Like Water for Chocolate

Gertrudis Character Analysis

Gertrudis is Rosaura and Tita’s sister. She is born to Mama Elena through her illicit affair with Jose Treviño. As a child, Gertrudis loves music and dance. As a young woman, she is suddenly inspired by passion and runs away to make love with captain Juan Alejandrez. Because he alone can’t “quench the fire” inside her, she then goes to work at a brothel. She eventually joins the rebel army, and works her way through the ranks, becoming a general. Gertrudis eventually reunites with and marries Juan Alejandrez and has children with him. Gertrudis is affectionate, joyful and independent-minded, and a representative of all the positive aspects of ferocity and passion in femininity.

Gertrudis Quotes in Like Water for Chocolate

The Like Water for Chocolate quotes below are all either spoken by Gertrudis or refer to Gertrudis. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Like Water for Chocolate published in 1995.
Chapter 3: March Quotes

It was as if a strange alchemical process had dissolved her entire being in the rose petal sauce, in the tender flesh of the quails, in the wine, in every one of the meal’s aromas. That was the way she entered Pedro’s body, hot, voluptuous, perfumed, totally sensuous.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Gertrudis, Pedro Musquiz
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7: July Quotes

He left because I had exhausted his strength, though he hadn’t managed to quench the fire inside me. Now at last, after so many men have been with me, I feel a great relief. Perhaps someday I will return home and explain it to you.

Related Characters: Gertrudis (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Juan Alejandrez
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 8: August Quotes

Pedro! What are you doing here?
Without answering, Pedro went to her, extinguished the lamp, pulled her to a brass bed that had once belonged to her sister, Gertrudis, and throwing himself upon her, caused her to lose her virginity and learn of true love.

Related Characters: Tita de la Garza (speaker), The Narrator (speaker), Gertrudis, Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 10: October Quotes

The truth! The truth! Look, Tita, the simple truth is that the truth does not exist; it all depends on a person’s point of view. For example, in your case, the truth could be that Rosaura married Pedro, showing no loyalty, not caring a damn that you really loved him, that’s the truth, isn’t it?

Related Characters: Gertrudis (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Rosaura, Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt moll

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Gertrudis Character Timeline in Like Water for Chocolate

The timeline below shows where the character Gertrudis appears in Like Water for Chocolate. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: January – “Christmas Rolls.”
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
Though Tita sees the kitchen as “her world,” her sisters, Gertrudis and Rosaura, see cooking as dangerous. Once when they are kids, Tita convinces them to... (full context)
Chapter 2: February – “Chabela Wedding Cake.”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
...was marrying Rosaura, but she refused to listen. She ran away, into the room where Gertrudis and Chencha were embroidering imported wedding sheets with a chastity opening so that the couple... (full context)
Chapter 3: March – “Quail in Rose Petal Sauce”
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
...taste of Tita’s food, despite Mama Elena’s disapproval. Rosaura, stricken with morning sickness, barely eats. Gertrudis, however, feels very hot, affected supernaturally by Tita’s food. Feeling a rush of sexual desire,... (full context)
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
While washing the utensils, Gertrudis continues to sweat profusely, a pink, rose-scented cloud emanating from her body. When she tries... (full context)
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
...“Damn Pedro, so decent, so proper, so manly, so … wonderful!” Pedro is thinking about Gertrudis’ naked body, as he has never even seen Rosaura naked. He imagines Tita might look... (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
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...up a story, telling Mama Elena that federal troops (whom Tita hates) came and kidnapped Gertrudis. Mama Elena is overcome with sadness, but when she finds out a week later that... (full context)
Chapter 4: April - “Turkey Mole with Almonds and Sesame Seeds”
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...Roberto. It is early one morning in March, and Tita is packing a suitcase of Gertrudis’ clothes and things to be sent to her through Nicolas, the ranch manager, without Mama... (full context)
Chapter 5: May – “Northern Style Chorizo”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...Unbeknownst to Mama Elena, the captain is Juan Alejandrez, the man who ran away with Gertrudis. The men kill and take all the pigeons from the dovecote above the house, and... (full context)
Chapter 7: July – “Ox-Tail Soup”
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
...of his American cook’s food or his own remedies. Chencha brings Tita a letter from Gertrudis, who writes that although her captain revived her spirit, she is now working in a... (full context)
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
...continued their affair in secret through the years, and Treviño was the true father of Gertrudis. Juan de La Garza’s heart attack after Tita’s birth was in fact caused by his... (full context)
Chapter 9: September – “Chocolate and Three Kings’ Day Bread”
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
...chocolate and bread during holiday seasons past. She mourns the simplicity of childhood, missing Nacha, Gertrudis, and her good relationship with Rosaura. Lately, she has been making a special diet for... (full context)
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...that she had never met Pedro, that Mama Elena’s ghost would go away, and that Gertrudis would come back to help her. Tita tries tell Pedro about her pregnancy, but Chencha... (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
Unexpectedly, a rebel troop arrives. They are led by Gertrudis, who has become a general, and her husband Juan Alejandrez. Gertrudis says she knows that... (full context)
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
Gertrudis explains that after leaving the brothel, she joined the army and fought her way through... (full context)
Chapter 10: October – “Cream Fritters”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
Gertrudis and Tita are catching up while making cream fritters, which are Gertrudis’ favorite desert from... (full context)
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
While Tita rests upstairs, Gertrudis tries to finish the syrup for the fritters. Unfamiliar with cooking, she can’t read the... (full context)
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...turns into a firecracker, which crashes into an oil lamp and catches Pedro on fire. Gertrudis stomps out the fire and the men carry Pedro upstairs. Rosaura runs to him, but... (full context)
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
The next day, Gertrudis, Tita, and Juan share a warm goodbye as the troop leaves to attack Zacatecas. Gertrudis... (full context)
Chapter 12: December: “Chiles in Walnut Sauce.”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
On the day of the wedding, everyone is impressed when Gertrudis and Juan pull up in a Model T ford coupe. They are sporting the latest... (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
...After eating the dish, a magical sexual passion takes hold of all of the guests. Gertrudis, just as she was years before, is the first to shown signs of this. All... (full context)