Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Love

By Laura Esquivel

Love

"When you're told there's no way you can marry the woman you love and your only hope of being near her is to marry her sister, wouldn't you do the same?" (1, 54)

To marry or not to marry…Pedro is pretty confident in his decision to marry Rosaura but his dad is just a teensy bit skeptical.

"No, Papa, I am going to marry with a great love for Tita that will never die." (1, 57)

Again, Pedro is defending his feelings for Tita and his plan to marry her sister. Is it a great sacrifice he's making, or just a really, really bad idea?

"Lord, this is not lust or lewdness but to make a child to serve you." (2, 152)

Mmm, sexy. Pedro thinks this right before he sleeps with Rosaura for the first time. From the way he acts toward her, and how little they touch throughout the novel, we're pretty sure there's nothing hot or steamy about their bedroom activities.

Like silent spectators to a movie, Pedro and Tita began to cry watching the stars act out the love that was denied to them. (3, 196)

Those "stars" are Gertrudis and the rebel soldier, who do everything Pedro and Tita can only fantasize about. Talk about needing an icy cold shower ASAP.

"I've never needed a man for anything; all by myself, I've done all right with my ranch and my daughters. Men aren't that important in this life, Father […]." (4, 284)

On the one hand, we love Mama E's feminist attitude here; on the other hand, she's not so liberal when it comes to her daughters. Can someone be both a feminist and machismo?

"My grandmother had a very interesting theory; she said that each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves." (6, 396)

A metaphor, a symbol, a way of helping Tita through her tough times, John shares this theory with her when she comes to live with him.

Mama Elena, who hadn't shed a single tear over her husband's death, was sobbing silently. (2, 148)

Even Mama E weeps. Here we see that the toughest, hardest of men and women can be affected by love. For better or worse, we're all just fluffy marshmallows on the inside.

But the weeping was just the first symptom of a strange intoxication—an acute attack of pain and frustration—that seized the guests and scattered them across the patio and the grounds and in the bathrooms, all of them wiling over lost love. (2, 148)

Is it really better to have loved and lost? In this scene at Rosaura and Pedro's wedding, people don't seem happy.

[…] Pedro went to [Tita], extinguished the lamp, pulled her to a brass bed […] and throwing himself upon her, caused her to lose her virginity and learn of true love. (8.537)

This is the first time the pair gets it on. They keep doing it (and doing it well) in the dark room, which nobody enters for fear of Mama Elena's ghost. Score.

"Are you more in love with him or with me?" (11.784)

Oh, John. Nice guys (and gringos) do finish last, as Tita ends up picking Pedro. We kinda always knew it was coming, but still, we can't help feeling bad for the guy.