15 Apr 2022


Cooking Lessons by Rosario Castellanos

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 1427

Pages: 5

Downloads: 0

Cooking lesson is about a Mexican woman who is married and realizes she cannot cook. She intends to use a recipe book, but it still disturbs her mind on how she does not know how to cook and how other chores are also not one of her favourite activities. It is expected that as a woman she should have the instinct knowledge of how to cook. She then decides to make a roasted meat, but it burns and is not edible. Her dilemma is whether to speak the truth about her mishap and risk her husband having another perspective of her or throw it away to hide her failure and suggest that they go for dinner. Discrimination is seen when the society has an expectation, of a woman having natural cooking skills and if she lacks may be judged. It is very unfair because there are situations where one is not exposed to such a life and therefore cannot be able to possess cooking skills (Castellanos, 1988).

In this case the woman feels discriminated for having to have skills that are not a must and worrying about her husband’s reaction to her lack of the skills. As she is cooking, she thinks of how her life has changed since she met her husband. She is required to be an expert in cooking for it is assumed be second in nature to a woman’s skills. The thought of household work does not please her and she is trying to wrap her head around it. Her dilemma is whether to come clean about her situation to the husband though she has fears. The fears are whether her husband will change his perception of her as a wife or should she continue with the pretense of being an expert in cooking and household chores (Castellanos, 1988). 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

As seen the woman is experiencing tremendous change and personal development from the time she was a single woman to the married life. As a single woman one can assume that she did not participate much in women activities in the house and hence lacks the experience. At first, we see her struggle and dilemma on what to do. Despite using a recipe book she still ends up burning the meat that she was cooking. The question is whether she will manage to develop the feeling of discrimination by the society and become a better woman and wife (Castellanos, 1988). 

There are certain character traits that is brought out by the Mexican woman in her development from discrimination. Firstly is the fact that she possessed the quality of patience. As seen in the story, she got married while knowing that she is required to know how to cook as her second nature. Due to that fact she looked for an alternative that would help her in learning how to cook. Her patience is seen when she takes her time to understand the book and put it into practice. Even though it did not turn out as she intended in most cases, she showed the patience to learn and that is encouraging for her. Secondly is determination where she is seen determined to cook her husband some sweet meat and even goes to an extent of wearing an apron to show expertise in what she is doing. She knew very well that she is no expert but is still determined to be one and therefore takes the necessary steps to becoming an expert as the society expects of her (Williams, 1987).

Thirdly is her love for her husband where she is determined to ensure that the husband is pleased by her wifely duties and therefore goes to the extent of using a recipe to make a perfect meal. As the meal did not turn out as intended and was burnt up, she is seen disappointed and in a dilemma for she does not want her husband to change the way he looks at her as a wife. Lastly is the fact that she fears failure and it is seen to the extent in which she is preparing the meal for her husband. She uses recipes to assist in ensuring it is perfect and wearing of an apron is a sign of expertise. Her intention is to seem perfect and therefore is deeply disappointed in how it turned out (Williams, 1987).

There is the Kohlberg theory of moral development which is partly influenced by Piaget whose believe was that moral reasoning is significantly affected by a person’s cognitive ability. The different stages are three and they include; pre-conventional level, conventional level and post conventional levels. Pre conventional level involves, the early stages of childhood where adults punish mistakes and reward good deeds. Such a stage is there to mold a child to become an exemplary adult with basic teachings on morals. At this level the basic do’s and do not’s of the society are taught to the children (Walrath, 2011).

Conventional level involves children following rules to get approval by those they consider close to them. They will follow the rules to get compliments and rewards. Later they then yearn to learn the rules that are placed by the society as a whole. It is seen by the number of questions they ask about their environment and reasons as to why the society practices certain cultures. Post conventional is where flexibility is viewed for now the child has become an adult and self-awareness is taking place. The person now begins to question the societal rules and compares them with their personal view. They start to measure which rule is applicable according to their culture and which does not apply. Ethnical aspects also play a great role in the view of the rules and will help understand the best way to deal with certain rules (Walrath, 2011).

