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A Summary of Michael Crummey’s “Bread”

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  • Category: Bread

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Michael Crummey’s “Bread” is a short love story. It’s about a woman who marries a man 20 years elder to him, not because she loved him; it was just a practical decision. The man in the story too has no love for her and only looks at her as a need to keep himself satisfied.

The story is about a girl who married a man because he was a good fisherman, had his own house and was ready to take her parents in when they would get old. The man had a belief that two people should never say the word love before they have eaten a sack of flour together, which is why this story is named “Bread”. On the night they married, they had sex, but she got a bit sick, went outside and vomited over the fence. That’s when the man realized and told her that this happens when you have sex the first time. She got pregnant right away, and he left for Labrador. She used to spend her time gardening and watching her belly swell. He didn’t return from Labrador until September, just weeks before she gave birth to a pre-mature baby.

They called home the minister for baptism the very next day and named him Angus Maclean, but he died in a week and they buried him in the graveyard in the Burnt Woods. The woman shared the grief with her husband and started loving her; she was pregnant again by November. She baked a loaf of bread for her husband, placed it on his plate, and tells him that this was the last bag of flour. He doesn’t reply for a minute and finally says he will pick up another today which shows even the man has started loving the woman too and wants to continue with the relationship.

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