In the days following the disaster, Laura, Mrs. Nesbitt, Jonny, and Miranda have a shopping spree for nonperishable items, which they use to fill their pantry. It is later re-stocked with boxes of food when Mrs. Nesbitt dies and they take her supplies, and again when Hal comes to visit. The pantry represents security and a chance that the family will survive. But, with the exception of the few times when they are filling it, Laura discourages her children from opening the door or looking inside. The pantry, with its door closed and contents hidden, can create a false sense of security—lulling them into a belief that their food supplies are sufficient. When, late in the novel, Miranda decides to take an inventory of the pantry, she is horrified to discover “There’s maybe 2 weeks worth of food if only Jon and Matt eat. With Mom and me eating occasionally, we’ll run out of food in 10 days.” But after her life-saving discovery of the food distribution at the end, Miranda proudly records the new bags of food in the pantry and hopes that these and more like them will help her family endure.
Life as We Knew It
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The timeline below shows where the symbol The Pantry appears in Life as We Knew It. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...had instructed Jonny and Miranda not to talk about the goods they’ve stockpiled in their pantry. Miranda wondered if everyone else was being quiet for similar reasons. In an assembly, their... (full context)
...they’ve run out of food. Miranda knows she shouldn’t complain, since due to her mother’s pantry stockpiles she’s eating better than most. She sits with Sammi, Megan, Dave, Brian, and Jenna.... (full context)
...playing poker and enjoying each other’s company. Laura even trusts Miranda to go into the pantry and choose dinners—and while their supplies are decreasing, Miranda feels confident they have enough to... (full context)