Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Matches

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Matches are oh so much more than a way to light a candle in Like Water for Chocolate. When Tita finally escapes from under the rule of Mama Elena, she goes to live with John, who she watches make matches.

Okay, so what does that mean besides that the guy is a science nerd? Cue the metaphor: According to his grandmother, Morning Light, every person has a box of matches inside them that must be lit.

Tita fears that her matches have not only been dampened, but soaked through by her tough past. But John, ever the cheerleader, believes the opposite and encourages her to stay away from those who will try and extinguish her soul (we're guessing that's Mommy dearest).

The trick is for Tita to figure out who can light her fire. Is it Pedro? Dr. Brown? Jim Morrison? Only time will tell, and later on John gives a box of matches to her as a gift. Not exactly roses, or chocolate, but it's the thought that counts, right?

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