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The Kitchen is a Fickle Mistress - Essay Example

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In a 2006 article titled "Are We Worthy of Our Kitchens", author Christine Rosen takes us on a 200-year tour of housewife drudgery, appliances, and gadgets. The author contends that the trip through history has at times been blessed by labor saving conveniences, while at other times it has been sabotaged by the lure of ease and temptation…
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The Kitchen is a Fickle Mistress

Download file to see previous pages... The author is quick to remind us of the housewife's complaints of centuries past, and the difficulty in maintaining an elegant domesticity. She tells of the American pioneer woman, carrying wood, heating water, and toiling over the laundry in an all day undertaking. The washing machine, one of the most laudable household helpers, has changed little since its inception. The wood stove was introduced to be sold to women, but actually saved the man from having to cut as much wood. Still, it is the vacuum cleaner that Rosen uses to illustrate our love of cleanliness and how it has become possible to remain immaculate without the aid of servants.
It was these devices that gave the housewife the illusion of being a little more royal than maybe she actually was. The article agrees that while all the modern miracles of housework may not save time, and certainly not money, they have made our society better organized. We are cleaner, we have more options for storing and cooking food, and by all such measures we should be happier. Yet, the author argues that the modern housewife is actually doing the work of several servants and, "electric servants did not easily translate into spending less time on housework". Marketers have simply made the experience seem a little more aristocratic.
We have every kitchen appliance available to make our cooking experience quick, clean, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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