Significance Of Fire In Like Water For Chocolate

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2002

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The Significance of Fire in Like Water for Chocolate In the novel Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel, fire is used as imagery to symbolize the release of strong, intense passion by the characters of the novel. Fire as well as coldness ( which is used to describe the absense of passion) influences the way that the reader views the characters, Mama Elena, Tita, Pedro, Rosaura and Gertrudis and illustrates the love, lust and emotion that are common themes throughout the text.

Fire can be linked with two different ideals throughout the novel; one of passion and one of rebellion. The imagery of fire represents the release of a passion so strong it can not be controlled. There are several examples of this throughout the text. For instance the first event were we see fire come as a result of passion is when Gertrudis consumes the rose quail.

"On her the food seemed to act like an aphrodisiac; she began to feel an intense heat pulsing through her limbs...she was on her way to market in Piedras Negras with Chencha, the servant, when she saw him coming down the main street, riding in front of the others...Their eyes met and what she saw in his made her tremble. She saw all the nights he'd spent staring into the fire and longing to have a woman beside him,...her body was giving off so much heat that the wooden walls began to split and burst into flame...her pure virginal body contrasted with the passion, the lust, that leapt from her eyes, from her every pore."�(pg.51-55) This passage describes the intense feelings of Gertrudis that she was finally able to release. The fact that Gertrudis had seen in Jaun's eyes the longing for a woman like her, by staring into...