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Like Water for Chocolate

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by

Debbie Adcock

on 3 February 2014

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Transcript of Like Water for Chocolate

Onions

Tears
Coldness- coldness symbolizes a broken heart.
Summary
Like Water for Chocolate
Summary, symbols, magical realism, quotes and themes.
January
Summary
Examples of Magical Realism
Themes
Love- Tita finds her true love, Pedro, but is not allowed to marry him because of the De la Garza family traditions.
Food- Tita is born with a love for cooking which is passed on to her from Nacha. Each chapter is revolved around a new family recipe, and the preparations one must take when cooking these family recipes.
Tradition- The book focuses on the legacy of one family, the De la Garzas, and their family traditions. The tradition of cooking, The tradition of keeping the youngest child from marrying, and the tradition of making Christmas roles.
Onions- The onions that are used for cooking whilst Tita is still in her mothers womb, are so strong that they cause Tita to cry inside her mothers womb, which thus brings on an early birth.
Tears- The tears from the onions that caused Tita to have an early birth. Tita now cry's a lot because of these tears that were involved in her birth. These tears of Tita's were so loud that they could be heard from the deaf cook.
The chapter starts out with the onions which are being used to cook with bring on heavy tears to Tita who is still inside her mothers womb. These tears bring on an early birth. Tita was born in the kitchen, smelling all the different kinds of aroma's. This was the reason why she loved to cook and be in the kitchen often. Mama Elena is unable to produce milk to feed Tita with, so she hands her over to Nacha (the cook) who will act as the wet nurse. Surrounded by the colors, smells, and routines of Nacha in the kitchen, Tita grows up understanding the world in terms of food. The kitchen is where she spends most of her time. As the youngest child in the family it is a tradition for Tita to look after her mother and do whatever she says until the day Mama Elena dies, and so when Tita is not in the kitchen she spends the rest of her time following the strict rules of Mama Elena. One day Pedro and his father arrive at the house unannounced to ask for Tita's hand, but Mama Elena refuses this proposal and offers instead the hand of the oldest daughter, Rosaura. This is because it is a tradition that the youngest child in the family is not allowed to get married. Mama Elena's strong unconcern for Tita's feelings shocks everyone, but Pedro decides to agree with the arrangement because this will help him be near Tita who he is actually in love with. Nacha over heard Pedro speaking and told Tita what he had said, and that he still loves her. She was struck by a feeling of coldness, and so to get warm she carries on crocheting a bedspread which she had started working on when she and Pedro first began speaking of getting married.
November
February
Summary
August
Summary
The death of Mama Elena affects Rosaura and she goes into early labor, giving birth to her first and only daughter, Esperanza, a name given to the baby by Tita. Rosaura says that just like Tita, Esperanza will not be allowed to marry.There are complications during the birth leaving Rosaura unable to have another child. Tita has a shower and Pedro watches through the cracks. At dinner, John and Pedro have an argument about politics. After cleaning the kitchen, Tita goes to the dark room and Pedro takes her virginity.
By Rebecca Surtees
Magical Realism
*Heat coming off of Tita's body
*"phosphorescent plumes" given off while Pedro and Tita make love
*Rosaura and Chencha believe Mama Elena's ghost is in the dark room
*Death of Mama Elena causing the premature birth of Esperanza
Themes
Themes
*Lust, passion and intimacy: When Tita and Pedro make love for the first time in the dark room
