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|GR: General Tilney is a great big baby! ;-)
Written by Tori Marie
(4/20/2003 11:01 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: The tyranny of food, penned by Cheryl
I looked for this at Half.com and found one copy at a price tag of just over eighty dollars. :-O A bit out of my budget, but I shall try to find a copy to read somewhere.
] The subject of the paper was how General Tilney uses food as a tool in his tyranny over and control of his family... and says, “It is in forcing others to dance attendance on their eating that they delight in exercising their power.”
I can see this. Interestingly enough, food is one of the earliest ways in which we humans excersize control. One of the earliest lessons I learned as a parent is that picky eating is a way for toddlers, who after all have little control over their own lives, to be in charge of something. They may have to go to bed, get up, take a bath and do any number of things on somebody else's say-so, but by golly they can decide what they will and will not put into their mouths. ;-) It really is a basic mode of asserting one's own power.
Of course, some people never do grow up ;-) and I fear the general is among their number. ;-) He does, as you and Ms. Lane say, force "others to dance attendance", thereby showing those others, in his view, that he is a powerful man with control over others. But I believe that somewhere inside that tyrannical head of his, ;-) he is using his insistance that he will not eat anything he sees as substandard to show that nobody is able to control him!
] He makes light of it, but he knows he had best have everything just so, so as to not risk his father’s displeasure.
That's true. I was thinking about this along with the other thread about fellow sufferers. I don't doubt for a minute that Eleanor understands fully why Henry has to leave for Woodston right away. She knows that what the General says for Catherine's benefit and what he actually means are two different things entirely.
It reminded me of a character I saw in a movie once, for whom the hostess was cooking steak while serving everybody else spaghetti. Nobody questioned it, because that character was the patriarch and children whose dads are picky eaters don't question these things. They just do what they must to keep Dad happy, because if Daddy ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. ;-)
This is how people (they don't have to be men!) can use food as a power tool.
My next question is, why should the general have to do this? He is a general, which is a position of power, a landowner and a wealthy man. Why should he have to utilize food in this way? Is he that insecure or just really, really hungry for power? ;-)
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