As discussed it is easier to depict that the Mexican woman development process for the Kohlberg theory of moral development best explains her situation. She has gone through the pre-conventional level and conventional levels well as a child. As she grew up she was not exposed to certain cultures and that explains her lack of experience when it comes to kitchen activities. As an adult in the post conventional level, self-awareness takes place where she now relates to the ethnic principles surrounding her. It is expected that a woman should be a kitchen expert for it comes second to her nature. Due to this expectation she is required to change her ways and try to fit the societal expectation. Development is seen through her efforts of using the recipe and trying to find a way to reconcile the fact that she does not know how to cook and yet she is a wife (Walrath, 2011).

The theory leaves out certain aspects according to the Mexican woman’s character in development. It does not explain how she develops to becoming a wife and her dilemma as she leaves her single life into marriage. Marriage is a significant step in human development and it is not easy to transform from single life to marriage life. Different cultures experience it differently but there is the universal aspect of marriage and its expectation of both the husband and wife. In this case, it is about a woman that is experiencing a difficult time to adapt to the societal expectation of her abilities in the kitchen. The society expects her to be a perfect cook and assume that she can execute the duties correctly without any hesitation. Due to this assumption it will be a shock when the husband realizes the wife does not know how to cook to the extent of damaging their relationship. In order to avoid this she goes to an extent of using a recipe book to learn how to cook. The theory did not show the difficulty that comes with moral development in marriage level for it is seen to exist through the ‘Cooking Lessons’ story, (Klasen, 1998).

The story of the Mexican woman has broadened my perspective of personal development considerably. It is seen that the woman does not know how to cook and is not pleased with house hold chores and activities. Such a person’s development would be considered abnormal for it is societal expectation that a woman is brought up to love cooking and house hold activities. In most household’s female children tend to participate in cooking games that make them enjoy cooking. As they grow up, they become more experienced in what is required in the kitchen. On the other hand, one would quickly point out that the culture is discriminating for it is not necessary for a woman to be the cook. Recently, we have seen the rise of cultures where there are no female or male activities for they are all equal. The story shows the rise of such a perspective, and despite the previous way of doing things, it is high time the society finds a way to accommodate such thinking (Jensen & Thornton, 2003).


Castellanos, R. (1988). Cooking Lesson. A Rosario Castellanos Reader , 207-215. 

Jensen, R., & Thornton, R. (2003). Early female marriage in the developing world. Gender & Development , 11 (2), 9-19.

Klasen, S. (1998). Marriage, bargaining, and intrahousehold resource allocation: Excess female mortality among adults during early German development, 1740–1860. The Journal of Economic History , 58 (2), 432-467.

Walrath, R. (2011). Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. In Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development (pp. 859-860). Springer US.

Williams, J. H. (1987). Psychology of women: Behavior in a biosocial context . WW Norton & Co.

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Cooking Lessons by Rosario Castellanos.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

19 Sep 2023

How to Do a SWOT Analysis for Your Business

Running head: SWOT ANALYSIS 1 SWOT Analysis Strengths Strong communication skills Strong creativity and analytical skills I am able to think critically I have emotional intelligence, which helps me to relate...

Words: 284

Pages: 1

Views: 74

19 Sep 2023

Letter of Consent for Research Study

Running head: LETTER OF CONSENT 1 Letter of Consent for Research Study Dear (Participant’s Name): You are invited to participate in a research study on the Routine Activity theory and the hypothesis that the lack...

Words: 283

Pages: 1

Views: 359

17 Sep 2023

Mental Representations and the Mind-Brain Relationship

Often, contemporary controversies underlie the interpretation of the mental representations and the mind-brain relationships through concepts such as monolism, dualism and exclusivity. In my view, the dualism concept...

Words: 1796

Pages: 7

Views: 168

17 Sep 2023

Building a Healthy Marriage

Although sometimes marriage can be problematic, it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences for couples. For instance, couples in a satisfying marriage enjoy happiness, a long and enjoyable life, personal...

Words: 1266

Pages: 5

Views: 344

17 Sep 2023

Devastating Impacts of Domestic Violence

The issue of domestic violence is a growing concern in the present society. Women serve as the key victims of domestic violence, although men and children also feel the devastating effects as well. When couples are...

Words: 2437

Pages: 9

Views: 77

17 Sep 2023

How Emotions Affect Marketing and Sales

The most appealing advertisements use the audience’s emotions as their leverage. They instill fear and the psychology of pain, moderately, to their subjects and use that to their advantage. To remain ethical, most of...

Words: 1113

Pages: 4

Views: 96


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.