A Character of Tita in the Novel Like Water for Chocolate
However, her natural passion for working in the kitchen with her hands limits the role of femininity by the burden of tradition. Though submissive to the authority meted out by her dominating mother, Tita understands that this is not what she bargained for in life. Tita lived with Mama Elena and her two elder sisters Rosaura and Gertrudis on a ranch in Mexico. Tita was a homely girl who always had a deep connection with cooking, food and the kitchen table, right from the time of her childhood. All through the novel we find this theme recurring among the different chapters. Tita’s character is portrayed as 2 one of sadness and loneliness brought about by the unrequited and forbidden love of her heart, Pedro. While Rosaura was the quiet and shy type, Gertrudis was the rebel in the family. Pedro falls in love with Tita almost instantaneously when they set eyes on each other. She is so overwhelmed by her love for Pedro and expresses the same. But their happiness is short-lived as Mama Elena deals a tragic blow in the form of family tradition that tears the lovers apart from each other. Tita’s mother does not care for her younger daughter’s feelings but in a callous act tells Pedro that he can marry her elder daughter Rosaura. Not to be deterred, Pedro agrees because he wants to be close to Tita at any cost. Tita is bound by tradition to remain unmarried because she was the youngest daughter in the family and so had the responsibility of looking after her mother Elena till the time she passes away and also to serve the rest of the family. This harsh tradition presents itself as a huge problem to Tita because she has already deeply fallen in love with her dear Pedro whom she intended to eventually marry and settle down with. Unfortunately, even her mother Elena upholds this tradition strongly and does not allow her daughter Tita to get married. Hence Tita is so disillusioned by this fact and begins a long drawn out struggle involving her obligations, her duty and her love for her mother. The character of Tita is depicted as an individual who lacks the zest for life and is constantly experiencing pain and suffering and this is clearly brought out by the author through the crying and tears of Tita who is always closely associated with images that are 3 cold. In addition to these cold images, is the sensation of utter loneliness and helplessness, which is brought out by Esquivel in a unique manner by associating it with food and cooking. The ‘icy’ and ‘hollow’ sensations conveys Tita’s great sorrow and a sense of great loss by her not being permitted to consummate her love with Pedro as girls of her age are usually allowed to do so. She is being prevented against her will and she is unable to face this bleak situation and so is always seen resorting to tears and crying as she pities her poor miserable self. Tita feels trapped in her situation with her love for Pedro on one hand and strict tradition on the other, and tries to find a way to free herself from this bondage. To compensate for this emptiness, she tries to comfort herself by knitting a bedspread to keep out the loneliness and cold that surrounds her. It is sad because try as she might, she is incapable of stifling the sorrow and loneliness that wells up into her heart. Though she tries hard to find solace and comfort by trying to free herself from the coldness and pain, she does not succeed in doing so.