Out of Her Safety into His Hunger and Weakness,” Victoria Bryan

Women eating in Currier Hall cafeteria
Women eating in Currier Hall cafeteria
Women eating in Currier Hall cafeteria, ca. 1949, Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes.

In this gendered literary analysis, Victoria Bryan examines the importance of food and eating space as gendered subjects, citing the masculine outsider perspective in dining in the homespace. She uses all key elements of Eudora Welty’s food writing to underscore the highly gendered eating spaces of men and women, and argues the following:

 

In the case of the Welty stories in question, the male characters compartmentalize their lives into spaces dominated by women—where they perceive an inability to feel comfortable or welcome—and spaces dominated by men—in which they can seek camaraderie. Welty does not simply delineate spatially, however. She uses foodstuffs in various forms and prepared and ingested in various ways as markers of gender difference.

Bryan’s insight creates a new perspective on the gendered eating social structure, giving women ownership of eating space civilization while painting men as unwilling intruders into a female-dominated space.

 

Victoria Bryan.“Out of Her Safety into His Hunger and Weakness”: Gendered Eating Spaces in Eudora Welty’s “A Wide Net” and “Flowers for Marjorie.”” Poroi 11, Iss. 1 (2015): p. 1-15. doi:10.13008/2151-2957.1215