How Julia Child Changed American Society In The Mid To Late 1900s

3111 words - 12 pages

The purpose of this study was to delve into the life and accomplishments of Julia Child, in order to discover how she affected the society in America in the mid-to-late 1900s. Objectives of the essay were to identify the gender roles and social norms in the mid-to-late 1900s, analyze Child’s accomplishments, and draw connections between the change in the role of women and Julia Child’s influences. Through Julia Child’s profound lifestyle, she revolutionized the societal norms of the time. Historical references of society in America, novels about Julia Child, scholarly journals over Child’s influences, and databases about each were used to probe thought and provide connections between the two topics.
This study is important in order to show how people or certain events promote societal changes. The essay was separated into two topics: the change in society (focusing on gender roles), and Julia Child’s influences and accomplishments, with connections between the two made throughout. Analysis of research is provided to discern how much Julia Child had to do with the change in America as opposed to other people or events that occurred around the same time period.
The conclusions reached from this study show that Julia Child did play a role in affecting Americans; however, it was because of many other reasons, events, and people that the major changes took place. The effect that Child had on America can certainly be seen though the change in the supermarkets, and personal accounts of the affect Child had on them. But more than that, it is because of the increases in technological advancements in the kitchen and through many other women revolutionaries that the society in America changed. Through discovery, Child had a huge impact in the culinary world, which, in effect, had to do with the changes in society that occurred.
Julia Child’s Background
Julia McWilliams Child grew up in Pasadena California in a wealthy, high-class family. The family had significant wealth and in affect Child lived a “privileged childhood” ( This affected Child’s perspective of women’s roles. The McWilliams household had a family cook that cooked most meals. Julia’s mom did not spend much time in the kitchen, but had a few specialties that Julia learned, such as baking-powder biscuits and Welsh rabbit. Julia states in her book, My Life in France, “I had zero interest in the stove… I was never encouraged to cook and just didn’t see the point in it” (10). Reichl explains how “Julia said she wished she'd started cooking at 14, but that was never in the cards. Girls of her class did not cook -- there were servants to do that -- and they certainly did not do it professionally” (Reichl 4). Women of Child’s class did not have careers: they didn’t do their own cooking, cleaning, or shopping either. "You were to marry and have children and be a nice mother. You didn't go out and do anything" (Namboodiripad 6). However, this is one way in which Julia Child...

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