World Lit Essay Essay, Research Paper
Candidate Number: 0186-022
Food is a necessity in life. People all around the word need food to survive. Though food can be served in different styles depending on the culture, it is basically served for the same purpose of providing energy for survival. Interesting enough, people nowadays usually discuss different issues over meals whether it is about business matter or just a family reunion. In The Wild Geese and The House of the Spirits, both authors use food to foreshadow the separation/reunion of people. Though Ogai Mori and Isabel Allende are from two opposite cultures, the two authors still use similar food to foreshadow separation/reunion between lovers and family members.
Both authors of The Wild Geese and The House of the Spirits use alcohol to foreshadow both the separation/reunion of family members and couples. Right from the beginning of The House of the Spirits, Allende describes Rosa s death after drinking the wine that sent for her father. After the party, Rosa had developed a chill and was told to be given sugared lemonade with a splash of liquor to help bring down her fever. (25) After Rosa [has] drank the lemonade, (25) Rosa has died the next morning right after Nana has prepared breakfast for the family. When Nana has set [breakfast] down carefully beside the bed and walked slowly to the window . . . , [she] was not at all surprised to see Rosa lying dead upon the bed. (26) After thorough inspection, the doctors has concluded that Rosa had swallowed an extraordinary quantity of rat poison (29) from the wine she drank as a cure of her flu. Thus, the decanter containing half a gallon of the best brandy in the country from the party foreshadowed not only the separation of Rosa and rest of her family, but also the separation of Clara from her family
Candidate Number: 0186-022
for this incident made Clara to decide not to speak for nine years. Furthermore, Rosa s death also represented the separation of Rosa and her fianc , Esteban Trueba. Allende deliberately uses wine to foreshadow the tragedy for wine is a bitter drink and thus, the bitterness present the feeling of sadness both the Del Valles and Esteban felt after Rosa s death. Similarly, in The Wild Geese, Mori uses sake, a type of Japanese alcohol, to foreshadow the reunion of Suezo and Otama and the separation of Otama and her father. Suezo, who was usually a tyrant in his own home and who was alternately obeyed and resisted by his wife, felt a placid and delicate delight that he had never felt before when he saw Otama take a sake bottle and filled his cup, her face blushing and revealing a modest smile. (36) The action of pouring sake into Suezo s cup, foreshadows the union of Suezo and Otama for one can see that Suezo does wants Otama badly. Ultimately, the union of Suezo and Otama also results the separation of Otama and her father for after the desperate decision that had put them in comfortable positions [of Otama becoming Suezo s mistress], they became painfully aware of a barrier thrown across the former intimacy. (54) Again, Mori uses sake with a similar purpose as Allende uses the wine. Sake is also a bitter drink and thus, by using sake to foreshadow the union of Otama and Suezo and the separation of Otama and her father truly elicits the feeling of bitterness with both the union and the separation. The bitterness occurs especially inside the old man s soul for he decides to let go of her daughter, wishing for a better life. However, it turns out that not only Otama was not happy, but also the old man himself for he is no longer so close to her own daughter.
