"Ham or Trichinosis?": Conceptual Metaphors of Food in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Writings
"Ham or Trichinosis?": Conceptual Metaphors of Food in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Writings

Author(s): Nina Augustynowicz
Subject(s): Social history
Published by: Akademia Techniczno-Humanistyczna w Bielsku-Białej
Keywords: Victorian period; Charlotte Perkins Gilman; conceptual metaphors; food studies; food adulteration

Summary/Abstract: The aim of this article is to discuss conceptual food metaphors found in the works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Using the multidisciplinary framework of cognitive food studies, the writer’s poetry and journalism are shown to contain conceptualisations resulting from the changes in Victorian foodscapes. Gilman was aware of the commercial contamination of food, which involved its adulteration with harmful additives and unhygienic methods of industrial food production. These practices led to a gradual loss of trust towards the alimentary sphere. In this perspective, the anxieties of dealing with omnipresent adulteration and uncertain- ty about the quality of food delivered to the plate, which had weight in particular in the case of women in charge of a household, became recreated into food-based metaphors that helped to conceptualise the fear and later travelled into other do- mains of Gilman’s preoccupations, such as the social responsibility of journalism. In a curious mix of socially, historically and individually guided experiences, Gil- man’s metaphors serve as a testimony to the concerns of the late Victorian period.

  • Issue Year: 1/2019
  • Issue No: 32
  • Page Range: 45-60
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English