Le pratiche alimentari nelle rappresentazioni del femminile in letteratura


  • Lorena Carrara Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia




Through an analysis of narrative sequences taken from representative authors of the Western literary canon, we will try to identify the fundamental traits of the stereotypical representations of female roles and femininity in relation to food, showing how they are unchanged in a diachronic and diatopic sense, and how they are in appearance immutable. The nursing mother and the poisoning stepmother, the greedy seductress and the sterile puritan, are the extremes of an imaginary that binds women to nutritional practices according to a logic that finds its justification in the biological predisposition to breastfeeding. Literature is the most authoritative deposit (and medium) of Western culture. Sometimes literature reconfirms these stereotypes, other times it takes them to extremes, by crystallising them with the power of androcentric auctoritas.

Keywords: food fractices, nutrition, gender roles, gender identity, representation of femininity.