Candidate Number: 0186-022
Not only did both authors use alcohol, but they also use their culturally common drinks – coffee and tea, to foreshadow the reunion/separation of family. In The House of the Spirits, when [Esteban] had received his first wages . . , he had decided to save fifty centavos to fulfill a dream he had cherished ever since he was a child; to have a cup of Viennese coffee. (43) Esteban has seen waiters pass with trays [with the coffee] held high above their heads (43) through the windows of the Hotel Frances (43) On the day of his paycheck, he ordered a cup of Vienna coffee and waited impatiently (43) When his Viennese coffee arrived. . ., he stared at it. . for a long while until he finally dared to pick up the long-handled spoon [to stir the coffee]. (43) However, the tip of the spoon knocked against the glass, opening a crack through which the coffee leapt, pouring onto his clothes. (43) There was nothing Esteban can do except to [watch] the entire contents of the goblet spill onto his only suit before the amused glances of the occupants of the adjoining tables. (43) When Ferula found out what had happened [when he got home], she told him acidly, That s what you get for spending Mama s medicine money on your private little whims. God punished you. (43) At that moment, Esteban saw clearly the ways his sister used to keep him down and how he managed to make him feel guilty (43) and realized that his sister was an ominous shadow in his life. (42) The Vienna coffee foreshadows the separation of Ferula and her brother, Esteban, for the leaking cup of coffee has made Esteban realize who his sister really is. The reason for Allende to use Vienna coffee as the foreshadowing tool is that coffee contains a lot of caffeine, which makes people awake. Thus, one may say that the coffee has wakened Esteban Trueba for him to see the reality, particularly about his sister. Similarly, Mori
Candidate Number: 0186-022
uses the common drink in the Eastern culture, tea, to foreshadow the reunion of a daughter and her father. The old man was taking his tea (51) when Otama has arrived for her first visit in a long time. After exchanging a few words with his own daughter, the old man quickly orders his maid to bring in fresh tea. . . [particularly,] the green [one] on the shelf. (52) Soon, Otama s visit became more and more frequent, and every time Otama visits the old man, he would always [make] tea for her. (98) Thus, the tea foreshadows the reunion of the old man and Otama for every time they are together, the old man would always have the tea made for her. Mori deliberately uses tea to foreshadow the reunion of the old man and Otama for tea is an everyday drink in a Japanese life style, even though the tea is a little bitter. The reunion of the old man and Otama may seem very causal and even like an everyday-activity, bitterness has occurred every time they meet. This is because every time the two talk, they would feel the wall between them, forcing them further and further apart.
Finally, Allende and Mori use food to foreshadow the separation of couples. In The House of the Spirits, Clara has spoken against Esteban during a simplified (169) dinner in their house. When Esteban heard what Clara has said, he brought his cane down on the soup tureen [that Clara] has in her hands and knocked it to the floor, splattering its contents. (170) Blanca was terrified for it was the first time she had seen
her father s temper turned against her mother. (170) She expected Clara to enter one of her moonstruck trances and exit through the window, but nothing of the sort took place. Clara picked up the broken pieces of tureen with her usual aplomb, not showing any sign that she was listening to the stream of curses issuing from Esteban s lips . . . [and quietly]
Candidate Number: 0186-022
waited for him to finish. (170) This dinner foreshadows the distance between Clara and Esteban drifting further and further apart for both Esteban and Clara has changed. Clara finally angered Esteban and Clara, on the other hand, has developed her own strength to take Esteban s temper. Clara s development in her own strength is shown through a simplified dinner. Even though Clara may seem very depended, she actually has become stronger and more independent as more obstacles occur in her life. The strength of Clara is best shown through a simple dinner for the subtlety is not only able to further emphasize Clara s transformation but also represent the process of Clara s becoming stronger through every day life. Similarly, Mori uses the meal of goose to foreshadow the separation of Okada and Otama. The death of the goose has foreshadowed the separation of the couple for Okada has announced that he will be going to Europe . .to study abroad (114) after accidentally killing the bird. However, the only difference between Allende and Mori is that Mori has further utilized the goose to symbolize Otama. Mori deliberate use of the goose to symbolize to make the readers be able to link a beautiful, free flying bird to Otama. However, once the goose dies, it can no longer fly, just like Otama will be constrained for the rest of her life, after knowing the departure of Okada.
Through the above examples, one can see that even though the two works are from opposite side of the world, there are a lot of similarities with the use of food by the two authors. Each type of food is furthermore used as a foreshadowing tool with specific reasons. Though food may not seem important in the two novels, it is actually the one factor which links all literature together.
Candidate Number: 0186-022Bibliography:
Allende, Isabel, The House of the Spirits. Random House, 1985
Mori, Ogai, The Wild Geese, Tuttle, Tokyo, Japan, 1959
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