*Tension: The tension between John and Pedro at dinner. Also between Tita and Rosaura
*Birth: Esperanza is born
*Tradition: The tradition of the youngest girl having to look after her mother till she dies is explored in August
Love:
Pedro confesses the real reason for his marriage to Rosaura - to be closer to Tita
Tita feels a strong sense of love towards Nacha when they are working together in the kitchen. When she dies, Tita realises just how much she needs her.
Loss:
Tita loses Pedro to Rosaura when they marry.
Nacha and every other guest who eat the wedding cake feel a strong sense of longing for love.
The De La Garza family loses their cook and their friend, Nacha, when she dies.
Symbolism/Magical Realism
While preparing the wedding cake, Tita goes through various hallucinations. The first strange thing to happen to her is she starts to feel cold. After her confrontation with Pedro, a feeling of warmth is sparked inside her.
Tita thinks that she hears a chicken inside one of the eggs for the wedding cake.
Tita's tears caused from heartbreak interfere with the cake and causes everyone to feel similar emotions and start vomitting.
Tita contracts a blindness of the sort - she can only see the colour white. Her mind is fixed on the ideas of the wedding cake and gown, as well as the bed sheet. She cannot see the pinkness of the meringue
March
Themes:
Themes:
Magical Realism:
Tita is made in charge of all household meals, following of sudden Nacha's death. Pedro gives Tita a rose as a display of his affection, and she secretly uses it to cook Quail in Rose Petal Sauce. To Mama Elena's disapproval, Pedro compliments Tita on her wonderful culinary skills which leaves Rosaura feeling self conscious. The meal deeply arouses Gertrudis and she becomes hot and flustered and smelling of roses. After the meal she goes ourside to have a shower, which just creates steam because of all the bodily heat she is emitting. The shower bursts into flames and Gertrudis runs out, naked, in a flustered panic. The rose smelling steam attracts a soldier who is drawn to her by the smell. They meet in a field, and she, completely naked, jumps on the back of his horse and ride off together into the distance engaging in passionate and lustful embrace. Witnessing the entire thing, Tita feels lonely and sexually frustrated. That evening she starts to write a cookbook with stories attached to each meal she has cooked.
-Anger
-Jealousy
-Longing
-Betrayal
-Choices
-Tita singing to the beans to make them cook.
-The chickens fighting that turned into a whirl wind after they ate the tortilla Tita had broken for them while she was fighting with Rosaura.
May
Summary
Tita has to bath Mama Elena in the dark room where no one but Tita can see her naked. The rebels come to raid the ranch for food and Mama Elena stands up to them and does not let them inside the house. There is news that Roberto, Rosaura and Pedro's son, dies. Tita and Chencha cry when hearing the news but Mama Elena does not allow them to grieve and feels no loss herself. Tita blamed Mama Elena for Roberto's death and Mama Elena hit her. Tita ran and hid in the dovecote and no one could get her out. Eventually, Mama Elena called Dr John Brown to take her to an asylum. Dr Brown talks to her in the dovecote and after a while, Tita leaves the ranch with him.
July
Themes
Themes
Themes
Symbols
Magical realism
Summary
Monthly Recipe
The theme of love plays a major role in this chapter. It shows itself to be stronger than any bond, including marriage. Mama Elena's regulations are not strong enough to break the intense passion and chemistry that exists between Tita and Pedro. Love and passion also lead the way to Gertrudis breaking free from Mama Elena's harsh discipline and away from the ranch.
Death is a big theme in this chapter as Roberto dies and the rebels come and kill all the animals on the ranch that they can find for food.
Violence is seen when Mama Elena hits Tita and breaks her nose. It also appears when the rebels come and Mama Elena threatens them.

