Bread is a cheap, wholesome food that is integrated into the routines and comforts of family life. In this story, the girl’s ability or inability to “feel the bread” symbolizes her perceived fitness or unfitness for wholesome family life. As her last bit of advice, Mother tells the girl that she should always feel bread to ensure that it is fresh. The girl, still uncertain about the rules of propriety that Mother seeks to instill, asks what she ought to do “if the baker won’t let [her] feel the bread.” The question brings about a rebuke from Mother, who believes that her worst suspicion (that the girl will be a slut) has been confirmed by the girl’s uncertainty about her worthiness to feel bread. Mother implies that she will lose social value if she becomes a slut, just as bread loses value when it is no longer fresh.
Bread Quotes in Girl
Always squeeze bread to make sure it’s fresh; but what if the baker won’t let me feel the bread?; you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won’t let near the bread?