Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Love

By Laura Esquivel

Love

All you need is love. To love and have lost is better than to have never loved at all. We could go on and on with the sappy, mushy stuff, but we gotta wonder—is love really a source of joy or pain in this novel? It seems like most of the characters are tortured by some lost or forbidden love, restricted either by the time period or familial duty. Or, maybe love is drag if you're a woman. Let's face it—women in this novel don't have much power when it comes to choosing a mate (look at Mama Elena, Rosaura, Tita, even Gertrudis). The question is, is it worth the fight?

Questions About Love

  1. Is this novel ultimately in support of love? Or does it function as a warning of the dangers of love?
  2. Do the novel's female characters experience love differently than the males?
  3. How do you interpret the lack of love between the family members in this book? Or do they simply love each other too much?

Chew on This

The only people who suffer as a result of love are women.

Gertrudis is happy with her partner because she was able to escape the ranch.