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Choose a meal from a literary work and apply the ideas of Chapter 2 to this literary...

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exotiquemerald | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted August 9, 2010 at 11:39 PM via web

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Choose a meal from a literary work and apply the ideas of Chapter 2 to this literary depiction.

Chapter 2 referring to the "Nice to Eat With You: Acts of Communion" chapter from Thomas C. Foster's book: How to Read Literature Like a Professor.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 10, 2010 at 1:37 AM (Answer #1)

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I must confess I'm not familiar with the Foster text (though it sounds intriguing), but I can offer you a few interesting and significant meals found in some classic literary works which you might be interested in using for your analysis. 

To Kill a Mockingbird - A family meal with Walter Cunningham (beginning of chapter 3) or a Ladies Missionary Circle tea (chapter 24)

The Great Gatsby - A meal at Tom and Daisy's (chapter 1)

The Lord of the Flies - A meal of roast pig and a murder (chapter 9, "A View to a Death")

"The Most Dangerous Game" - Dinner at General Zaroff's in which Rainsford discovers he is the next to be hunted

These are all examples of dining events which carry some significance for the rest of the work, which I assume is the point of your assignment.  Sounds very interesting!

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 7, 2010 at 12:39 AM (Answer #2)

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Foster states that "breaking bread together is an act of sharing and peace" and that usually we are "quite particular about those with whom we break bread."  He also states that "a failed meal is a bad sign" (Foster 8, 11). With those thoughts in mind, you need to think about a meal scene and consider what the author was trying to convey by having these characters together and what happens at the meal.  Search for thematic connections.

To use an example from the previous post -- in To Kill a Mockingbird the meal with Walter Cunningham reinforces the Lee's message about the importance of acceptance of others and learning to walk in another man's shoes before passing judgement.

Another example from The Great Gatsby would be the dinner party at Tom's house at the beginning of Chapter 7.  All of the major characters are gathered, but tensions are running high because Tom recognizes Daisy and Gatsby's relationship.  The meal "fails" when Tom suddenly announces that they should all quit this dinner and head to the city to get away from the heat.  This plot development is the beginning of the end of Gatsby's dream of recapuring the love of Daisy.

Foster, Thomas.  How to Read Literature Like a Professor. New York:  Harper, 2003.

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