The White Gaze reveals…

In “A Conversation about Bread” by Nafissa Thompson Spire there is a white woman watching the two main characters. She helps show the readers the staunch differences between Eldwin and Brian. She doesn’t really affect Eldwin. His philosophy is to act as if he can’t see white people staring at him. She affects Brian though, in the way he is afraid to talk or say certain words too loud. She helps show us how the different backgrounds of these two characters help shape them in completely different ways. How Eldwin grew up going to a multiethnic school and a very liberal college where he didn’t ever feel he need to hide unlike Brian who not only had a liberal California background but also the Southern background he gained from his time in Mississippi. Brian is a little more reserved and defensive especially when talking about race. Eldwin is not afraid or reserved about anything; he embraces his heritage in everything he does.

2 thoughts on “The White Gaze reveals…


    Interesting analysis of the woman’s impact on both of the characters. It is sad how Brain is somewhat shy and reserved because of his fear of judgment. The way other people, specifically the woman, act towards Brian should not impact how he presents his true self to the world.


  2. Jasmine W

    I think the white woman was a more subtle addition to the story but still very important. In addition to what you said, I also want to discuss how the author felt it important to note the Eldwin was “two shades lighter” than Brian. To me, this shows that in some aspect, Eldwin is in more of a grey area compared to Brian, who is clearly put off by the ‘white gaze’.


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