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Food and narration in Kaye Gibbons Ellen Foster
2002 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to examine the main character’s preoccupation with food in her narration in Kaye Gibbons’s Ellen Foster. By taking a closer look at the main character and narrator of the story, Ellen, one can see that she always mentions food. After her mother’s death, she is left without anybody who cares for her and food is basically all she has. Therefore, she comforts herself by eating, and she believes that it can provide her with all of her emotional needs. Moreover, food also holds a significant role as she tries to process and deal with the abuse that she has suffered from her father and other relatives. She uses food for protection and reassurance in her narration as she reveals her painful past memories. Through food, she also determines what kind of relationship she has with the other characters in the novel. She believes that when she receives good food, then she is also loved. Thus, food means love to Ellen. Furthermore, food also reveals Ellen’s racist beliefs. It is with food that she maintains her notion that white people are superior to black people. However, at the end of the novel, one can see that Ellen does not mention food as often as she did at the beginning. She has found a person who can fill her nutritional needs as well as her emotional needs. Food has therefore been a temporary solution to her problems.

Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to examine the main character’s preoccupation with food in her narration in Kaye Gibbons’s Ellen Foster. By taking a closer look at the main character and narrator of the story, Ellen, one can see that she always mentions food. After her mother’s death, she is left without anybody who cares for her and food is basically all she has. Therefore, she comforts herself by eating, and she believes that it can provide her with all of her emotional needs. Moreover, food also holds a significant role as she tries to process and deal with the abuse that she has suffered from her father and other relatives. She uses food for protection and reassurance in her narration as she reveals her painful past memories. Through food, she also determines what kind of relationship she has with the other characters in the novel. She believes that when she receives good food, then she is also loved. Thus, food means love to Ellen. Furthermore, food also reveals Ellen’s racist beliefs. It is with food that she maintains her notion that white people are superior to black people. However, at the end of the novel, one can see that Ellen does not mention food as often as she did at the beginning. She has found a person who can fill her nutritional needs as well as her emotional needs. Food has therefore been a temporary solution to her problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. , 17 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53699Local ID: ENG C-14OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53699DiVA: diva2:1102259
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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