Barkskins Themes & Motifs

Annie Proulx
This Study Guide consists of approximately 54 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Barkskins.
This section contains 1,789 words
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Food as a means of defining "other"

The author uses food throughout the novel to demonstrate how the idea of who is the "other" in a culture changes over time with circumstantial and environmental changes.

At the start of the novel, food is merely a means of survival. There are no established notions of cuisine or culture. Mari, as a Mi’kmaw woman, knows more about the land and the proper acquisition of food than any of the male settlers. She teaches René how to properly fish, and though Trépagny calls the eels they catch “savage food,” it is clearly the best food available. Arguably, Mari has a more refined understanding of food than any of the European men. Though Trépagny sends her away, he calls her back almost immediately when he realizes he needs someone to prepare his wedding feast, which she does with...

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This section contains 1,789 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Barkskins Study Guide
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