In Like Water for Chocolate, why is Tita punished for Rosaura's burned hand?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tita is the youngest of three sisters in Like Water For Chocolate. Life for Tita will be one of duty as she will, by tradition, be expected to care for her mother - her father died when she was two days old - and so, never get married. Tita has an affinity in the kitchen, a "sixth sense," and is a natural cook due, in part, it is believed, to her birth having taken place unannounced, in the kitchen "right there on the kitchen table amid the smells of simmering noodle soup,..."

As a child, she spends all her time there and it is "Tita's realm." Her sisters do not approve as they see playing in the kitchen as dangereous. The one time that Tita does persuade them to come in to the kitchen is when she wants to show them how beautiful it is to watch drops of water "dancing" on the extremely hot griddle. Rosaura is very frightened of Tita's display as she dances and waves her wet hands above the griddle so that water falls on to it but is eventually persuaded to try. Her efforts are guarded and, wanting her to have more enjoyment, Tita holds onto Rosaura's hands. As Rosaura resists, Tita lets go and the momentum carries Rosaura's hands onto the hot grill. Accordingly, Tita is blamed for this and forbidden from playing with her sisters in the kitchen. 

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Like Water for Chocolate

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