The creation of food fueled by emotions is prevalent in every chapter, including this one. Tita transfers the love and passion she feels for Pedro, through the Quail and Rose Petal Sauce and in turn he is able to sense her lust for him, through each and every morsel. "With that meal it seemed they had discovered a new system of communication...through which the singular sexual message was passed." [page 49]
Sausages were swarming with worms
Tita found in dovecote naked, covered in pigeon droppings and feathers with a broken nose. Symbol of Tita hitting rock bottom and not being able to listen to Mama Elena any longer.
Baby pigeons left in the dovecote where a symbol of Tita's maternal nature and shows the fact that she always likes to have something to look after and care for.
Symbolism/ Magical Realism
Symbols
Magical Realism
Tita does not want to get rid of the beautiful roses given to her by Pedro, and while she is wondering what to do, she seems to hear Nacha whispering a 'prehispanic' recipe involving rose petals.
Tita's passion and love for Pedro is infused within the meal and acts like an "aphrodisiac" for Gertrudis, while she eats the Quail and Rose Petal Sauce.

The falling water from the shower turns to steam because of the heat and lustful energy that is being emitted from her body. This in turn sets the shower alight and causes her to run out naked, with fear.
Symbols
The day of Pedro and Rosaura's wedding means for a chaotic day in the De La Garza family. Tita and Nacha are given the important task of making the wedding cake. Due to the stress in the kitchen and all her emotions about Pedro, Tita becomes very upset. She cries endless tears, some of which fall into the cake batter. Nacha insists that Tita retires from the kitchen to recover from her breakdown.
Before the wedding, Pedro confesses his love for Tita and assures her that he is only marrying Rosaura to get closer to her. Tita is overwhelmed with confusion and emotions. Back in the kitchen, Nacha tastes some of the cake mixture and suddenly aches of longing for a long-lost lover. Once again Pedro expresses his love for Tita, but this time at the wedding and under the suspicious eyes of Mama Elena.
After eating the wedding cake, all the guests start to feel a sense of longing for love and they all become sick. Rosaura insists that Tita purposefully ruined her wedding.
Tita looks for comfort in Nacha but finds her dead with a photograph of her ex-lover in hands.
The roses - The roses represent Pedro's eternal love for Tita and the great passion that exists between them.
The burning shower - this represents the disintegrating control that Mama Elena has over Gertrudis.
Symbols
*The kitchen- a symbol of Tita and Esperanza's relationship, as well as a symbol for the traditions that both Tita and Esperanza live under
*The dark room- becomes a symbol of Tita an
November
Summary
Beans with Chilli Tezcucana Style
Tita continues to nurse Pedro back to health.

She is making tamales for dinner to feed Dr Brown and his Aunt Mary –yet she feels guilty as she thinks she will have to disappoint them by calling off the wedding as she is no longer a virgin.

Pedro is angry that Dr Brown wants to marry Tita and threatens to tell him that he had impregnated Tita. Tita tells him not to as she is no longer pregnant. Pedro is devastated and “turns into a monster of selfishness and suspicion”.

Rosaura surprises Tita by emerging from her "week-long" exile and confronts Tita about her relationship with Pedro. The two sisters fight.

Rosaura tells Tita that she may no longer prepare meals for Esperanza and that she “will continue to keep you from getting anywhere near my daughter”.

Rosaura also repeats her intentions to keep Esperanza from marriage as tradition dictates.

After the fight Tita is upset and breaks the tortilla in anger and frustration.

A fight breaks out among the chickens to which she fed the tortilla pieces.

When the frenzy has subsided Tita returns to the kitchen and continue cooking the tamales which hasn't cooked - Tamales cannot be cooked if they 'witnessed' a fight.

While Tita is dressing she remembers her teacher Jovita who was widowed at a young age and went crazy.

Tita begins dinner with John and his aunt with apprehension as she knows she must end her engagement.

John senses something wrong and the two speak in Spanish to keep the matter from Aunt Mary (who is deaf and can only read lips in English).

Tita reveals everything to John. Though disappointed, John says he still loves Tita and wants to marry her regardless the situation. However he asks her to decide for herself with which man she wants to spend her life.
Magical Realism
Tita thinks that the accident may have affected Pedro’s mind and that perhaps his head was “full of smoke his body had given off when it burned and just as burnt toast changes the way the whole house smells, making it unpleasant, so his smoky brain was producing black thoughts, turning his usually pleasant words into awful ones.”

The chilaquiles don’t taste as good as usual as there is no company to enjoy them with.

Rosaura emerges from her room after a week without food looking very thin “it seemed impossible that she had lost 65 pounds in just 7 days, but so she had.”

Whenever Rosaura comes back to the ranch “she gets fat again!”

Tita angrily breaks the crusts off the tortillas and gives them to the chickens that start to make a ruckus on the patio. “It seemed they’d gone mad... they were giving little pecks at each other trying to snatch the tortilla pieces...they hopped and flew wildly in every direction, launching violent attacks”. The chickens were pecking each other’s eyes out and Esperanza’s white nappies are sprayed with blood.

Tita tries to break up the fight by throwing water on them but this enrages them further. “They formed a circle each one setting dizzily upon the next. Soon the chickens were inescapably trapped by the force they themselves were generating...blood and dust that spun faster and faster, gathering force at every turn until it changed into as mighty tornado, destroying everything in its path.”

