Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Water for Chocolate: Introduction
Water for Chocolate: Plot Summary
Water for Chocolate: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Water for Chocolate: Themes
Water for Chocolate: Quotes
Water for Chocolate: Characters
Water for Chocolate: Symbols
Water for Chocolate: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Laura Esquivel
Historical Context of Like Water for Chocolate
Other Books Related to Like Water for Chocolate
- Full Title: Like Water for Chocolate (Original Spanish: Como Agua Para Chocolate)
- When Written: 1989
- Where Written: Mexico City, Mexico
- When Published: 1989 (Mexico) 1995 (United States)
- Literary Period: Contemporary Fiction; Magical Realism
- Genre: Magical Realism
- Setting: Near Piedras Negras, Northern Mexico. 1895-1920.
- Climax: The climax of the novel occurs in Chapter 11, when Tita confesses to her fiancée, John the truth of her affair with her brother-in-law, Pedro. John reacts by telling her he will still marry her, but that she must first decide for herself what life will make her happiest. Tita has never had so much control over her own destiny. Now, she must choose whether to marry John and start a new life with him or break off their engagement and remain as Pedro’s mistress.
- Antagonist: Mama Elena
- Point of View: The novel begins and ends in first person, but most of the story is in close third person.
Extra Credit for Like Water for Chocolate
Like Water’s Inspiration: The stories in Like Water for Chocolate were inspired by Esquivel’s experience growing up and her close relationship with the grandmother who taught her to cook. Many of the female character’s stories were inspired by stories passed down from her mother and other women in her life. In her memoir Between Two Fires, Esquivel discusses her own thoughts on the magical relationship between food and emotion through the lens of her own experiences.
International Acclaim: Like Water for Chocolate was Mexico’s bestselling novel in 1990.
Film: The novel was adapted to a Spanish-language film released in Mexico in 1992.