In Russell Edson’s “The Mouse Dinners,” he proves the point, “You are what you eat.” Although it is never revealed in the story, what species the main characters are, I kept seeing them as more cats or birds than humans, because they eat mice, and I can’t really see humans eating mice, but now I believe the word “mice” and “mouse” could be substituted for anything.
In every kitchen in the world, someone could be eating something they didn’t really like, but wanted to appear grateful for their spouse’s efforts. I could relate to this couple and what they were going through. When I cook something, I expect people say thank you and to give an honest opinion about it, so I know if they would like me to cook it again or never again.
When the husband says, “I never liked mouse. I thought you liked mouse, so I liked mouse so you’d like me,” mad me laugh, because who hasn’t done something to make someone like them more, and then realize the person doesn’t really like to do that one thing. I would think the couple would know each other well after 20 years, and know what each other likes and doesn’t like.
“Perhaps it was the twenty years of mouse, eaten to please a wife, who he thought liked mice, has worked the metamorphosis,” reveals to me that if someone pretends to be something they are not, they lose their own identity and become something they don’t want to be. I think the theme of this story is be who you are and voice your opinion.