The 5 W’s About The Girl in the Background in “A Conversation About Bread”

WHERE At the library, looking from another table.

WHO A white, blond, possible anthropologist lurking in the background.

WHEN On a school night while Eldwin and Brian are figuring out what to write about for a class.

WHAT The first thought that came to my mind as the author firsts mentioned the lady in the back was “what?” While reading the story, I thought this lady was kind of a random character. However, when I got to the last paragraph, the author suggests that she could possibly be an anthropologist, like Eldwin and Brian. The idea of her being an anthropologist did not even cross my mind until the author mentioned it. Why did the author end with a paragraph about the lady? Why did the author suggest an idea about her being an anthropologist?

WHY I believe the author had a purpose of writing in the white anthropologist. Though it is not clearly stated, it gives the reader perspective on how awkward Brian and Eldwin feel when someone is watching them; specifically a white person. The lady in the back is not harmful in anyway, she is just reading a book and eventually starts taking notes. The note taking leads me to believe she in an anthropologist listening to their conversation about bread. I think that she is intrigued by a different race and wants to listen to their stories. But, the deeper meaning of the lady in the background is to reveal that listening and telling stories is important. Story telling is a great way for people to learn about each other. The lady is getting to know a lot about the lives of these African American men by just listening to one story about them. An influential story can say a lot about people, and the lady in the back represents a good listener to those small, yet powerful stories.

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