Rice Cakes and Starbucks Section B 1. Summary of “Rice Cakes and Starbucks” This text “Rice Cakes and Starbucks” is a short story written by Esther Freud from 2009. The story’s theme is family, career and the American dream. The story takes place in Los Angeles and north London. The story is about the Lindens family, Beth, Dan and their children. Beth is a fulltimehousewife and mother of three. Dan is Beth’s husband, an actor and father. Dan’ dream is to become a great and famous actor, in America Dan and his family go to the America, where Dan continues pursuing his acting carrier dream.
A few days after their arrival in America, Dan is going to a casting meeting. But unfortunately, the woman isn’t interested in Dan, but interested in Dan’s seven-year-old daughter Honey, but Dan refuses their interest for his daughter, without telling Beth about the offering, and pretends like nothing has happened. 2. Who are the main characters? Dan: Dan Lindens is a man in his best age, young and educated.
He is husband to Beth, and together they have 3 children, Grace, Honey and Ben.
The story does not directly tell us, how old Dan exactly is, but indirectly the story tell us, that he is about thirty-to-forty-years-old, because that their middle child, Honey is seven- years-old, and Honey and Ben is still using pajamas and armbands in the pool. Grace is using muslin, and still cannot stay upright on her own, which tells us that Grace is a baby, about one-year-old (Page 10 line 97). And therefore Dan cannot be more or less than about thirty-to-forty-years-old. Dan is a family man, together with his wife Beth and their three not yet grownup children, but not with a big F.
Dan really only wanted one child, but as the years passed with Beth, Side 1 they ended up with three children. (Page 8 line 31) This tells us that the family man Dan isn’t a family man with a big F, because his carrier also means a lot to him. Dan is also a perfectionist. He wants everything to be perfect, especially his suit for the casting meeting “ Dan tried on his suit … He moved back and forth before the mirror, sucking in his cheekbones, sticking out his chest, checking the imperfect creases of his trousers. (Page 10 lines 73 – 76). Dan might be a bit insecure, we see that in the way he is preparing for the meeting, early up, and practicing the conversation, with his American accent. But when he finally was meeting the woman at the casting, he turned out totally different than expected. To be a carrier man, Dan needs before the meeting, have to shake all thoughts of his family off, but he couldn’t, as the first in their conversation, he mentions his children. Dan is a man with attitude.
He wants to follow his dream in LA, and is kind an impulsive man. He suggests that they can rent their house out, for six months, before their children get too big, and go to LA and just give it a chance. (Page 8 lines 20 – 22). Dan is a man who lives in the moment, right here and right now, the worst that can happen is that LA hates him, and then they can move back again, that’s no big deal. Beth: Beth Lindens is a fulltime-housewife. She is a good and supporting housewife to Dan.
She supports him in his choices, and suggests Dan that they can move to LA so Dan can pursue his dream, because Beth will not being blamed for holding him back for realizing his dreams (Page 8 lines 29 – 32). It seems like its Beth who is wearing the trousers in their relationship. It’s her taking the decisions, and does everything she can for supporting Dan. 3. Dan’s choice at the end of “Rice Cakes and Starbucks” At the meeting Dan mentions that he has a sweet seven-year-old daughter, named Honey. After the meeting he went back at the Starbucks to his family, and then his manager calls.
The manager tells that the caster is interested in making a movie with his daughter Honey. Dan says that he has to think about the offering, but when he ends the call, his wife Beth asks him, what the call was about, and he simply says :” Nothing” (Page 12 line 154). The Side 2 choice about lying to Beth in the end, I think it’s because he finally had made his choice up, and found out that he most of all wanted to be with his family. Or perhaps he could not probe his daughter the success now that he did not achieve his dream in the TV world?
Another possibility is that he would protect his little daughter Honey, against the disgusting world that awaits her outside his protection. 4. The challenge of having a family while pursuing your dreams. The contemporary man wants it all. We all want a loving family and a rich and challenging career with a good pay. This is a huge problem in the today’s society and in the story “Rice Cakes and Starbucks” By Esther Freud from 2009. In the story we hear about, how difficult it is for Dan, to try to combine the two different worlds, family – and carrier world.
The two worlds play a really huge role in Dan life, and in a normal adult’s life. Dan has problems by prioritizing what is most important for him and finding a balance between the worlds, but at the end of the story Dan decides to be with his loving family, and accepts that he has achieve the most of his dream, by being an actor in a series of good series numbers, in the end Dan helps Beth pursuing her dream, of a loving and healthy family. Dan finds a balance between his family and carrier.
A balance that both please him, Beth and their three children. To give and take, is the most important in a relationship, which Dan and Beth is a good example on. Beth does everything she can to support Dan, in his way of following his dream, which not succeeds, but Dan is lucky to have such a supportive wife. A healthy relationship is a relationship with balance and bit of selfishness. To be happy in a relationship you need to live out your dreams, so you have the feeling of: “I have achieved what I wanted, and could not be happier! ”. Side 3
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Rice Cakes and Starbucks. (2016, Sep 23). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/rice-cakes-and-starbucks/