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Literary analysis has been done on the piece of literature written by Geeta Kothari in “If What You Eat, Then What Am I?”. There has been vivid use of simile in her literary work as it can be identified from the way in which she compared tuna to internal organs. It is important to understand the concept of simile and way it is used in literature to depict something (Fathma et al., 2020). Simile can be defined or conceptualized as a word or phrase that compares in between two or more using some common words. This involves the use of words such as ‘like’ or ‘as’. These words can be used in order to compare in between a feeling or an object to another appearing similar in nature or color. They can have similar physical appearances and are used to compare taking help of simile concepts. In this literary work, this has been used to compare the tuna fish with internal organs. The concept of simile is different from that of metaphor.
The concept of simile has been used as an element to add detailing to the imagination of the author in her childhood regarding the fish tuna. She narrates that she has never been able to tolerate the smell of fish tuna. However, her mother in order to satisfy her longing for American Food bought tuna. To her surprise, tuna starts smelling fishy which she has never received from tuna sandwiches she has tasted earlier. To her imagination, the tuna looks like a pink and shiny organ. This has been compared to that of some internal organs. In addition to this, another simile has been used to explain the look of tuna fish. To Geeta, the tuna fish which her mother bought looks more like that of bad foods which she does not want her to consume. In addition to this, there has been use of comparison in the textual description. Tuna Salad has been contrasted with tuna fish. Her mother does not seem to have known the differences between tuna fish and tuna salad. The latter is used to make sandwiches and hence, it becomes the American food which does not smell like fish tuna.

The symbol of sandwich made from tuna salad has been used as a contrasting symbol to food dishes preferred by Indians. Americans eat this sandwich and not the tuna fish which Geeta’s mother bought for her. Her taste has been synchronized with sandwich and not with tuna symbol of the eating pattern of other cultures. Hence, oxymoron along with symbolic form has been used as a literary analysis tool while writing the text. Geeta had a problem that her mother did not provide her western foods, just smiled at her friends and also complained that her full time working mother did not provide enough attention. This symbolizes and represents the fact that she always wants to be part of American culture, but her thought process still remains within the boundaries of Indian Culture (Grana, Cesar, 2020). She is so desperate about adopting American culture that married a foreign guy. However she also fears that her husband can leave her, just because she is vegetarian and belongs to Indian culture. On the other hand, using simile as an analytical device, the comparison observed by Kothari within American and Indian culture based on food habits can be explained (Kiel, 2018). Regarding this Kothari has pointed out various examples and memories within her, her mother and her husband.

Church, Kenneth W., et al. “Symbol sequence estimation in speech.” U.S. Patent Application No. 16/577,663.
Fathma, Dalilah, Nurlela Nurlela, and Muhammad Yusuf. “ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS’UNDERSTANDING OF IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS AND ITS USE IN THEIR ESSAY: A CASE STUDY.” JOALL (Journal of Applied Linguistics & Literature) 5.1 (2020): 39-51.
Grana, Cesar, ed. Fact and symbol: Essays in the sociology of art and literature. Routledge, 2020.
Kiel, Miriam Janice Cohen. If I Am What I Eat, Who Am I? Using Food to Maintain Jewish Identity and Heritage in Norway. MS thesis. 2018.

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