Like Water for Chocolate

Heat and Fire Symbol Icon

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

The Like Water for Chocolate quotes below all refer to the symbol of Heat and Fire. 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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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.

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Chapter 4: April Quotes

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.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Pedro Musquiz
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 67
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 6: June Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Dr. John Brown (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Morning Light/ “The Old Indian Woman”/ “The Kikapu”
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 117
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 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 12: December Quotes

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.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Rosaura, Pedro Musquiz, Esperanza
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 245
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

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 deserun

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.

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Heat and Fire Symbol Timeline in Like Water for Chocolate

The timeline below shows where the symbol Heat and Fire 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
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
...When he looked at her from across the room, her pulse rose and she felt hot, her body burning like “dough when it is plunged into boiling oil.” Pedro later followed... (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
...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, she begins to imagine... (full context)
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
...to use the outside shower that Mama Elena has rigged up, her body is so hot that the water evaporates in the air before it can reach her. Pedro and Tita... (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
...on her bedspread. Looking up at the night sky, she hopes that some of the heat from Gertrudis’ love will travel back through the stars to warm her, but she is... (full context)
Chapter 4: April - “Turkey Mole with Almonds and Sesame Seeds”
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
...of intimacy with her. Pedro comes into the kitchen and finds Tita grinding almonds, the heat causing sweat to drip down her shirt between her breasts. They share a sexually charged... (full context)
Chapter 5: May – “Northern Style Chorizo”
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
While finishing the sausage casings, Tita remembers a hot night not long before. Tita had awoken in the middle of the night to use... (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
...her spirit, she is now working in a brothel because he alone couldn’t “quench the fire” inside her. Chencha explains that Mama Elena has forbidden any mention of Tita’s name, and... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...where he unofficially proposes marriage to her. Tita thinks that John has rekindled her inner fire, and she hopes that the pleasure she takes from his company will eventually grow into... (full context)
Chapter 8: August – “Champandongo”
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
While taking a shower, Tita feels the water get magically hot, and realizes that Pedro is watching her between the shower boards. She runs to her... (full context)
Chapter 10: October – “Cream Fritters”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
Violence and Abuse Theme Icon
...that she wasn’t pregnant after all. Outside Tita’s window, the tiny light turns into a firecracker, which crashes into an oil lamp and catches Pedro on fire. Gertrudis stomps out the... (full context)
Chapter 12: December: “Chiles in Walnut Sauce.”
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
...reacquainted with him at a party. When he looked at her, she says, she felt hot like “dough being plunged in boiling oil.” Upon hearing this, Tita knew they would be... (full context)
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Emotion and Repression Theme Icon
...the tunnel, Pedro awaits her, and she joins him. After they die, their bodies catch fire. The dark room becomes a volcano, shooting sparks so high and bright that people mistake... (full context)
Femininity and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Food and Cooking Theme Icon
...and Alex return from their honeymoon, they find the ranch covered in ash from the fire, with nothing remaining but Tita’s cookbook. Afterwards the land surrounding the ranch became famous for... (full context)