Food and the Liminal Spaces of Class in Pollyanna
This chapter explores the link between food and class relations in Pollyanna to reveal the subtlety with which Eleanor Porter blurs the hierarchal divisions between rich and poor. It begins with the scene in which Nancy collects Pollyanna from the train. Intrigued by the impression that her aunt may be wealthy, Pollyanna asks, “Does Aunt Polly have ice-cream Sundays?” Pollyanna equates wealth with luxurious foods such as ice cream sundaes, and at this moment, food transcends its role as basic human sustenance and takes on a deeper social meaning. Pollyanna narrates the experiences of two classes—the upper middle class and the immigrant lower class—yet Pollyanna's ability to cross their boundaries by developing close relationships with both upper- and lower-class characters in the novel blurs the strict hierarchal divisions between rich and poor.
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