Breaking Bread in American Literature

462_TheGatheringOfMannaBernardinoLUINIc1520-23WOMANCROPFor forty years Moses led his group of Israelites through the toughest terrain the Earth has to offer. With limited food and water in an unforgiving desert, the end of Moses and his followers should have been imminent. But yet, as the book of Exodus describes, God gave the wanderers portions of Manna that replenished the weary travellers in the fullest sense. This manna saved the lives of all of the Israelites and allowed Moses to be seen as a holy man. Without the sudden appearance of this manna (bread) one can surmise that the entire world would be much different than it is today.

Manna is not only found in Exodus however, it also makes its appearance in the book of Numbers and even the Qur’ān. Along with these religious works, life saving bread is seen in many American works, including Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. In Huck Finn when Huck was in danger of starving while trying to stay hidden from those who were close on his tail, bread floated down the river and gave him aid in his time of need, much luck the manna that fell from the skies to replenish the starving Israelites.

  • William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom, Bread is a peacemaker
  • John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Giving bread is an act of kindness
  • Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Bread is seen as unification for the family
  • Leonardo Da Vinci, The Last Supper, Bread is the centerpiece and body of christ
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4 Responses to Breaking Bread in American Literature

  1. ablyster says:

    The explanation and the connection to multiple works of literary merit was really well described and in detail. The connections to other works were referenced and tied to the importance of the bread. The one question I would have is, does the bread have various functions? It seems that your references say so, but the first paragraph has it functioning as a source of salvation. The only suggestion I have is keeping your connection to Huck Finn in present tense, and changing luck to like. Otherwise, the connection was really clear and concise, and well supported.

  2. 15mdp says:

    First of all, I like the title. 10/10 Would recommend. I also appreciate your use of historical information as to the origin of the importance of meals within Judeo-Christianity as to the harshness of the environment it formed in. Your use of sources is also commendable as is your reference to other religions. The Huck Finn reference although appropriate, was awkwardly phrased please revise.

  3. shakirademitrus says:

    Great job explaining your motif, and I love all of the examples that you included of your motif in literature. I just wish you had included some art in order to really give some depth, there are definitely alot of awesome paintings or works of art that you could choose from.

  4. nickcalfano says:

    Great job describing the manna in such detail in order to make an average reader understand what it is. It would have been great if you made a modern day connection to the importance of bread as well. Lastly, I wonder if God gave knew the lasting impact he would have while doing it.

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