Like Water For Chocolate Study Questions

1. Do you consider Tita a strong or weak female heroine? Does she change by the end of the novel? If so, how? Or if not, why?

2. Describe the matriarch of the family, Mama Elena. Does the revelation later in the book about her own history alter your opinion of her?

3. What about Nacha? Both she and Mama Elena represent maternal figures for Tita. How do their maternal qualities differ?

4. Discuss the magical properties of food and cooking in this book. In what way is food a central metaphor in the novel—what does it represent? How does Tita use food—as a weapon? Or does she use it for solace, seduction, or healing? Is her use of it unwitting or purposeful? How does food affect the actions of various characters?

5. What does the title of the book refer to—and what is its thematic significance? How does the title relate to the internal passions of characters?

6. Discuss the images of heat and fire (as a symbol of desire) found throughout the novel. How does heat affect different characters? Are heat and fire sources of strength, or destruction?

7. Different characters are plagued with illnesses in Like Water for Chocolate. What is the significance—psychological or symbolic or spiritual—of those

physical ailments?

8. Talk about what happens when Tita finally stands up to her mother’s ghost.

9. Compare the two male figures—Pedro and John Brown. What is each of the men’s relationship with Tita? Why does she make the choice she does?

10. What do Tita’s and Pedro’s deaths suggest about love? About their love in particular?

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