“Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel


Like Water for Chocolate written by Laura Esquivel is considered to be a marvelous novel published in 1989. The story overview gives an opportunity to realize the basic themes highlighted by the author who strived to underline such issues as “familial insubordination, passion and dictatorial governance”. The author strived to underline the importance of human values and influence of state regulations on family life ad morality.


The protagonist of the story, Tita, is a victim of family instability and pressure expressed on the part of her mother. The period atmosphere of Mexican Revolution is especially stressed through regulations and traditions established in the society; Tita, being the youngest in the family, has no right to marry Pedro. The theme of family relationships is closely interacted with parents-children misunderstandings and aggressiveness.

The overview is focused on the nature and role of the story’s title which a definitely symbolic method of author’s theme presentation. Metaphoric expression in “Like Water for Chocolate” is considered to be used for the purpose of protagonist’s realization; the author wanted to demonstrate the expression of Tita’s personality through the food she cooked. The food appeared to play the role of central point through which Tita demonstrates her “creativity and professionalism” obtained from the experience of previous generations. Besides, it should be noted that the concept of food appeared to be the start and closing point of the story disclosing the culture and traditions of people living at that period.

It is necessary to underline the fact that Laura Esquivel managed to underline the role of political interference in social life and activities. The atmosphere in Tita’s family life and her relationships with Mama Elena were based upon the principles of “personalismo, castigation and fear”.

The idea of conformism depiction managed successfully underline the basic features and strengths of the story characters; it should be noted that Rosaura, Tita’s sister, appeared to be a weak personality following the principles of ideological conformism and living in accordance with her mother’s rules and principles, while Pedro appeared to play the role of a selfish conformist who strived to contribute only to his personal happiness.


It is necessary to underline the fact that the author managed to demonstrate the role of basic human values such as, love and family relationships being under the influence of political power and state regulations of the period. The story appeared to be disclosed through allegorical and metaphorical expressions making the period atmosphere and characters’ life emotional and expressive. Like Water for Chocolate is considered to be a symbolic representation of Mexican life contributing to the world literature as a real masterpiece.