i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Eggscellent Eggs

February 26, 2005

Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?

My initial reaction to Chikako Kumamto's article on The Great Gatsby was "Huh! That's interesting!" followed closely by "How the heck did s/he write a whole article on EGG SYMBOLISM in The Great Gatsby?" But then I started thinking about it - we've got East Egg and West Egg, right? Maybe there were more mentions of eggs that I just didn't notice because I was too busy trying to figure out if Gatsby is God or not.

As I continued reading I understood: eggs = chickens! Well isn't that clever!

This article compared Gatsby's parties (where eggs were a center of the feast! who knew?) to Roman feasts back in the day when everyone cared about "the visual sumptuousness of the food." [ back then people liked toga parties, bacchus, and bath houses, too. woohoo! ]

The article also discusses the different "idiomatic meanings" of the word "chicken" - including "chicken" as a coward or as a symbol of prosperity "a chicken in every pot" both of which are quite apt for The Great Gatsby.

Basically this article makes me realize -why- we are constantly analyzing and ripping apart texts in our literature classes: there is so much in a piece of writing, ideas that simmer and stew beneath the surface of a text waiting for the right person to come along and find its hidden meaning. What used to be a chore and kind of boring in high school English classes:

Teacher: Now, Moira, what do you suppose the chicken in this scene represents?
Me: Um, maybe the author had some Kentucky Fried for lunch?)
Teacher: No! Bad Moira! The chicken represents the character's deep longing to form intimate connections with poultry! Duh!

Has now transformed itself into something utterly fascinating, an act of close reading EVERYTHING searching for deeper meanings and illuminations that reveal not just information about the text itself but deeper insight into myself: What do I see when I look into a text? What does that say about me?

Moira at 08:18 PM :: Comments (2) :: ::

Woah... This is actually pretty funny :-)

I, too, made the connection with the eggs before having read the article, but I suppose I didn't really let the thought build into much. So, when I read the article, I was enlightened. Maybe when you read the article you were hungry. (?)

Posted by: Karissa at March 1, 2005 06:32 PM

first of all - you are blogging like mad, lady! i'm having a hard time keeping up! ;c)

next - I'm certain that I was hungry when I wrote this... I've been trying for a few days now to catch up on all my blogging... i think my head might explode soon!

Posted by: moira at March 1, 2005 06:35 PM
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