Simple Recipes Theme

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Close Analysis Paper – Memory in “Simple Recipes”

The purpose of this paper is to do a close reading on ‘Simple Recipes’. I believe a great deal of people find family relationship very hard to deal with, so as Madeleine Thien. By examining the imagery and choice of languages that Madeleine uses, I will demonstrate the theme of memory in intensifying the main idea, which is the complicity of family relationship in the whole story. Memory as a projector to show the transition of the narrator’s emotion towards her father.

Fish is the most important imagery in the story, which it symbolizes family relationship. “Somewhere in my memory, a fish in the sink dying slowly. My father and I watch as the water runs down.” (19) The act of the narrator …show more content…

These emotions are shown by the contrast and echo of memories from the narrator’s different stages of life.

The contrast of the narrator’s attitude towards the kitchens of her childhood house and her apartment at the present, indicates the transformation of feelings for her father in her childhood and adulthood.

In the narrator’s childhood, she used to love the kitchen in her family house and how her family have meals together. She described the house with details, “the ceilings were yellowed with grease” and she loved the weight of the air in the kitchen, which is “dense with the smell of countless meals cooked” (7). Yet, what she loved about the kitchen is not the greasy wall and the smells, but what they symbolizes, her father. Her father was the chef in her family and there is a great amount of memories with him in the kitchen.

At that time, she only sees her father’s good qualities, such as kind, gentle and loving, she even calls her father “man of tricks” and “magician”. She apparently regards him as a role model seeing that she “walk proudly” after she was praised by him and was “overjoyed” when her feet kept time with his father’s step

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