Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Chapter 9

By Laura Esquivel

Chapter 9

SEPTEMBER, Chocolate and Three Kings' Day Bread

  • As Tita prepares the chocolate for the bread, she takes a small amount to make a lip ointment.
  • Turns out it's another dramatic day—guests are coming for a Three Kings' party. Oh, and she thinks she's pregnant with Pedro's child.
  • While Tita forms the chocolate into squares, she has a flashback to when she received a "little movie" from Nacha (a zoetrope).
  • Before she begins the bread she wishes she could have Gertrudis back in her life.
  • Out of nowhere, Rosaura comes into the kitchen and asks Tita to help her with a diet.
  • Not only has Rosaura gotten very fat, she has a serious problem with farting and bad breath, driving Pedro farther and farther away. (In other words, there's no love-making going on.)
  • Like a good sister, Tita promises to help her lose weight and smell better.
  • When Rosaura leaves and Tita is alone, Mama E appears.
  • Even in death, Mama E is an ovary-buster: She scolds Tita for being with Pedro and curses Tita and her baby. Harsh.
  • Chencha comes into the kitchen and Mama E disappears.
  • Tita wants to tell Chencha what's bothering her but can't because "she was such a gossip that if Tita told her, the next day the whole village would know" (9, 571).
  • Before putting the porcelain doll in the bread, Tita thinks back on her childhood
  • When the bread is ready Tita asks Pedro for help carrying it to the table.
  • Before she can talk to him about the maybe baby, they're interrupted by Chencha (is it just us or is she really, really good at that?) to inform them that the Loboses have arrived.
  • In the dining room Tita sees Mama E beside the door "throwing her a furious look" (9,583).
  • Pulque (the dog) also sees Mama E and barks crazily, knocking over a spittoon.
  • The dog drama draws the attention of the guests, minus Paquita Lobo; she can tell Tita is close to fainting and gives her some smelling salts.
  • Paquita says to Tita, "If I didn't know perfectly well that you are a decent girl, I would swear that you are pregnant" (9,585).
  • Ask and ye shall receive. Galloping sounds, horses approach and Gertrudis and Juan Alejandrez are outside the ranch with a troop of soldiers.
  • Inside the house, Gertrudis drinks hot chocolate with Tita, and learns about dearly departed Mama E.
  • Gertrudis is genuinely sad; she wanted to show her mom how she'd "triumphed" in life—not only is she married, she's also a general in the revolutionary army.
  • Once supper is finished, the guests move to living room where Juan plays guitar, harmonica, and accordion.
  • Gertrudis regales the guests with tales of her adventures and then proceeds to hitch her skirt "up to her knee," which causes quite the scandal. (Remember that this is early 1900's.)
  • Rosaura whispers to Tita that she doesn't know where Gertrudis gets her sense of rhythm.
  • In a flash-forward, we learn that Gertrudis has a mulatto baby (gasp!) and in order to prove that she was faithful to Juan, Tita must show him their mother's letters explaining her "black past."
  • The chapter ends with a very peeved Chencha who has to prepare chocolate for the troop, instead of enjoying the party like everyone else. LAME.