Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bread or Heads?

The idea that everything isn’t what it seems appears in the second chapter. The author begins by using an anecdote about Sigmund Freud. He uses the anecdote in order to bring up the image of a cigar. Going on to quote Freud by saying, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” By quoting Freud the author instantly acknowledges that things in life are exactly how they appear to be, such as the cigar. Yet still gets to his main point that even though certain things in life might seem exactly how they are; majority of the time it is the complete opposite. Most of the time there is a greater meaning behind every aspect of life. By using the anecdote it causes the audience to be intrigued, therefore causing the reader to further engage in the reading causing them to learn about food; more specifically communion.
Food is used to illustrate how meals in literature are used in various settings for multiple reasons by the author. The author states “ whenever people eat or drink together, it’s communion.” It is commonly believed that communion is only suppose to be a holy or spiritual action that is within Christianity, although there are other similar rituals performed in other religions. The author continues to explain how communion isn’t just used in the religious sense by stating that in life humans tend to only share a meal with those that are close to them such as friends and family. Yet sometimes one is following the rule of keeping ones friends close, but there enemies closer. Humans value sharing a meal, because allowing food to nourish the body is personal, therefore one usually only wants those considered to be trusted around.
In literature when an author writes a scene about a meal, it can be hard to write and even read because it is so boring or basic. Communion scenes usually serve the purpose of showing how a character triumphs or fails to over come a struggle that was established at the beginning of the story. It can also be used to symbolize a desire or lust such as in Henry Fielding’s “Tom Jones” which was written during a time period when anything sexual was considered unacceptable by society. While in “Cathedral,” written by Raymond Curve, the main character struggles with accepting those who are different from him, specifically the disabled and minorities, yet he learns there is something similar in everyone. Which is that as humans, we all eat food just like another. Therefore reinforcing the idea that communion has the power to break barriers and join people as a community.
In the southern part of the United States many families gather together for dinner, but a lot of the time it’s for Sunday dinner in order to see how everyone’s week was and start of a clean sheet. Sunday dinner can also reinforce the idea of family, love, and security. The author mentions Anne Tyler’s “ Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant” as a similar example of a family coming together. In the story the mother continuously tries to bring her family together at the restaurant, only to have each attempt ruin by mishaps involving the rest of family. The family finally comes together after the mother’s death. The same scenario can be seen in the movie “Madea's Big Happy Family” The mother in the movie, just as the one in the novel, constantly tries to bring her family together, but never succeeds until she dies from cancer; never being able to witness her family in a peaceful dinner setting, which causes the family to come back together.

By giving so many variations on communion the author is able to support his beginning argument. The argument that while certain everyday actions or traditions may seem to be for only one reason, in literature there is usually numerous other than the commonly known one. The reader learns that communion in literature is almost never used in a holy form. While in life it’s used in order to show a connection between others or even gain trust that will be broken later. Sharing a meal is used to break bread not heads as best put by the author.