Not everyone gets the happily ever after that we all desire so deeply. The lucky people who do get this neverending wish sometimes have a conflict that prevents them from receiving it. In Like Water For Chocolate, the main character, Tita, finds her happily ever after with a man named Pedro. But with all happiness comes despair. In the De la Garza family, being the youngest daughter had its extreme disadvantages. Based on an old family tradition, the youngest daughter was never to marry so she could tend to her parent’s needs until the day they die.
Tita De la Garza happened to fall into this slot. Tita strives for love, freedom, and individuality. But being the youngest, Tita is obligated to take care of her mother until the day she dies. She isn’t allowed to marry, have children, or even fall in love. It is her duty to her mother to stay by her side forever. When Tita falls for Pedro, the man of her dreams, the duty she is destined to fulfill becomes difficult. “If he intends to ask for your hand, tell him not to bother. He’ll be wasting his time and mine too.
You know perfectly well that being the youngest daughter means you have to take care of me until the day I die. “- Esquivel page 10. From the first time Tita tried to bring up Pedro to Mama Elena, she shot down the idea. Mama Elena is very authoritative; everything has to go her way or someone will suffer. “This joke tickled all the soldiers, and they all laughed heartily, but the captain could see you didn’t fool around with Mama Elena, what she said was serious, very serious. “- Esquivel page 89. Tita’s lifelong duty was to her mother, and Mama Elena was not going to let anything change that.
When Mama Elena refused Tita’s wish to marry Pedro, she made Rosaura, Tita’s older sister, marry Pedro instead. This had quite the effect on Tita. When Tita tried to avoid helping plan the wedding, knowing it would hurt her even more, Mama Elena punished her by putting her in charge of baking the wedding cake with Nacha. She started to hallucinate and rebel against Mama Elena. “Tita stood as if in a trance, staring at the whiteness of the sheet; only for a few seconds, but long enough to cause a sort of blindness. Wherever she looked she saw the color white.
When she looked at Rosaura who was writing out some invitations, she only saw a snowy ghost. But she showed nothing, and no one noticed her condition. “-Esquivel page 33. Tita’s sadness was transferred into the wedding cake while Tita was preparing it, therefore causing everyone at the wedding to feel an extreme longing to the point of sickness. Tita felt betrayed by Pedro and helpless against Mama Elena. The conflict that is brought upon Tita is very significant to this novel because her constant struggle is the axis around which the whole novel turns on.
Something else that is significant to this novel is Mama Elena’s struggle. Mama Elena also suffered the pangs of lost love due to her mother. Although the reactions of each woman to her predicament helps sort out the differences between Tita and Mama Elena. While Mama Elena let the loss of her love make her a controlling and menacing mother, Tita obeys her mother’s command but still has the lifelong struggle of trying to find love which she eventually gets after all the conflicts are absent from her life.
For twenty-two years she had respected the pact the two of them had made with Rosaura; now she had had enough of it. Thier pact consisted of taking into consideration the fact that it was vital to Rosaura to maintain the appearance that her marriage was going splendidly, and the most important thing for her was that her daughter grow up within that sacred institution, the family- the only way, she felt, to provide a firm moral foundation. Pedro and Tita had sworn to be absolutely discreet about their meetings and keep their love a secret.
In the eyes of others, theirs must always be a perfectly normal family. For this to succeed, Tita had to give up having an illicit child. In compensation, Rosaura was prepared to share Esperanza with her, as follows: Tita would be in charge of feeding the child, Rosaura of her education. “- Esquivel page 237. Tita waited two decades to finally express her love for Pedro freely. When Rosaura, the only conflict left keeping Tita and Pedro apart, dies, they are free from the responsibility completely.
Tita was extremely lucky to find her happily ever after, but it took some time to fully receive it due to the responsibility she was born fulfill. Tita encountered not only the responsibility of caring for her mother until she died, but the tragic marriage of Rosaura and Pedro, and the pact she made with Rosaura. One conflict after another would erise in her life to inhibit her from the love and passion that is Pedro. There is always a war going on between passion and responsibility. How you let it shape you will define you.