Monday, October 17, 2011

When You Eat With Others

Hello. A few weeks ago I visited some of my college friends and remembered a literary observation in high school.  My senior English teacher said that characters who ate together are connected with harmony or communication. Think of scenes such as the political dinner in The King and I where food is used in attempt to create harmony. Also think of fictional meals with disconnected characters which is shown by a character not touching his food or a disruptive, early departure from the table. Interesting demonstration of the relationship between characters.

Because I can get cranky without food, I try to include it in get-togethers or at least eat beforehand. In addition, people are usually comfortable talking at meals. One reason could be that your attention is divided from eating, listening, and talking so you are not concern only with the impression you make.

During my visit, I met some girlfriends over sushi because it was fun last time and the place has excellent deals. Afterwards, I continued talking to one of my friends over yogurt (more food). In our long talk, I remembered about connected characters eating together and my persistence to include food in a meeting with a different friend the next day.

Then I realized that when you eat with others, food is more than an activity you share. Because food is a need, you are sharing a satisfied need. If you're comfortable sharing a personal aspect such as a need, then you are more comfortable sharing about yourself as well. I think the yogurt helped opened up the conversation more between my friend and me. =)

With characters that eat together, you can also see the passion between them. My teacher had mentioned sexual tension portrayed through two characters gorging themselves at a dinner. One unsatisfied need is shown through the satisfaction of another one, but at the same level of intensity.

If you are interested in more metaphorical interpretations, then I recommend How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster.

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