Eat me is a poem based on the relationship between a feedee and feeder and the suffocation that she feels in their relationship. The older she becomes, the higher her weight. The narrator has become so entrapped by her partner that she has become ‘too fat’ to even carry out everyday tasks. We learn that at the end she finally stops being a ‘girl’ and turns into a woman who takes control by killing her partner in an attempt to escape the cage he set out for her.
- Beauty – in modern day society the media controls what we should perceive as beautiful and desirable. We are always striving to achieve approval from other people. The narrator of this poem risks her health in order to be seen as desirable and please her partner.
- Male power – we see a massive amount of male dominance in this poem and how the woman is treated as inferior and subordinate by the fact that she takes orders from her partner and is spoken down to and made to feel inferior.
- Sexualisation – the whole poem is around how the role of a feeder and feedee is linked to sexual ideas. The narrators body is seen as only a mere object to sexually please her partner.
Tone of the poem
- This poem evokes a lot of sympathy from the readers as we are shown how little say the narrator has in her own life. She has become so used to doing what she ‘was told’ to do that she eventually becomes numb to it all. She ‘didn’t even taste it’, her tastebuds have become deaden much like her emotions.
- The icing on the cake was ‘white’ yet iced with ‘pink’ letters. White is usually a colour of purity and freedom, however this independence has been slowly consumed over the years by the ‘pink’ flesh and weight that the narrators partner continues to force onto her.
- The poem is made up of 10 tercets (stanzas of 3 lines) which I think is a representation of the cycle that the narrator was trapped in. Everyday was the same routine of being fed, and gaining weight.
- The poem also consists of half rhymes where the ends of the words are stressed and rhyme with other words with similar endings, such as: ‘cake’ and ‘weight’… ‘walk’ and ‘juggernaut’. Maybe this is symbolic of all of the built up stress and containment in the narrators life that eventually becomes too much and ends in the death of her partner.
- There is also the fact that at the beginning of the poem the word ‘he’ and ‘his’ was greatly used to show the control he had over the narrators life. However as soon as we hit the sixth stanza we are introduced to the use of the word ‘I’ to show that she is finally taking control of her life.
- We also see assonance being used through the line ‘poured olive oil down my throat’, creates this choking sound which further emphasises that this is being done by force.
- Birthday cake was ‘home-made’ not only gives it a personal touch but also means that the narrators partner has control of what is going into the cake.
- The use of the referral to ‘big girls, soft girls, girls I can burrow inside’ is important as it shows that the narrators partner is treating her like a child that needs to be looked after, rather than an independent woman. Highlights her vulnerability.
- Narrator would gain weight and ‘swell’ which highlights the pain that this put her in.
- We also see irony used by the fact that the narrator is ‘too fat to buy a pint of full fat milk’. It’s almost as if she is mocking herself for the fact that she has become so immobile that she does not even have the power to go out and buy herself some more food.
- There is also imagery in the way that the narrator ‘allowed him to stroke […her…] globe of a cheek’. We get this image of a pet that needs to rely on others to live. Also word ‘globe’ emphasises how large she really has become.
End of poem
- ‘Soon you’ll be forty’, this is almost patronising as soon she will be 40, immobile and forever trapped with him. Turning 40 is said to be a time of realisation that time is running out, and this is significant by the fact that this triggers the narrator into finally taking charge of her life.
- ‘There was nothing else left in the house to eat’, this shows that all of the pain and hostility that she kept inside her (represented by the house, the home is where the heart is) is finally gone. Eating food was her pain and now there is no more pain to be forced onto her.