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"Bread" By Margaret Atwood

English MInd Map - Mr. Fraiser
by

Mariel Hdez.

on 9 October 2013

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Transcript of "Bread" By Margaret Atwood

"Bread" By Margaret Atwood
Bread
Center of story
What does it represent?
Why is it so
important
?
Room 1: A Middle Class Kitchen
The first paragraph is a simple,
inoffensive
statement about bread. It is an
identifiable
description of a leisurely lifestyle that most people in the target audience could relate to.
As Stuart Chipman put it "her argument...initially does not even appear as an argument" (2)
Room 2: The Famine
Introduced to the
desperation
of survival.
Room 4: The German Fairy Tale
The "story" in the fourth room is a Grimm Brothers tale depicting "God's Food."
Room 5
Is it reality or a hallucination? Does it matter?
Room 3: The Prison
Staple
Bread is a part of every household.
The invention has existed for thousands of years.
Recognized in virtually
every culture
(variants)
Though it is very important, it is never really though about (certain
indifference
)
Snack is eaten in a mere minute!
Middle Class
Food, especially bread is
abundant
in most homes of the Western world
This can lead to
wastefulness
.
Bread in the story is covered in butter, peanut butter and honey = displays
wealth
.
Bread is
folded
. Can this represent a bending of the
rules
for us (the audience)? = a way to give the impression of a loophole, to have the reader reach the true conclusion through his own thinking? "
self-incrimination
"
Honey
The flowing honey is a symbol of
affluence
.
Honey in biblical context is part of a promise between God and the Hebrews: "Go unto the promised land flowing with milk and honey" Exodus 33:3. It
reassures
the lost and afflicted nation by promising
ease
and
care.
Another connection to the blood and covenant with Christ seen later in story?
Does this make us-in a way- the
privileged
generation?
"Illustration of modern
global conflict
" (Chipman 1)
"Atwood's work has often focused on
oppression
and
exploitation
in the
patriarchal
societies of the
west
" (Guth & Rico 45)
Connection?
Lack of power
for both "hypothetical" protaonists.
An overwhelming
helplessness
and loneliness in
decision
Both stories question morals
Bread symbolism is "
traitor
" in the two scenarios.
Meaning
The comforting and sweet morsel of bread
transforms
into the very definition treason and
murder.
Only one piece of bread. 2 starving people.
A
dilemma
: feed your younger sister or feed yourself?
What would you do?
Meaning
deceptive
bread:
decides to tell= is no home/ bread or true freedom to go to.
the guards say otherwise.
The bread is a
taunt
. It is a
LIE
.
The bread causes
death
!
How can there be these two
conflicting
existences of bread? How can it be so good and bad?
In this room we meet a separate
predicament
: to tell or not to tell? Betrayal or safety?
Must try to do everything in his power to not accept, because if he does he becomes no better than them.
A merciless killer.
Yet, the cold, hard, cruel rich woman
refuses
to give any nourishment to her poor sister out of selfishness.
The bread conjured up floats above the table.
Symbolizes the
un-attainability
of bare resources in most of the world. The west is extremely
lucky
to boast such surplus of riches. Unfortunately, it is thrown away,
discarded
and left for the rats. Meanwhile, corpses are mounting because they needed those grains, so
carelessly
thrown away.
The conjured bread seems real: "the bread is solid enough, as
solid
as your arm"(47)
But you never even think of eating it.
Because you know of the
pain
it has
inflicted
.
"stories" are actually bare
facts
.
And, how can you know that this happens but
any changes
? How does THAT make you any better than the selfish sister?
Has this altered you?
EMPATHY
A caring mother left every last shred of dignity to
beg for a mouthful
of bread for her dying children.
So, when the rich lady's husband decides to cut himself a nice chunk of bread,
red blood flows out.
Blood
gushing red blood = allusion to Christ's death.
In Christianity: the blood and broken body of Jesus are a sacrifice that redeems any sin.
His body is represented by bread, and his blood by wine.
the flowing blood in story: the sister and her children.
It seems to say: though Christ's death was very great,
nothing could ever excuse
this murder.
Floating Bread
Full transcript