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Use of Food in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll Essay

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Search for food, reproduction, sleep; the primal needs for every uni- and multicellular organism is to consume in order to survive and by doing so ensuring the continued existence of its own species. As a consequence, eating and drinking is not only an individual but also a common necessity; it is the basis of a civilization (Keeling 5). But food is more than just nutrition; it can be pleasure or temptation, and the way how or what is consumed is always as well a “mark [for] humankind’s morality” (qtd. in ibid.: 6). Therefore, it is not surprising that the universal experience of food occupies an important place within every culture (Katz 197-8). It was Eve’s lusty bite into an apple that caused, according to Christian belief, the Fall and brought evil into the world of men. Other beliefs demanded religious offerings – be it food, valuables, or even human sacrifices – to appease the gods.
An equivalent myth to the Land of Plenty, the Land of Milk and Honey, can be tracked down in paintings, poems and literary works originated in almost all parts of the planet. From Homer’s great feasts in The Iliad to Harry Potter’s lonely suppers in a cupboard under the stairs; literature of any genre originated in any period and any cultural tradition can be analysed concerning the aspect of food (Keeling 4). In his essay “Food and Power”, Nicholson points out, that food in literature always has a symbolic function as “characters […] do not eat to live, since they aren’t alive” (38). Analysing the way of consuming food and the kind of food consumed, therefore, allows scholars to draw inferences about manners and morals as well as social relationships of a specific period (Daniel 1). Such an analysis is especially relevant when it comes to child...


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...1980): 192-199.
Keepling, Kara K.; Pollard, Scott T.: “Introduction: Food in Children’s Literature.” Critical
Approaches to Food in Children’s Literature. ibid., eds. NY, London: Routledge,
2008, 3-18.
Labbe, Jaqueline M.: “To Eat and be Eaten in Nineteenth-Century Children’s Literature.”
Critical Approaches to Food in Children’s Literature. Kara K. Keepling and Scott T.
Pollard, eds. NY, London: Routledge, 2008, 93-103.
Nicholson, Mervyn: “Food and Power: Homer, Carroll, Atwood and Others.” Mosaic. Vol.
20/3 (1987): 37-55.
Sinclair, Catherine: Holiday House. A Book for the Young. London & Melbourne: Ward,
Lock & Co. 9 December 2013 collection/childrens-literature-collection/holiday-house/Grand%20feast.pdf>



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