The commercialization of culture largely contributes to the degeneration of Western cultural values. On the one hand, consumerism, viewed as “the myth that the individual will be gratified and integrated by consuming”, has become “an incomplete system of values substituted for a waning cultural heritage” (Cronk, 1996). On the other hand, even if social cannibalism means the members’ feeding off other members of the same society, it can also serve as “a metaphor for the humans’ primitive interconnection to others” (Rawson, 1999).
As these two concepts have been mitigated in social practice into subsequent metaphors and even terms of endearment, our paper will attempt to draw a map of food-based metaphors and similes from Atwood’s The Edible Woman and to examine their significance and functions not as mere figures of speech, but as expressions of transformative cultural experiences. Moreover, we intend to prove that both food idioms acting as metaphors in everyday life and conceptual metaphors beautifully exploit the resourcefulness of language.