Food and Drink. These words have always been considered as something important in our daily life. Everybody likes fresh drinks at summer, warm drinks at winter. We always care about what we’re going to serve on our table to treat ourselves, or our guests. But we hardly ever think about the meaning of food and drink in the literature, whatever it may be – prose or poetry.
So what is the meaning of food in compositions of different authors? How drinks can show us the point of the poems we read?
To answer these questions I would like to address two authors – Anne Frank and Thomas Moore. I would like to start with analyzing food. For this purpose I am going to use Anne Frank’s book “The Diary Of A Young Girl”. It was 1942 and Germans had invaded. All Jewish people were frightened for their lives and the Frank family decided to hide. Life was dangerous but they hoped for the best, until they were finally discovered. This is the diary of Anne Frank, where she describes all details of living in so-called “Secret Annexe”. Of course, the food is included to this description.
First reference to food appears after about a month of hiding. “Well, what about food in the Annexe? A man brings bread every day, a very nice friend of Mr Kleiman’s. And we’ve stored a hundred tins of food here”. “…we’ve also bought three hundred pounds of beans”. As days went by, members of “Secret Annexe” had fewer opportunities to get food. Every single possibility to get food encouraged a sense of joy. “The Annexe was delighted to hear that we are all getting an extra quarter pound of butter for Christmas. We are each going to cook something with butter”. Little amount of food encourages a sense of greed. “We are sharing our butter a different way now. Everyone gets their own piece on their own plate. But it’s not done right – the van Daans make breakfast for everyone, and give themselves the biggest share of the butter”. Soon the food gets “terrible”. “We have plain bread and coffee – not real coffee – for breakfast. We have lettuce or green vegetables, and bad potatoes and that’s all”.
When people don’t have problems with anything (including food), they don’t seem to worry about that. And it is natural, of course. People don’t even estimate that. Food is just usual thing for them. When we have deficiency of things, whatever they may be, we act like happy children when we finally have an opportunity to get it. “Yesterday was Dussel’s birthday. He pretended that he wasn’t interested, but when Miep arrived with a large bag of presents from his friends, he was as excited as a child! He had chocolate, eggs, butter, oranges and books. He arranged them on the table and left them there for three days, the silly old fool! He already has plenty of food. We found bread, cheese, jam and eggs in his cupboard. He hasn’t given us anything, but we’ve shared everything with him”.
Reading this story we can see how the main character was unhappy about the food they had to eat. And it is understandable. “The food is awful. Lunch today is potatoes and some very old vegetables out of bottles. They smell terrible, which is why I have the handkerchief! We’ve got to eat them too – I feel sick when I think about it! Half potatoes have gone bad, and we have to throw them away. If life here was pleasant, the food would not matter so much. But it’s the fourth year of the war, and we are all in bad moods”. Here, in last two sentences, we can see that sometimes food doesn’t even matter! Life rules. I guess most of us would prefer good life rather than good food.
Now one more example of birthday during the war: “Today is Mr van Daan’s birthday. He received several presents and a cake. The cake wasn’t perfect, because we can’t buy the right things to make it with, but it tasted wonderful anyway!”
Ðåôåðàò îïóáëèêîâàí: 29/05/2008