Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Chapter 4

By Laura Esquivel

Chapter 4

APRIL, Turkey Mole with Almonds and Sesame Seeds

  • This scrumptious meal is for a big celebration—the baptism of Roberto, Pedro and Rosaura's first child.
  • Despite the drama, Tita feels as "immense tenderness" toward her baby nephew.
  • As Tita prepares the mole, Pedro listens to the sound of the pans and Tita singing, smells the almonds browning…all that combined turns Pedro on and he jets over to the kitchen.
  • He finds Tita on her knees, grinding almonds and sesame seeds.
  • Breasts move freely, sweat drips, sexual innuendos fly; they lock eyes for an intense moment.
  • But before anything can happen Chencha walks in and Pedro scampers out. We can only assume a cold shower is in store for him…
  • Tita tries to pretend that nothing happened, while Chencha chats about a bloody battle that took place in the plaza.
  • Tita's faith is restored in Pedro; she thought he was over her.
  • In a flashback, we find out that Mama E (surprised?) told Pedro to quit praising Tita's food because it made Rosaura feel insecure.
  • As our flashback continues, Tita asks Nicholas (a farmhand) to take a suitcase full of clothes and trinkets to Gertrudis.
  • All of a sudden, Rosaura is in labor. And Tita is the only one around to take care of her.
  • E and Chencha are at the market buying supplies for the baby and Pedro is on the way to pick up Dr. Brown.
  • Labor in the time of Revolution. Pedro is captured by the Federales, and Mama and Chencha can't return because of a shooting that breaks out in the village.
  • With no knowledge of giving birth and a sister near death, Tita prays for help from Nacha.
  • When Tita opens her eyes, the "dark tunnel" (Rosaura's vagina) is transformed into "a red river, an erupting volcano, a rending of paper" (4,243). Sounds pleasant, right?
  • It's a boy. Little Roberto is alive and well and Tita feels "new love."
  • Finally, Mama E and Chencha arrive with the Lobos, followed by Pedro and Dr. Brown.
  • Of course, Dr. Brown is struck by Tita's beauty, and gladly agrees to visit Rosaura several times a week.
  • Complication #7676: Rosaura has no milk.
  • Mama E hires a wet nurse, but she is soon killed by a stray bullet from a battle between the Rebels and the Federales.
  • Chencha goes to find another wet nurse in the village, but has no luck.
  • Desperate to calm the child, Tita gives him her breast.
  • Got milk? A supernatural act occurs and Tita is able to nurse the baby.
  • Pedro comes in the kitchen, see's Tita looking "like Ceres herself, goddess of plenty" (4,256) and kisses her on the forehead.
  • When Tita takes the baby from her breast, Pedro gets an eyeful.
  • Tita covers herself just as Mama E comes in the kitchen.
  • Mama E takes the chocolate atole Tita has prepared for Rosaura—the drink is supposed to produce breast milk.
  • Despite the yummy drink, Rosaura remains dry and Tita takes over the feeding (sans mentioning the taboo source of the milk).
  • Suddenly, it's baptism day and Tita assumes Rosaura's role because her sister is still sick.
  • Good old Dr. Brown chats with Tita and tells her that shell look fab with a child of her own someday.
  • Awkward…Tita sadly informs him that she can never marry or have children.
  • The doc, a modern man, is shocked and says that "it's absurd" (4,276).
  • Tita moves away from John and doesn't realize her mother is watching her, convinced that there is something going on between Pedro and Tita.
  • On the flipside, the guests are in a "euphoric mood" after eating the mole; "But for those few moments they all seemed determined to forget the bullets flying in the village" (4,280).
  • Mama E confides to Father Ignacio that Pedro, Rosaura and the baby should go to live in San Antonio, USA.
  • Heartbroken, Tita hears everything and the party is ruined for her.
  • "TO BE CONTINUED…"