Food as Metaphor
So central is food to life that writers often describe seemingly unrelated experiences and events with food-related language. In Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I (1945), the narrator is so anxious for company that when relatives visit she “clung to them like the smell of frying”; a baby looks “as if he had been molded out of dough”; a logging victim “cracked” his “head like an egg”; and Maw’s “large white breasts bobbed to the surface like dumplings in a stew.” In the same book, image merges into symbol in the significance of the title. Eggs not only are food but also are the essence of productivity and fertility. MacDonald’s book explores the fertility of nature, garden, orchard, and families.