Fire in the novel represents the effects of love and passion on the human spirit. According to the philosophy of Morning Light, each person is born with a box of matches inside their body. To light the flame, they need the “oxygen” that is the breath of a loved one, and the “candle” that is the right combination of music, words, food or other medium that allows emotions to rise and burn with life. At the same time, if too many matches are lit at once, the soul has to leave the body. When this happens to Tita and Pedro as they make love at the end of the novel, their inner flames are so intense that their bodies catch fire and form a volcano. The significance of heat is reinforced in the scene when Gertrudis’ body becomes so hot with her arousal that she catches the shower on fire.
Heat and Fire Quotes in Like Water for Chocolate
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.
She stopped grinding, straightened up, and proudly lifted her chest so Pedro could see it better. His scrutiny changed their relationship forever. After that penetrating look that saw through clothes, nothing would ever be the same. Tita saw through her own flesh how fire transformed the elements, how a lump of corn flour is changed into a tortilla, how a soul that hasn’t been warmed by the fire of love is lifeless, like a useless ball of corn flour. In a few moment’s time, Pedro had transformed Tita’s breasts from chaste to experienced flesh, without even touching them.
You must of course take care to light the matches one at a time. If a powerful emotion should ignite them all at once, they would produce a splendor so dazzling that it would illuminate far beyond what we can normally see; and then a brilliant tunnel would appear before our eyes, revealing the path we forgot the moment we were born, and summoning us to regain the divine origin we had lost. The soul ever longs to return to the place from which it came, leaving the body lifeless.
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.
Little by little her vision began to brighten until the tunnel again appeared before her eyes. There at its entrance was the luminous figure of Pedro waiting for her. Tita did not hesitate. She let herself go to the encounter, and they wrapped each other in a long embrace; again experiencing an amorous climax, they left together for the lost Eden. Never again would they be apart.