Food in Literature
by Sumiko Saulson
“She continues to cook, using the process of preparing the meal to parse her thoughts. Each act of cooking is a meditation upon her life. By the end of the meal, she decides that her abusive husband has no real power over her.”
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
In Jane Eyre, food represents comfort. During childhood,Jane and her best friend Helen Burns live in an orphanage, where the kindness of adults is gauged by their generosity concerning food. Helen is sick with consumption.
Tea, bread, and butter are staples the kindly Miss Temple offers the girls. The orphanage restricts the amount of food they are allowed to have, so that the tiny pat of butter and bit of bread are barely enough for just one girl.
Miss Temple makes up for it by supplying the girls with generous slices of seedcake to supplement the toast and butter. Caraway seed cake was a popular British snack cake of the Victorian era.
2. Love by Toni Morrison
In Love, two childhood best friends, Heed and Christine, have their lives torn apart when Christine’s grandfather takes Heed as his bride, instigating a lifelong battle over inheritance. Christine’s mother is a talented cook. Christine loves food. Heed, a trophy wife, thinks about the service more than….continue reading the Fall 2017 issue of SEARCH Magazine.