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October 3, 2005

How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Intro-Ch 3

Check out the original on the course website:
In "Heart in the Ground" Lee and Karen attempt to share a meal together, but because of the circumstances, Karen ends up refusing to eat. In Foster's writing he states:

"The act of taking food into our bodies is so personal that we really only want to do it with people we are very comfortable with."

Under normal circumstances, Karen would probably be very comfortable sharing a meal with Lee. But, she decides not to eat as a direct response to one of Lee's outbursts of frustration:

Lee:...So if you really care about this house and the farm and your family, you'll finish your supper, go upstairs, and stop the goddamn digging!

Karen takes these words very personally because she does care about her family, which is why she is sacrificing everything else (the farm, being sent to Marshall Valley, etc) to have her dead child at home with her. The fact that she lost a child when she was young intensifies her feelings about what she is doing, making them even more important to her than Lee or the reader realize at this point in the play. And because Lee accuses her of not really caring, Karen becomes even more hurt and upset and therefore "uncomfortable" with the idea of eating with him.
Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at September 8, 2005 07:30 PM

Posted by LorinSchumacher at October 3, 2005 1:42 AM


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