Bora: In the beginning of her work, Suleri explains what she plans to accomplish in Meatless Days and how she feels about it. “I am damned by my own discourse” (1). On what exactly she is doing by writing, she personifies her thesis, making it a mischievous child. “I try to lay the subject down and change its clothes, but before I know it, it has sprinted off evilly in the direction of ocular evidence” (2). Suleri attempts to “lay the subject down and change its clothes” as if her intent was to re-outfit it like a dirtied baby. However, her actions are thwarted as the subject “evilly” spirits off. This action pits Suleri against subject, mother figure against baby. Clearly, she is not amused.

This cold sentiment against infants is visible again when she describes the change her mother goes as a result of her many pregnancies. Suleri ponders, “I think she had given suck so many times and had engaged in so many umbilical connections that eating had become syncopated in her head” (35). Here, Suleri describes her mother’s children as almost parasitic in nature the way they feed off her mother and leave her mother’s mind permanently offbeat. It is interesting she does not qualify herself as one of these children. Suleri then goes on to describe a small exchange she, her sister, and her mother have about Ifat’s pregnancy with Ayesha. Ifat muses, “Do you know what it is like to have something kicking at you all the time and realize that you can never kick it back?” (35) Here once again, the baby is portrayed in a negative light. What is Suleri trying to say about babies? Why doesn’t she like them? What do they represent to her and women?

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Last modified 26 April 2011