I thought that the theme behind Conversation About Bread was interesting because it applies to everything that we read or watch on TV. It questions whether it is possible to write a story about race, class, religion, gender, etc., without creating a monolith out of the group being discussed. One of the short story’s main characters, Eldwin, worded it best; “Didn’t every story provide a narrow representation at best and fetishize somebody at worst?” This was the epiphany that Eldwin came to toward the end of the story, after realizing that he couldn’t write his friend Brian’s story without also writing the story of every other black kid from the South.
If you look closely, you can see this issue in every TV show, movie, novel, or short story that focuses on the issue of a power binary. Everyone experiences different things, so everyone has a different story. Yet, when someone introduces a story about an individual, it is often generalized and applied to an entire group. This is because each reader views each story from a different perspective, and thereby gains a different interpretation of it. In my opinion, the issue is not necessarily with the writer in the creation of a monolith, but with the reader.