Her Chee-to Heart essay
In the short essay “Her Chee-to Heart” written by Jill McCorkle, the author takes the opportunity to share the role that food has played in some of her vivid childhood and young adult memories, as well as her personal identity. McCorkle begins by describing her “perfect day of eating”(31), a quite effective way to draw in a reader and avid food lover such as myself; I was hooked on the essay from the first sentence. The author goes on to explain that while her preferred fare includes her Gramma’s home cooked and hearty meals, she would also settle for the comforts that could be bought from the local drive-in or ice cream shop. She also reveals the comfort she finds in foods that are obviously processed and unnaturally colored, as well as the unease she experiences when walking down the produce aisles lined with organic and natural products. In addition, the author cleverly develops the text to convey a sense of lack of control as she seemingly subconciously transitions from describing one junk food element to another in rapid succession.
As the essay proceeds, it is not difficult to see that food–especially junk food–plays an important role in the author’s life. In fact, McCorkle admits that she is a “junk-food junkie and always [has] been”(31). In this way the food plays a role in her personal identity. A powerful example the author provided was the loss that she felt when she discovered she no longer had a taste for Coke during her second pregnancy. It was almost as if McCorkle had lost a piece of herself and who she was during that period of her life. It had been a piece of her morning ritual and daily norm to hear the “cans rolling in her backseat and whoosh and zap of buying a coke from a vending machine”(McCorkle 33.) In this way, the author’s desire for not only the taste but the experience of specific junk food items is made apparent to the reader.
This essay’s overall message was clear in the very last paragraph in which the author explains that indulging in junk-food allows her to reminisce about her younger years when life was more simple and care-free. In this way, the reader can understand that, because the food items were a large part of the author’s childhood, they have now developed into a part of what she feels is her identity as an adult.