Esperenza’s nappies are destroyed and Tita is swept away to the other end of the Patio. The hen hurricane bores a hole into the dirt of the patio, “a hole so deep that most chickens disappeared from the face of the earth. The earth swallowed them up.
June
summary
Tita who is very traumatized has been taken into care by Doctor John Brown. John who is very caring and compassionate tries too look after Tita and nurture her back to her right frame of mind. Tita starts to realise her new freedom away from the ranch and Mama Elena. Although Tita continues to remain silent her and John bond over his experiments in his late grandmothers laboratory. Tita starts to communicate with an elderly lady who reminds her of Nacha, she soon discovers that she was talking to the ghost of John's grandmother. John one day when explaining to Tita about how to make matches and tells her that everyone has matches inside of them and how one day you will find someone who will light your matches but you must be careful not to let all the matches burn all at once this can happen if there is too much passion at once, he says how we must protect our matches. Tita thinks back to how Pedro lites up her matches and then Mama Elena would put them out. John tries to get Tita to tell him why she doesn't want to talk and says that she must paint on the wall with glow in the dark paint her reason so no one will see it, when its dark John goes to see, it says "because I don't want to"
Themes
Anger - Pedro towards Tita for her hesitation of confronting John
Jealousy - From Pedro towards John and Tita
Betrayal - Between John and Tita and Pedro (with Tita) and Rosaura (because by law they are still married and Pedro has acted on adultery)
Confrontation - Between Tita and Rosaura, Pedro and John
theme's
freedom is a big theme in this chapter as Tita experences freedom for the first time she no longer has to follow the orders of Mama Elena.

magical realism
Tita sees a ghost and starts to talk with her, the ghost who is John's grandmother reminds her of Nacha.
September
-Tita makes the cocoa balm
-Tita thinks she is pregnant as she has missed her period and she doesn't know how to tell Pedro.
-As she makes it,Tita remembers when she and her sisters would eat the King's Day Bread when they were children.
-Rosaura, who is still fat, now suffers from bad breath and flatulence and she and Pedro now sleep in seperate bedrooms. She confides in Tita.
- Rosaura mentions that she wants Esparanza to follow the family tradition and look after her (Rosaura) when she is old. Tita is angered by this remark.
-Mama Elena appears and shouts at Tita
-Gertrudis arrives at the ranch and is now married to Juan and is now a general.
-Later, Gertrudis and Juan have a baby and it is mixed race. Juan thinks Gertrudis cheated and wants to leave her. Tita tells them of Gertrudis' true father to resolve this situation.

Summary
Symbols and Magical Realism
-Bad breath and Flatulence
-Tita and Rosaura's relationship was 'water in boiling oil'
-The icy blast invades the room (Mama Elena)
-The appearance of Mama Elena
-Pulque's (the dog) reaction to Mama Elena's 'presence')
Themes
symbols
Tita's hands:
Tita's hands represent her freedom as they (her hands) no longer have to follow her mothers commands.

December
Summery
- Tita and Chencha prepare for a mystery wedding that turns out to be the wedding of Esperenza and Alex, Johns son.
- 10 years have passed
- Tita had left John for Pedro
- Tita and Pedro have lived together for all that time under Rosaura's rules, keeping their love secret
- Rosaura died a year earlier of extreme flatulence
- Pedro whispers in Tita's ear at the wedding that he wants to marry her
- John Brown never remarried
- Chencha has had a baby
- Gutrudis arrives with Juan looking very modern and attractive
- The Chili's in walnut sauce arouse everyone and the guests end up having sex anywhere they end up
- Pedro and Tita make love and as they unite all the matches inside them ignite
- The explosion inside pedro is so strong that he dies
- Tita doesn't want to be alive without him so she eats all of the matches and covers herself in his quilt and thinks of him until the light burns inside her so brightly that she too goes into 'the tunnel' to be with Pedro.
Themes
- Marriage: The marriage of Alex and Esperenza and Pedro's proposal to Tita
- Sexual desire: the walnut sauce and chili's make everyone aroused and Tita and Pedro make passionate love
- Death: The death of Pedro and Tita
- Freedom: Since Rosaura died, Pedro and Tita are free to be together and Alex and Esperenza are free to marry
- Love: Tita loves Pedro so much that she doesnt want to exist without him

Magical Realism
- The chilis in walnut sauce arouse everyone
- People making love on top of trees, in rivers, anywhere they can
- All the matches inside Tita and Pedro are lit causing them to die
- The quilt covers the whole ranch

Symbols
- The chili's in walnut sauce
- The matches Tita eats
- The quilt Tita sewed for Pedro
-
Full transcript