Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Chapter 11

By Laura Esquivel

Chapter 11

NOVEMBER, Beans with Chile Tezcucana-Style

  • In honor of John and his Aunt Mary (who came from Pennsylvania to attend their wedding), Tita prepares the yummy bean dish.
  • She also fixes Pedro's breakfast—when he learns of her meal for John he gets pissed.
  • Pedro wants Tita to tell John she's 1) not marrying him and 2) she's preggers with Pedro's lovechild.
  • Tita refuses and Pedro threatens to do it for her.
  • Not so fast, chico. Tita tells P-daddy that she's not pregnant.
  • In a not-so-cute way, Pedro gets sulky and asks if she's having doubts about being with him.
  • Tita is shocked by his attitude and thinks he has turned into a "monster of selfishness and suspicion" (11,721). Agreed.
  • Tita has to eat lunch alone whilst Chencha is off having her first baby (when that happened, we're not exactly sure).
  • Just as Tita digs in Rosaura comes into the kitchen, somehow 65 pounds lighter in 7 days…take that, Jenny Craig.
  • They lock eyes whilst Tita breaks the ends of her tortillas for the chicken.
  • Rosaura breaks the silence and they get into a huge argument about Pedro, family tradition, and Esperanza.
  • Rosaura tells Tita she can sneak around with Pedro and be a "loose woman" but that she intends to be his wife.
  • Esperanza starts to wail and cry.
  • Rosaura leaves and tells Tita that she can never feed Esperanza again.
  • Natch, Tita's hurt and wishes Rosaura would be "swallowed up by the earth" (11,745).
  • Tita feeds the tortilla pieces to the chickens and stares at the handmade diapers she made for Esperanza hanging on the clothesline.
  • Hitchcock would love this scene: the chickens peck at each other for the last scraps of tortilla and one starts pecking out the eyes of every hen.
  • The birds spray Esperanza's white diapers with blood, destroy everything, sweep Tita off her feet, and fling her to the opposite end of the patio.
  • Shaken (we would be more than shaken), Tita goes inside and sees that her beans are undercooked.
  • She remembers that Nacha said when people argue food won't cook well and the only solution is to sing to the food.
  • Tita sings a waltz and thinks of the first meeting with Pedro in the dark room.
  • Eureka. The beans cook to perfection.
  • Upstairs, Tita brushes her teeth with powder and thinks of her childhood teacher, Jovita, who was said to have been a widow and mom at 18 and eventually ended up sweeping the streets.
  • Tita serves John and Aunt Mary the beans and of course, she's impressed.
  • John asks if Tita is okay (in Spanish so the aunt won't understand).
  • Tita says "John, I think we'd better call it off" (11,775).
  • When John asks why Tita confesses she is not a virgin anymore. Snap.
  • Good ol' John tells her that he still loves her and wants to marry her, but that it's her decision.
  • When John and Aunt leave, he says "I don't want to put any pressure on you, I just want to assure you that you would be happy with me" (11,795). Is it just us, or is John too nice?