The Problem of Human Consumption
The author of the essay “The Problem of Human Consumption’ Steve Almond focuses on a grieving widowed father with the task raising his only daughter after the death of his wife maybe from cancer as its mentioned in the essay her hair fell off which is normally a direct result of chemo . The particular day that the story focuses on bringing out the emotions of mourning and deception out of the characters.The feelings of loss, mourning and grief in this story have greatly manifested the way this story was written and interpreted. After breaking down Almond’s story and reanalyzing it, it can be determined that through his use of food and hunger as symbolism for the father’s emptiness or pain which is triggered after he found his dead wife’s ring in his daughter’s room. This causes Paul to be perplexed leading him to have the unbearable hunger that he can't subside no matter how much he eats ultimately Almonds is telling his readers that the father, Paul has not been able to come to term with a reality where his wife has passed away backed by a quote from the essay “Paul has not moved or remarried”.
Steve Almond use of food in the essay drove the plot forward and also is the best evidence that proves to the readers that the father in the story is still stuck before a time of his wife’s death. In the story the father mentions his pride in his daughter as she taken a more vegetarian diet “The fridge is divided by shelves, because Jess has decided, of late, to become a vegetarian. He admires this decision. It strikes him as the only sustainable solution to the problem of human consumption”( Steve Almond). But like many others Paul does not practice what he preaches as he went to the fridge “and reaches for the smoked ham”. The smoked ham is a brilliant use of metaphors by the author Steve Almond that gives us the readers a better idea of Paul mental state “because meat is one of his few pleasures”. He is a hypocrite by nature and an extreme introvert who has trouble communicating with anyone other than his late wife. Paul is afraid to move on and explore new relationship. We learn of this from earlier on the essay from a quote “Paul has not moved or remarried” and the quote “ he met his desire and clung to her and she dissolved in his arms” helps the readers to get a better understanding why Paul always goes back to the meat. The smoke ham can be seen as depiction of Paul’s late wife. The only person Paul felt comfortable with. So when he found the ring of his late wife in Jess room Paul went into a state of panic because he felt he breached some kind of rule. This drives him...