In Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, food is object, metaphor, and a means of expressing a range of human emotions. Consider one or more episode in which food is described in great detail, and use that passage to construct an argument about the importance of food in this novel. You may wish to argue that food represents more than one emotion or condition in “Like Water for Chocolate”. In any event, pay careful attention to the way in which the narrator describes the food, its preparation, and the reactions—both physical and psychological– of the people who consume it. Finally, consider whether the meaning of food as it is described in the novel is culturally-specific, or whether there is a certain universality to the conclusions which the book offers on this subject. “
Many of the characters in Like Water for Chocolate complain of physical ailments. Some of the ailments are described in terms that are either exceedingly humorous or grotesquely repulsive. Consider one or more of the characters and their illnesses and explain how the illness metaphors function in this novel. You may wish to consider whether physical ailments represent emotional turbulence in any way. Be sure to draw from the text for relevant evidence and support for your claims.
One of the ideas that is central to Like Water for Chocolate is understanding the nature of passion and how it is both the same and different from love. Different characters, of course, have differing perspectives on this subject. Select one or more characters and explain that person’s philosophy of love. Be aware of the fact that one’s philosophy of love may never be articulated, but rather, it may be demonstrated through their actions. Based on the competing definitions of love, consider what Esquivel may want to convey to the reader about the nature of this most intense human emotion.
“The trouble with crying over an onion is that once the chopping gets you started and the tears begin to well up, the...