Readers often refer to turning points in literature—those plot developments that alter a character’s situation or fortune. But how does food play a role or set the stage for these moments?
When we peruse some of the most famous works of literature, a number of “turning point meals” quickly come to mind. Think of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist (1837) when the young orphan dares to ask the master of the workhouse for more gruel. Or consider Marcel Proust’s sudden rush memories when tasting a madeleine in In Search of Lost Time (1909-1922).
Canadian Literary Fare has explored a number of “turning point meals” in a past series of posts by highlighting key scenes that mark a change in the plot and a character’s transformation.
Now we’d like to turn this question over to you…
What is the most famous turning point meal in Canadian literature?
Please post your answers on our blog!
My favorite food turning point in Canadian Literature is in Anne of Green Gables, when Anne invites Dianna to tea. Marilla allows Anne to invite Dianna for tea, a very grown-up thing to do, and Anne mistakenly gets Dianna drunk on Marilla’s home-made red currant wine, which she believes to be non-alcoholic raspberry cordial. It results in Dianna’s mother forbidding Anne from seeing her daughter. Anne is once again reminded that she is an orphan, and perhaps, incapable of being loved.
Thanks, Marcella! That is one of our favourite scenes too.