Like Water for Chocolate

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Coldness/ Chills Symbol Icon

Coldness, in contrast with fire, represents the condition of the spirit without love. When Tita feels cold, it is always because she is feeling desolate and hopeless. Often, she feels cold when she has lost the opportunity to pursue her feelings for Pedro. When Mama Elena first offers Rosaura to Pedro, Tita is overcome with an unshakeable inner chill that no quantity of woolen blankets can warm. When Pedro dies after all of his inner matches are lit with fire, Tita knows she will never find another love to light her own inner matches, and she begins to feel cold overtake her.

Coldness/ Chills Quotes in Like Water for Chocolate

The Like Water for Chocolate quotes below all refer to the symbol of Coldness/ Chills. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of Like Water for Chocolate published in 1995.
Chapter 1: January Quotes

Not that night, nor many others, for as long as she lived, could she free herself from that cold.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza
Related Symbols: Coldness/ Chills, Tita’s Bedspread
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

The narrator describes Tita’s emotional state on the night Pedro accepts Mama Elena’s offer to marry Rosaura. Shocked and devastated, Tita stays awake in her bed, sadly remembering when she first met Pedro. Chilled, she covers herself with the bedspread that she began crocheting the night that Pedro first declared his intention of marrying her. As she works on her bedspread, she is unable to warm up. She also feels a painful hunger that no amount of Christmas rolls can fill.

Tita’s state of cold reoccurs throughout the novel, always when she feels alone and unloved. In contrast, she and other characters (such as Gertrudis) feel warm and hot during moments of lust and passion. Tita’s continued work on the bedspread represents her persistent hope that she will feel love again, even when her prospects seem bleak.

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Coldness/ Chills Symbol Timeline in Like Water for Chocolate

The timeline below shows where the symbol Coldness/ Chills appears in Like Water for Chocolate. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: January – “Christmas Rolls.”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...Mama Elena comes to announce that Pedro has agreed to marry Rosaura. Tita feels a cold chill fill her body. Nacha tells Tita that she overheard Don Pascual questioning Pedro’s choice,... (full context)
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
...brings her comfort – and curl up with cloaks and robes, but her hunger and cold are insatiable. She stays awake weeping and crocheting the wedding bedspread she had begun when... (full context)
Chapter 3: March – “Quail in Rose Petal Sauce”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...will travel back through the stars to warm her, but she is left only with chills. (full context)
Chapter 6: June – “A Recipe for Making Matches”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...at once, the explosion creates a bright tunnel that carries the soul away. People with cold breath can kill the flame. Tita cries, and John wipes her tears. Tita then realizes... (full context)
Chapter 9: September – “Chocolate and Three Kings’ Day Bread”
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
As she prepares the hot chocolate and bread, Tita feels a cold wind, and Mama Elena’s ghost appears before her. She says that Tita has “forgotten all... (full context)
Chapter 12: December: “Chiles in Walnut Sauce.”
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
...disappears. She then realizes that Pedro is dead, and assumes that he entered the tunnel. Cold, she finds a box of candles and begins to eat them, concentrating on recalling moments... (full context)