In the short story, “A Conversation About Bread” Eldwin has to complete an assignment for class, which includes writing a story based off a story of what Brian (Eldwin’s classmate) gives. Brian grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and Eldwin writes his story on Brian’s Southern experience. We are given a glimpse of the story Eldwin writes and Brian thinks that it is a bit stereotypical and compares Eldwin to a white anthropologist.
Throughout the story, we catch glimpses a white woman near them reacting to their conversation. The white woman appears to be listening intently and reacting to the different stories that Brian recounts. Near the end of the story, we are told that the white woman took out, “a little notebook with a pink cat on the cover” (Thompson 181). The story then closes describing the white woman and stating that, “She may have been an anthropologist too” (Thompson 183).
I believe that the lurking white woman represents what Brian wants Eldwin to avoid in his writing. He does not want for piece of writing to be stereotypical and depict all black people as one being or one characteristic. Brian wants to show how there are cultural differences and different types of black people.