Here’s a Time magazine cover from some weeks back:
Here’s one of my dialogue-added historic paintings:
In general, breast feeding is a good thing, as far as I know. And I believe women should be allowed to feed their babies in public. I also believe that they should do so discreetly enough to show respect for the sensibilities of those who might be uncomfortable about it — and also to avoid the physical risk of attracting “preverts.”
But at some point a child should be weaned, right? What determines that age?
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
What is one to make of the ending of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath? Rose of Sharon has lost her own baby, but still has her milk. She gives her breast to feed a stranger who is dying of hunger. (The stranger is a man, as it happens.)
The novel ends with these words:
“She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously.”
There’s been a lot of ink spilled in the analysis of that ending, and in the way it’s been presented by various movie and stage directors. I think the ambiguity of Rose of Sharon’s “mysteriously” enigmatic smile is a perfect emblem of the entire question.
And, while I’m thinking about The Grapes of Wrath (soon to be replayed, thanks to global warming?), let’s honor Woody Guthrie’s centennial birthday celebration: