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Tita battles a need to suppress her emotions when Rosaura and Pedro return to the ranch with yet another child, Esperanza. In an attempt to protect her heart, Tita tries not to get too close to Esperanza. However, because Rosaura is ill, Tita ultimately becomes Esperanza’s primary caretaker. Esperanza is in many ways a reincarnation of a young Tita. She grows up in the kitchen and is comforted by the smells and sounds of cooking. Later, we find that Esperanza is the one who passes Tita’s cookbook on to her daughter.
This chapter carries with it a theme of anger. Tita especially becomes frustrated by the return of Pedro and Rosaura to the ranch. She is most infuriated when Rosaura announces her intentions to carry on the family tradition and prevent Esperanza from marrying until after her mother’s death. Tita cannot believe that her sister plans to continue this tradition and is enraged at the thought of another De la Garza woman being denied love.
Tita also feels anger as she tries to redirect her former passion for Pedro. Now engaged to Dr. Brown, Tita has no patience for Pedro’s attempts to woo her. She urges him to be loyal to her sister who he agreed to marry and respectful to Dr. Brown, who Tita intends to marry. However, Pedro’s insistence on bringing up his love to Tita frustrates her immensely.
Still, a strong physical attraction and response exists between Pedro and Tita that does not exist between Tita and Dr. Brown. A stare alone from Pedro causes Tita’s entire body to heat up. This suggests that Pedro is the oxygen Tita needs to light her matches, not Dr. Brown.
Inevitably, Tita and Pedro end up lying together in Mama Elena’s old “darkroom” after Dr. Brown returns to North America to get his aunt for the wedding. The happening becomes a spectacle that sends fireworks shooting into the sky. Onlookers in the house conclude that the light symbolizes the coming of Mama Elena’s ghost, and ironically, this prevents them from discovering the illicit affair occurring in the kitchen.