Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Race

By Laura Esquivel

Race

Indians, mulattoes, and gringos, oh my. Although not always at the forefront, the theme of race is like a giant cactus in the room that nobody wants to talk about. We think it's worthy of note that the women who are in the kitchen are almost exclusively of Indigenous blood, minus Tita. And that the women who are indigenous are significantly more superstitious or magical in some form or another. Not to mention the scandal and drama that comes with anyone with just a tiny bit of African blood in them… Ah, the good ol' 1900s.

Questions About Race

  1. What powers does Nacha have that other women don't in Like Water for Chocolate?
  2. Do you think Tita could be categorized as indigenous? Why or why not?
  3. Compare and contrast the mulatto characters of Jose and Gertrudis.
  4. How does Dr. Brown, a gringo (white male), fit into the world of the Mexicans?

Chew on This

Both Indigenous characters and Indigenous people are kept hidden away or pushed out by society.

Tita successfully joins the worlds of both Mexicans and Indigenous people.