Geeta Kothari If You Eat Analysis

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Article “If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?” was published in 1999 in the Kenyon Review. The author describes her childhood life growing up with Indian immigrants. She feels a deep separation from not just her parents but her culture as well. Writer Geeta Kothari explores her personal identity through food. Kothari uses unique writing structure and personal stories to form a well-written piece. In the writing, Kothari focuses on her personal identity figuring out who she really is inside. Recognizing her true identity will advance her in having a deeper understanding of herself. Gaining a deeper understanding means she will be more aware of her culture and, her strengths and weaknesses. In order to find her identity, she finds a common…show more content…
The author specifically chooses to use Roman numerals instead of traditional numbers. The reasoning for the Roman numerals is to show that each of the brief stories has an important meaning. The author also uses imagery and symbolism to emphasize the importance of the stories.
In addition to her unique writing, Kothari emphasizes the importance of the format. Out of all the brief stories they all have a reason as to why they are placed specifically where they are. Certain stories are told as if she were a young child and others are told as if she were an adult. However, they are not written in an arranged fashion they jump from timeline to timeline. The author does this to reflect on her identity, mainly reflecting on her culture containing the topic of food. Though they all have a great amount of importance some stories have more importance than others. For example, the opening first story explains her desire to eat American food instead of Indian food. She describes how the children at school have tuna salad sandwiches her mother doesn’t know how to make it nor does she really care for the food. Describing her desire for American food foreshadows to the relationship between her parents and even her culture. Constantly wanting American food while she grows up creates a disconnection in her relationship with her
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The author writes about her time in India with her family eating food. Yet the way she describes it is written with a lack of interest and even describing the time she threw up from eating Indian food. She does not state what age she was at the time it seems to be a younger age possibly with her teenage years. In the eighth vignette, the author illustrates that she has moved to the city and is now in her twenties. She expresses the different spices and how they have different names in English. Towards the end of the brief story, Kothari indicates that she attempts in making “chapati” which is a type of flatbread. She further states that it has taken her six hours and multiple phone calls to her mother to complete the recipe. This story portrays how she is attempting in reconnecting with her parents and Indian culture by attempting in cooking Indian recipes.
Throughout the article, the author illustrates her personal stories and utilizes multiple argument appeals to create a strong piece. By stating her personal stories, she provides personal credibility to display ethos. The readers trust and understand her authority. Pathos is also used to make the readers feel a certain way. For example, when she describes the tuna it causes the readers to feel the same disgust Kothari and her mother did. With these two appeals combines it forms a well-written
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