Type of paper:
Literature, History, Environment, Culture, Food, Memory, Memories, Role
In the extract “Memories”, which is centered on the French way of living, the author has displayed an interesting relationship between culture and history by finding some common ground where these two can be correlated: meals. At a first glance of the extract, I felt that the author took the liberty to give an in-depth explanation on the importance of one’s background and delving on other socio-economic matters that may help determine the role played by means in determining culture and identity of a person. However, upon a closer look, I feel that the author should have delved more outside the French context to give a wider scope of the topic at hand. Nonetheless, the message has been delivered in a clear and concise manner throughout the literary text and it can be considered a masterpiece in the way it presents the role of meals in a French context. The title “Memories” may have been coined from Gabriel’s situation in the nursing home as he reminisces about how his grandmother prepared delicacies on Sundays.
The reading reflects on my own grounding in a particular culture, place and time by triggering my thoughts on how I can relate to it. Most people identify themselves with a culture due to clothes, food, practices and rituals, religion etc. Food remains a fundamental aspect since it is experienced on a daily basis and hence it is likely to pose the greatest burden to adjust to when in a new environment due to the frequency of the feeding habits. Other yardsticks that can be used to measure the origins of a person apart from food is the cultural activities displayed by the person and geographical location of his homeland. From the extract, the influence of food and history of a person are important elements that make up a culture. It is also evident that food has the longest lasting effect of culture after all cultural practices and traditions are dropped due to change in environment.
Michel de Certeau; Luce Giard; Pierre Mayol “The Practice of Everyday Life” Memories University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis. London (1998)
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