Babette's Feast Criticism

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Critics generally characterize "Babette's Feast" as a triumphant and sensitive story of generosity, grace, and healing. John Simon of National Review deems it as "one of the author's finest." The characterization of the women in the story and the relationships between them strike readers as believable and sympathetic. In the New Republic, Stanley Kauffmann observed, "Lightly but clearly interwoven in the story are oppositions of cultures—pleasure-loving Catholic France, dour and hell-conscious Protestant Denmark." Despite the differences between Babette and the sisters Martine and Philippa, the women find a way to live contentedly together, caring for each other and finally getting to know each other in meaningful ways. In fact, Bruce Bassoff of Studies in Short Fiction notes that "Babette's Feast" features new knowledge and "a desire for transcendence," which are present in other short stories by Dinesen. Her use of these ideas and plot elements in multiple...

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This section contains 623 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Babette's Feast Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Babette's Feast from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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