How do Tita's recipes reveal her character throughout "Like Water for Chocolate"?

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reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Tita was washed into this world on a great tide of tears that spilled over the edge of the table and flooded across the kitchen floor" (January, Chap.One, "Christmas Rolls"). From the very opening of this work, Tita's life is connected to two motifs: Sadness and the The Kitchen. We know her sorrow comes from Mama Elena's rule that Tita must care for her and never marry.Tita is never permitted to show her emotion for Pedro,her lover, once he marries her sister, Rosaura. Tita is bound to the kitchen by her love for Nacha and her amazing ability to cook.

Esquivel sets up this plot, then, to allow Tita to express emotion through her recipes. If Tita is sad, February, "Chabela Wedding Cake," for Pedro and her sister's wedding, "Everyone was flooded with a great wave of longing." When Tita is passionate, March, "Quail in Rose Petal Sauce" : "This woman desperately needed a man to quench the red-hot fire that was raging inside her." You can examine any chapter/recipe in the novel and discover  Tita's emotions. Also note that even though the chapters run the course of one year, the 12 months are Tita's entire life span, so as you examine the recipes, look for what is occurring during that period of her life!

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Like Water for Chocolate

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