Study Guide

Tita De la Garza in Like Water for Chocolate

By Laura Esquivel

Tita De la Garza

The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Not your average protagonist, Tita's born prematurely on a kitchen table. Her knowledge is based on said kitchen and while this would be great if she were living in the times of female greats such as Julia Child or Michelle Bernstein, Tita is unfortunately born with some major disadvantages.

Disadvantage Number One

She's the youngest daughter. What does that mean besides being the baby? Well, for starters, she can't speak her mind. Her own mother tells her "you don't have an opinion, and that's all I want to hear about it" (1.27).

Another major bummer? According to "family tradition," Tita has to take care of her mother until the day she dies. That's a really, really long time.

Despite the fact that Tita works in the kitchen and does everything her moms orders her to do, she never quite takes to her role as live-in servant:

Tita knew that discussion was not one of the forms of communication permitted in Mama Elena's household, but even so, for the first time in her life, she intended to protest her mother's ruling. (1.25)

Now that we think about it, Tita is the only character who actively challenges her mother. She talks back, screams, lies, and eventually escapes the ranch. The only thing she doesn't do? Use violence. Love, not war.

Disadvantage Number Two

Wait, it gets worse? Yup. Did we mention that Tita can never have a husband, a boyfriend, or even a little fling? We can only assume that Mama E knows how chicos can be distracting and so she forbids Tita from any normal fun. When Pedro, Tita's one true love, comes to ask for her hand in marriage, Mama E says:

[…] allow me to suggest my daughter Rosaura, who's just two years older than Tita. She is one hundred percent available […]. (1.40)

Gee, thanks Mom.

TGFF (Thank God for Food) and Nacha

Because, let's face it, if it weren't for them, Tita would have been toast. Nacha is there from the beginning and she cares for Tita because she felt she'd succeed in "educating the innocent child's stomach" (1.4).

Indeed, Nacha guides Tita in her cooking and personal life. Tita creates delicious and tasty meals, but her food also causes harm and pain: When she was a child, she ate things that "horrified Rosaura" such as maguey worms and armadillos:

That's how Nacha's dislike of Rosaura began, and the rivalry between the sisters was now culminating in this wedding between Rosaura and the man Tita loved. (2.97)

Despite the hardships and limits put on Tita by society and her family, she still manages to be herself and triumph. You go, girl.