Late Night Chitlins With Momma Analysis

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Audrey Petty uses “Late Night Chitlins with Momma” to express her own close bond with her mother and how it shaped her identity; this is expressed through the narrative style, the diction and syntax, the use of food as a metaphor, and the short story’s structure. Narratively this piece does an incredible job of making the reader feel personally invested in the story. The way Audrey Petty does this is through a multitude of techniques. The point of view is a first person omnipotent, allowing for a closer read to the narrator themselves; the narrative flow is akin to being told the story verbally instead of the traditional 3rd person omnipotence. The narrative is told through indirect narration as well, preventing the style from being to direct. This allows the reader to go at their own pace with a more passive mood. Lastly, the speech.
“’I’ll cook them next Saturday,’ Momma would say, suddenly matter-of-fact. Daddy would plan
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One generally invites one’s friends to dinner, unless one is trying to get on the good side of enemies or employers. We’re quite particular about those with whom we break bread.” (Foster, 9)
Through the breaking of bread, or in this case the laborious cleaning, cooking, and finally the eating of chitlins is representative of a communion, between the almost sacred bonds between a mother and her daughter. Throughout the exposition of the short story, we constantly see that the other members of her family reject the chitlins for being “country” or smelling strange.
“My mother would tell my father she was considering fixing chitlins for the holidays. My father would groan, twist his mouth, and protest in vain.
‘Why you got to be cooking them?’
My two sisters backed him up with exaggerated whimpers, calls for gas masks, threats to run away from
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