In "The Edible Woman," how does food play a role in developing relationships?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story "The Edible Woman" food represents Marian's self. Therefore, every instance that requires her to interact with people is a direct symbol of how society, the moment, or the future may consume HER.

In the beginning of the story, food was a binder for society, as she was a survey reader for the company she worked for. Through the beginning of the story we realize that : A) Marian is a good eater, B) She gets an invite from her eternally barefoot and pregnant friend Clara to eat, and C) it is after her meal visit to Clara and her realization that (after her marriage to Peter) she will become another Clara, Marian  begins to relate herself to food.

After that, it is noting but Marian's using food as a way to separate herself emotionally from Peter, and from every male or bad female role model she relates to. It is a traumatic time for her in which she connects eating to becoming eaten considering she is a woman ahead of her times and hardly satisfied with becoming a wife and mother.

In all, food connected her to the world, and then the act of eating separated her from it.

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The Edible Woman

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