Welcome to the PTPI Blog

Discussion Question for Like Water for Chocolate

Questions prepared by Matthew Hughes, Program Coordinator at PTPI

Discussion Question for Like Water for Chocolate

  1. Pivotal points in the novel use magical realism to advance the story: otherworldly events are sandwiched between everyday, expected happenings. What effect does this mixture have on the story and on you as the reader? What is the author’s intention here? Is this technique part of your culture’s storytelling heritage?
  2. What does the Mexican Revolution, the setting for the novel, have to do with Tita’s story? Would this novel have been as impactful if it had taken place at another time in history?
  3. La Familia de la Garza, Tita’s family, is a meeting point for treasured tradition and daring exploration, where the constant tension seems to be how to honor the past while living in the present. Where and how do you see this tension in your family or community in 2014? What suggestions does the novel offer for resolving this tension?
  4. Discuss the different images of what it means to be a woman in society as represented by key characters in the story: Tita, Rosaura, Gertrudis, and Mama Elena. Which of these characters seem most in line with what society expects a woman to be, and which characters press social boundaries?
  5. What is the central conflict between Tita and her sister Rosaura? Is it really over a person, or is it deeper than that?
  6. All three daughters leave home and return in this novel, but the impacts of leaving and returning are different for each daughter. What makes the difference? Have you been profoundly impacted by leaving and returning to your own culture or home community? If so, what made the difference for you and allowed you to grow?
  7. In October, Tita’s sister Gertrudis tells her, “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.” Do you agree with Gertrudis’ assertion? Is truth relative and contingent on a person’s experiences? What does this mean for us in today’s globalized world?
  8. Characters in this story move between two cultural landscapes—northern Mexico and southern Texas in the U.S. What challenges or advantages does this movement create?
  9. It can be easy to relate to the protagonist (Tita) in a novel like this, but which other character speaks to your own experience in a significant way? Does that character navigate situations as you would?
  10. How would this story have been different if Tita had been the narrator?
People to People International’s Global Book Club is a way to connect with your global community. Global Book Club members communicate about valuable, international topics and gain unique insight and understanding of various cultural views in relation to those topics. For more information on People to People International, visit www.ptpi.org or PTPI’s Facebook Page. #globalbookclub

The opinions expressed by PTPI staff and other book club members are entirely their own and are not necessarily the views of  PTPI or its Officers, Board of Directors and Board of Trustees.
Security code