illustrates that theme. (as this is essentially what you do in the exam essay Q!)
- have them in separate folders/binders (you probs already do this)
- quizlet (or physical flashcards if you prefer) is a good way to learn the quotes
- memorise sentence starters / good essay phrases e.g subjunctive that you can throw in to any essay and gain more language marks hehe, the revision book i linked below has lots of these
- probs sound quite weird (but remember so many people in gcse english lit who never read the books and only summaries lol) - making sure you acc read the text, for me personally i found Como Agua Para Chocolate difficult to read (older mexican spanish!! ) so I actually just read the whole english version (Like Water for Chocolate) so I could understand the story fully and faster, and then as i went along, highlighted the key quotes in my english copy and then just cross-referenced and highlighted the spanish equivalent of the quote in the spanish copy.
- do lots of practice essays (and if you can, get them marked!), i had a really lovely spanish teacher who was happy to mark any other extra essays I did in addition to ones she set us. After our late afternoon classes I would then stay for a extra couple of minutes and she would feedback to me. It's going the extra mile but I wasn't strong with grammar in my essay writing so seeing her corrections and also her talk through WWW/EBI was really helpful!

I never actually got to revising fully for this exam coz they were cancelled last minute for me but I think if I had my finished notes would have been: key themes, characters and the quotes relevant to them. The nice thing about literature/film (unlike sciences for example haha) is that you don't need to know every single detail, it's more like having a good general understanding of the story, its characters and themes. The only things you acc have to memorise are some quotes I suppose.

revision book that helped for CAPC :]
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Lang...9797931&sr=8-2
aah thank you so much this is amazingly helpful!! My school is still putting mocks on - even though we're in lockdown and exams have been cancelled:/ but that means I have my literature paper next week! But thank you so much!!
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jemmm01
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#6
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#6
(Original post by ella156)
a


aah thank you so much this is amazingly helpful!! My school is still putting mocks on - even though we're in lockdown and exams have been cancelled:/ but that means I have my literature paper next week! But thank you so much!!
oh gosh yeah that's intense, i suppose they want to push it through so they have some more tangible grades they'll use to base your final grade on. good luck though - you'll do really well!!
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