Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Chapter 6

By Laura Esquivel

Chapter 6

JUNE, A Recipe for Making Matches

  • Wait, what? Since when do people eat matches? Color us curious…
  • This chapter is different from the rest not only because we're not given a recipe for food but because it's prepared by Dr. Brown, not Tita.
  • Tita gets better, but has no desire to speak and oftentimes she doesn't taste her food (a big deal).
  • It's flashback time. One day, Tita sees smoke coming out of a window of a room at the far end of the patio; she smells a familiar aroma and thinks of Nacha.
  • Curious (and hungry) Tita goes to investigate and meets an Indigenous woman making tea in earthenware pan.
  • The mysterious woman offers her some and they hang out in silence.
  • Tita continues her visits until one day Dr. Brown appears instead of the woman.
  • With the appearance of Brown (and the disappearance of the woman) the room's furnishings change (huh?) from minimalist to modern lab.
  • While Dr. B works, he tells her about Morning Light, his grandmother, a Kikapu Indian.
  • Morning Light was not treated well by the Browns—first off, she was "captured" by his grandfather, and the rest of the clan made fun of for being an Indian.
  • Not surprisingly, she took refuge in the lab to work on her plant remedies.
  • Separated from the judgy gringos (the Browns are from the USA), Morning Light lives alone until the day Peter (Dr. B's great-grandfather) gets sick.
  • Mary, his wife, tries to cure him with leeches (yikes).
  • Turns out, leeches aren't that effective and Peter gets worse.
  • Morning Light to the rescue. She places one of her hands on his wounds and the bleeding magically stops. Dang, she's good.
  • Blinded by the Light, the Browns finally see value in her medicine and her race and she becomes the official family doctor.
  • As a kid Dr. B spends much of his childhood with Morning Light in the lab.
  • However, when he goes to the university, he takes the standard and modern route.
  • But now, after many years he's back in her lab intent on scientifically proving her natural remedies
  • Whew. Long flashback finished, we're back to John making matches.
  • Dr. B launches into a biiiiiig match metaphor; by the end of it Tita realizes that she had been hanging out drinking tea with his dead grandmother all along.
  • In a clever, slightly tricky manner, Dr. B gives Tita a rag with phosphorus on it and tells her to write why she won't talk on the wall.
  • Her response? "Because I don't want to."
  • As the chapter winds down, Tita wonders if she will ever love Dr. B.
  • "TO BE CONTINUED…"